Mercury Card Fold

The Mercury Card Fold, sometimes referred to as the Mercury Fold, is a special sleight of hand card folding technique used to secretly fold playing cards into quarters in your hands under a deck of cards. This versatile card fold is used in a variety of card tricks, particularly those where a signed playing card ends up in an impossible location such as Card to Mouth, Card to Wallet and other marketed items like the Kennedy Mystery Box or Daniel Garcia’s Mint Box.

History of the Mercury Card Fold

The basic two-handed version of the Mercury Card Fold is often credited to a card trick known as Mercury’s Card that first appeared in Jean Hugard and Frederick Braue’s Expert Card Technique in 1940. However, according to Conjuring Credits, it’s quite possible that this card folding technique was actually first described in a Card to Matchbox effect known as a A Sure Bet that appeared in Frank Chapman’s Six Bits four year earlier.

Neither Hugard, Braue or Chapman originally laid claim to creating the Mercury Fold, nor do they credit its originator. However, in 1985, it was eventually discovered in The Fred Braue Notebooks: Volume 3 that Braue believes the Mercury Card Fold may have been invented by John Scarne.

While most magicians will conduct a Mercury Card Fold with two hands, there are also one-handed variations available to learn. The first of which was featured in a card magic trick from William H. McCaffrey known as “Cash and Change-Purse” that was published in the July 1939 issue of The Sphinx magic magazine. A similar technique also appeared in John Scarne’s “A Card Mouthful” featured in John Northern Hilliard’s iconic 1938 magic book Greater Magic.

Where Can I Learn the Mercury Card Fold?

It’s always best to start at the source, which is why we suggest grabbing a copy of Expert Card Technique if you want to learn the Mercury Card Fold. It was written by the same great magicians behind one of the most popular magic books for beginners—The Royal Road to Card Magic. So, you’ll not only learn the Mercury Fold but a variety of other card magic tricks, techniques and sleight of hand moves that will help you further your magic journey.

Although it’s not technically a beginner card magic move, the Mercury Card Fold is well within the reach of any card magician. Just grab some old decks of cards (you definitely won’t want to use your favorite premium playing cards) and practice while you watch TV. You’ll learn it in no time!

Once you’ve mastered the Mercury Fold, make sure you also check out our article on the Top 5 Card Tricks Every Magician Should Learn. We think you’ll be particularly interested in the Ambitious Card trick, which often uses a Mercury Card Fold as part of its final phase.

We also have some other helpful resources for card magicians such as our Top 10 Card Tricks of the Year and the Vanishing Inc. team’s favorite card tricks. You can even impress your friends and family by learning some amazing card tricks right now for free!