The 5 Best Card Tricks With a Shuffled Deck

By Timothy Woodbridge - Monday, August 15, 2022

Hello again, Timothy Woodbridge here (aka The Curly Magician). Following up on my special blog series about the tricks that helped me jump into the exciting world of coin magic, I wanted to share with you the five best card tricks with a shuffled deck in use (aka FASDIU). These are impromptu card magic tricks that you can do at any time with any deck of playing cards.

Best card tricks with a shuffled deck in use

A magician once told me that you should always do your best material, because you never know who you might be performing for. Impress the right person and it could change your life. This is some of the best advice I’ve ever received and has served me well professionally.

When I’m prepared, I have an arsenal of magic tricks that would strike fear into the heart of Gandalf. When I’m caught off-guard, without so much as a thumb tip, I sometimes can feel as magical as a tax return.

I still need to be able to impress people though, even when my close-up case decides to stay behind on the train without me or my “Phantom Deck” is sitting mockingly on my desk at home. Luckily though, a magician’s most versatile magic prop can always be found in the wild.

While invisible decks don’t grow on trees, a regular deck of playing cards is easy to find. Most shops sell them and nearly everyone has one lying around their house. Armed with a deck of cards and the right card tricks, you’ll have everything you need to slay anything from a professional gig to a family party or even a small wizard.

While there are more card tricks then stars in the sky, some of them are black holes (looking at you 21 Card Trick.) I have searched high and low to find the best FASDIU card tricks that get killer reactions worthy of professional magic performances.

Ensure you’re never caught off guard again. Here are five amazing card tricks with a shuffled deck.

The 5 Best Card Tricks With a Shuffled Deck

”Double Exposure” by Asi Wind

A modern and unique take on the classic Triumph plot that was featured by David Blaine on his special “David Blaine: Real or Magic”.

Asi Wind has fooled magicians and laymen alike with this reality-bending effect. You take a photo of them with their phone as they hold a spread of face-up and face-down cards. Impossibly, when they go to check the photo themselves, only one card is facing up in a face-down deck—their selected card. They then check the deck of cards again and it’s magically sorted itself to match the photo.

The phone aspect of this routine elevates it to a whole new level. It’s 100% impromptu and everything can be borrowed. Download it and enjoy it.

”Stigmata” by Banachek (“Psi Series Volume 2”)

The number of a chosen card eerily appears on your arm.

Banachek has used this otherworldly card trick to fool everyone from magicians to scientists. Few card tricks have the visceral impact of “Stigmata”. It is beyond worth the price of the “Psi Series” video, which also has tons of other gems.

I love this one because it adds texture to a set filled with card tricks. It is strong in an almost biblical way.

"Four 4 Following” by Kostya Kimlat (Roadrunner Cull)

After the spectator turns one Ace face up in the deck, all the other Aces magically turn face up.

Kostya is a consummate professional who earns a very good living from his magic. In his beloved “Roadrunner Cull” download, he offers a masterclass on the cull—one of the most versatile card magic sleight of hand moves you can learn. It also includes full sets from his working repertoire that can be done with just an ordinary deck of cards.

I could probably dedicate this whole blog to tricks from “Roadrunner Cull”. But, if you were to only perform one trick from it, “Four 4 Following” would be a great choice. It’s one of the easiest to learn, helps you get comfortable with the cull and looks like real magic.

"Red Herring" by Ben Earl

A remarkable method for instantly finding a freely-selected card from a completely-shuffled deck. Very easy and incredibly fooling.

Ben Earl is a great magician to study for FASDIU card tricks. He could probably perform an entire hour-long show with nothing more than deck of Bicycle Playing Cards.

While he is generally known for his sleight of hand prowess, “Red Herring” doesn’t require any. In fact, when I regularly performed this in my virtual magic shows, the audience handled the cards. It was without a doubt the highlight of my show.

“Red Herring” is a permanent part of my close up magic set and regularly gets “but that’s not possible!” reactions.

”Out Of This World” by Derren Brown (The Devil’s Picturebook)

A devilishly fooling version of the classic Paul Curry card trick “Out of This World”.

It doesn’t get much bigger than Derren Brown. If it’s good enough for him, then it’s good enough for the rest of us. In fact, even when I have all my best stuff with me, I still close with this trick. The signature Derren Brown touches he adds take this iconic plot to new heights.

This is one of the only tricks on the list with a tiny bit of set-up required. But, it can be done quickly right in front of the spectators. I generally ask the spectator to name a country, a color and a number. As I nod meaningfully at their replies, I separate the deck into black and red. Nobody has ever questioned what I’m doing.

Honorable Mention: I’d like to note that shortly after writing this, Luke Jermay’s “Shuffled Out of this World” from his “You’re Only Lying to Yourself” project was released. This devious effect has an incredible method for preparing a truly shuffled deck in plain view for an "Out of This World" routine. A small part of the overall method means you will likely want to use your own deck of cards for this one. But, as the dirty work takes place within the context of the routine, it will go completely unnoticed and feel just as fair as if you borrowed a deck.

There you have it. If you ever find yourself up a creek with just a shuffled deck of cards, these tricks will help you not only survive, but thrive. People are always more impressed if you use their cards anyways. So, even having just one of these routines in your back pocket will serve you well for years to come.

It’s also worth mentioning that another prop that’s easy to find everywhere, and can get you out of a sticky situation, is coins. Make sure you check out How A Pen Made Me A Coin Magician, where I share my five favorite beginner coin tricks that can help any magician conquer their fear of coin magic and add new amazing magic tricks to their working set.

Until next time,

The Curly Magician

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