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This week we've got two quick and easy tricks with matches.
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If Harvard offered a PhD in deceit, this would be it. Award-winning magician Brian Brushwood takes viewers on an inside tour of bar tricks, street cons and scams. If you watch carefully, you'll never have to pay for a drink again!
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The Setup: have your mark pull out a fistful of matches, and make 3 perfectly even piles. (it can be any number of matches as long as there are more than 3 in each pile, and all piles are equal).
Turn around, and ask them to (1) pull out 3 matches from the left and right piles, placing them in the middle. (2) count how many matches remain in one of the side piles, and pull that number out of the middle pile. and finally (3) take one of the matches in their hand, and place it in either of the side piles.
Despite the fact that they chose how many matches to put in each pile, and they chose which pile to put the extra match in... you turn over your prediction to reveal that before the trick began, you knew which pile would be odd, which would be even, and exactly how many matches would be in the center pile!
The Method: before the trick, write down "odd - 9 - even" on a piece of paper and turn it over. When you go through the steps listed above, no matter what, the middle pile will always have 9 matches, which leaves only the question of how to predict which pile will be odd or even. Here's the secret: you don't predict it at all. Instead, wait until AFTER you know which piles are odd or even, and turn over you prediction so it lines up accordingly (play with it... you'll discover that the prediction can be placed either to face you, or face your mark... and each orientation will change which pile is labeled "even" or "odd".