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Are you ready to dazzle and amaze your friends with a card trick that will blow their minds and make you look like a master-class magician? Then what you want to do is learn the way to perform some of the slickest slights you can find, and we may know the one that could be just up your alley. The Mene Tekel Magic Card Trick is easy to learn, fun to perform, and can make you the life of the party.
The Mene Tekel Magic Card Trick is a magic trick that helps you identify a card. A person can select a card and know its value, select a card and immediately find a duplicate card, or choose a card from your deck, place it in the center of the deck, and then have the card suddenly leap to the top of the deck.
If that sounds exciting, wait until you see it actually performed in person. Learning about the ins and outs of this trick can help you master it faster and cut down the risk of slipping up. Soon, you’ll be able to pull this trick to impress anyone, including yourself.
What is The Mene Tekel Trick
This trick is called the Mene Tekel Magic Card Trick, it involves having your subject, be it a friend, family member, or even stranger, select a card from your deck, placing it in the middle of the deck, and then having the card appear on the top of the deck instantly.
If that sounds like real wizardry, don’t worry, even you can perform this trick yourself with a few simple steps. They say a true magician never reveals his secrets, but this trick is one that deserves to be learned far and wide.
What You Need for the Mene Tekel Trick
Here's what you’ll need to be able to do if you want to perform the trick yourself: You need to be able to move a card from the middle of the deck to the top without being spotted. You’ll need to be able to do this with a different card every time since the odds of your spectators choosing the same cards are slim.
Finally, you’ll have to present the matching card you have to your spectator and make sure it’s the same one. Do it quickly enough and you’ll be able to convince the onlookers that you have some otherworldly ability. The best part is that this isn't hard to perform.
What you’ll need is a deck of cards. It would be helpful if you had a custom built deck specifically for the purposes of magic tricks since they let you take advantage of hidden little features that make the trick easier to perform.
One advantage to learning this trick is that, since the trick is quite popular, the Mene Tekel has specific decks you can use that can be purchased as a complete set. If you’ve ever used a Svegali deck, you’ll find that the Mene Tekel is quite similar, with the arrangements of cards being the main difference.
The deck consists of 26 ordinary cards and 26 special cards. These special cards are the same value and type as their ordinary neighbors, alternating between each pair. This means you have an ordinary Ace of Spades, followed by another Ace of Spades in succession. In addition, one set of cards will have been shaved off around 1/16 of an inch, so one card will be slightly slimmer, one will be normal sized, and so on.
How to Perform the Mene Tekel Trick
Your deck will be structured with a set of cards that appear average to the unassuming eye but are made custom with the goal of helping you perform this trick. If you want to learn how to actually do the trick yourself, all you need to do is follow a few instructions and practice until you get it down 100%.
Here are the steps to follow if you want to amaze:
- First, show your deck of cards to your spectator in a way that the bottom of the deck is facing them. Flip through the set and have them tell you when to stop, this can be at any point.
- Once they tell you to stop, cut the deck at that point and give them a look at the top card of one of the decks. Next, have them stick the card back in the deck. Don’t forget to make note of which card it is yourself.
- Close the deck and then it’s time for some sleight of hand. Distract your spectator with a little magic movement of your hands and then draw the top card of your deck. It’ll be the very card they chose!
The way it works is because of the way the deck is structured. Since each card has a matching counterpart, it’s always going to show up at the top of the deck no matter which card you stop on. If they select a 2 of Hearts, then when you cut the deck, you’ll automatically know exactly where the other 2 of Hearts is located.
One important aspect to be aware of is to make sure that you know your deck inside and out so that you minimize the probability of error. The cards that are normal and the ones that are special have very slight differences that are meant to be missed by onlookers, but if you’re careful this could trip you up as well.
Making sure you have a good handle on your deck and being able to identify any card quickly will help you succeed more often when performing this trick. As with most magic tricks the more you try and perform this trick, the more natural it will seem and eventually you’ll be able to do it with your eyes closed.
Use it to Impress
You can use this trick in parties to amaze your friends, or just bring it out whenever you’re waiting in a long line and want to make some conversation. What makes this trick unique is that it can be performed a lot more easily than most complex performances. As long as you have the deck, you should be good to go.
If you want to go the extra mile, bring some extra items to help sell that magician look. You can bring a cape or wand to help add some pizzazz to your outfit if you plan on performing the trick in front of a large audience ahead of time, but if you want to keep it subtle and be ready to whip out the trick on a moment’s notice, you should consider a deck holder which can keep your cards organized and separated from other cards.
You can get these items from places like magic shops and online stores. Magic shops are surprisingly more plentiful than you might anticipate, so you’re sure to find at least one near your city. Be sure to call ahead of time to see if they have decks available that fit the needs of what this trick requires, or if they have a specific Mene Tekel deck ready to go.
The Story Behind the Trick
This trick was allegedly first started all the way back in the year 1910 by mentalist Burling Hull. It was likely inspired through the use of a Svengali deck, which is where a magician can present a card chosen by the audience in a deck and present it back to them.
How This Trick Came to Be
The founder of this trick was an interesting person. Known under such monikers as “The White Wizard” or “Volta the Great”, Burling Hall was an incredibly influential magician, founding the Stage Magic Company and De Luxe Magic Co.
Hall is also credited with the creation of the Svengali Deck, of the most common and iconic magic tricks of all time, as well as popularizing the rope tie and chain release trick. Having written over 50 books on magic to his name, it’s likely that his constant iterations and improvement of tricks led to the creation of the Mene Tekel card trick.
Similar Tricks to the Mene Tekel
Nowadays, the trick is used to delight people all over the world as it is a simple trick to learn, but an impressive one to show off. With the Mene Tekel under your disposal, you can use it as the foundation for many similar tricks to increase your arsenal and repertoire of magic.
Other tricks similar to this one are sure to add some extra variety to your Mene Tekel performance:
- The Svengali Deck is the most similar to this trick. It can be used to perform a variety of tricks and sleights that can't be easily identified by the audience. With a Svengali Deck, you can reveal a chosen card to the audience and make it appear like the whole deck.
- Another similar trick is the Invisible Deck, a deck that allows you to select a face down card, and then have that card appear any time someone chooses another face down card. This deck is also known as the Ultra Mental Deck, and is one of the most common magic tricks
- The Magic Coloring Book is a trick that potentially even inspired the Mene Tekel trick in the first place. It involves presenting a book that appears to be in black and white, flipping it to reveal color, and then flipping it again to be fully colored. This trick is noted to be one of the oldest magic tricks in history that involves the use of a prop.
No matter which magic tricks you use, you’re sure to garner some stunning reactions. The Mene Tekel, along with its magical brethren are all utilizing the same philosophies and methods to trick the audience in the most complex way while being as simple as possible for the magician to learn and perform.
Using it Today
If you want to master tricks like these, the best way is to practice as much as you can. These kinds of tricks all rely on you being able to pull them off quickly and convincingly enough so that the illusions aren’t broken.
Thankfully, these tricks are easy to practice once you get the basic movements down and you can work on them even when doing something else. When it’s showtime it’s often Recommended to practice with friends or family and see if you can convince them of your skills
With practice, you’ll no doubt be able to Pull off some stunning tricks and creative performances without any trouble at all. You can use simple tricks like this to build up your motor skills like hand I coordination and reflexes which can be useful in many areas of life not just limited to card tricks. Skills like these will only help you pull off more intricate shows.
Further Learning to Advance your Mentalism Skills
This trick, and others like it, is an example of mentalism. Mentalism is defined as “the theory that physical and psychological phenomena are ultimately explicable only in terms of a creative and interpretative mind”, which in layman terms means that the user demonstrates high levels of intelligence and creativity to the point where they appear to be psychic.
Of course, you don't really need magical powers to perform these tricks as they actually more so involve fooling the audience into thinking that you're doing those things rather than doing them yourself.
Mentalism can be used for all sorts of interesting purposes, including hypnosis, psychokinesis, telepathy, and divination. While they all appear to be otherworldly powers, they all in fact rely on several advanced tricks and sleights to give off the illusion that these things are happening, be it through tools, hidden objects, or in most cases like the Mene Teckel, card tricks. With a bit of practice, you can learn these as well.
Exciting Mentalism Tricks
The reason they became popular was that they became so expertly crafted that it seemed impossible for it to be faked. The trick to a good performance is making it look convincing and natural so that they have no choice but to believe you. A lot of people have even made careers out of mentalism tricks.
A few other examples of mentalism tricks are ones that you can pull off with a lot more practice and training:
- Mind tricks can be a fun exercise that you can easily use on your friends. For example, you could try the “Red Hammer” trick. Simply ask your audience a few questions like “How many sides does a stop sign have” or “What day is Christmas” to subtly remind them of the color red. Then, when you ask them “think of a color and a tool” they’ll almost always answer with “red hammer”
- Hypnosis can be an effective way to look cool while performing a trick on someone, and even yourself! Hypnosis is the act of relaxing someone until they are enthralled by your voice and tone and put in a more relaxed state. Once they are relaxed, they’ll be much more receptive to your orders, which are really just suggestions.
- Cube tricks are also fun to perform with small props that you can carry everywhere. One example is a venom cube. First, take 2 Rubix cubes and ask your audience member to solve one, while you solve another. When they present their finished result, they’ll be stunned that you have a cube matched exactly the same way.
After you’ve mastered the Mene Tekel trick, you can move on to other tricks like these to stun your friends and family even further. Mentalism isn't something that has a huge barrier of entry, and in fact, most tricks are much easier to learn than they may appear.
Unleash Your Inner Magician
The Mene Tekel trick is one of the most versatile magic tricks out there and as you’ve no doubt learned it can be a stunning addition to any magician's skill set. While this trick may be similar to others and my utilized cards like so many magic tricks do, the district is unlike any other in how versatile it can be and how easy it is to learn.
If you’re a starting beginner or a seasoned expert, this trick is one addition that would definitely be worth learning.
Learning card tricks like these can help you become the life of the party and always have something fun and exciting to show off no matter where you go. All you need is a deck of cards in a little bit of practice and soon you’ll be amazing to everyone with your magical skills.
There’s a reason that this card trick is so popular and iconic: it’s easy to perform and delivers stunning results. If you want to take your magic to the next level, this is one trick that you definitely shouldn’t leave home without.