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Have you ever wondered how mentalists are able to guess your name or predict a card you have chosen, even without ever looking at it? There are several tricks that mentalists use to guess this information.

Read on to see what cues and tricks Mentalism masters know and how they use them as hints when trying to guess people's names! We’ll discuss what mentalism is and who can use it, and the benefits and drawbacks of the techniques, specifically mentalism name guessing.

Psychological Techniques of Mentalism Used To Guess Names

Mentalism is often associated with mental magic or as mentalism tricks. You can use some of the psychological techniques that are used by mentalists to guess someone’s name. Games and body language can prove to be the only tools you need to be a mentalist yourself.

Mentalists can use words that a person has previously said to prompt them with a first name. For instance, if someone says, “I met this extraordinary person the other day,” you could say something like, “what was their name?” and they might reply with “Fred.” Though this psychological technique is not apparent to the person, it may give you a clue to their name.

Mentalism masters know all these cues and use them as hints when trying to guess people's names. The Society for Psychological Science study found that name-guessing mentalism tricks can be used with up to 60% accuracy. Let’s look at some of the techniques used by mentalists for name guessing.

Mentalists Use Body Language to Guess Names

Body language is one psychological technique that can help mentalists guess names. Some common body language movements that can give a mentalist clues to your name include:

  • Adjusting your hair
  • Deep breathing, or shallow and holding your breath.
  • Shifting weight from one foot to another
  • Pulling at a shirt collar
  • Looking up nervously when the Mentalist mentions a name

When trying to guess a name from body language, mentalists will also look for nods or head shakes as indicators of agreement or disagreement with what's being said; eye contact can also be an indicator.

Mentalists Use Facial Cues to Guess Names

When picking up on facial cues, mentalists might use tiny movements like a person's eyebrows or mouth. Mentalists will also observe how someone says a name; either with pride and joy in it, or if they sound ashamed of what it is. Emotions can be a tell-tale sign for guessing names.

When picking up on cues in faces, mentalists might use tiny movements such as:

  • A person’s eyes, mouth, or chin are moving or twitching.
  • Furrowed eyebrows in response to a question.
  • Pouting lips or a dropped jaw.

Some mentalists will use words that have been spoken to guess your name as well. Mentalists may say something like, “what's your favorite season?” and then note how the person responds. If they respond with summer and move your hand to point at the person, they might be called Summer.

A mentalist will also look for cues in words that have been spoken – if you say, “I'm from Alaska” and then move your hand towards someone sitting next to you; they may be named Alaska.

Mentalists Can Play Games to Guess Your Name

When you want to guess someone's name, and there are no other hints that can be used, then it is time for some gamesmanship or sleight-of-hand tricks like pulling out ten cards with names written on them and asking the person which one speaks to them.

A mentalist might use words that person has just said as cues to how he should continue his line. For instance, if a person says they're from Chicago, the mentalist might ask them about their favorite part of town.

Mentalists can play games with you until you surmise something personal about them, and they can use this information to guess your name. The mentalist might ask you for a word that starts with the letter “A,” then another one that begins with “B.” Eventually, they will end up getting something personal about you out of what you say or do without doing it on purpose.

The mentalist might also pull out something that you have in your pocket and ask you to name it. If the mentalist has a list of names, they might use something from that list as their guess. The mentalist will then continue this process until he guesses your name correctly or gives up trying. 

What is Mentalism and Who Can Use It to Guess Names

Mentalism is a performance art that uses sleight of hand, gamesmanship, and psychology. Mentalists often use their skills to make people think they see something paranormal or supernatural when, it’s all just theatrical tricks.

It is not hard to guess someone's name using mentalist skills; it just takes practice and patience. The first step in guessing a name with mentalist skills is to make the person think of a name. Use statements, such as “What is your mother's maiden name?” or “Think of someone from history and tell me their first name.” This will get them thinking about names that they may not have thought about in a while. 

Who Can Use Mentalism to Guess A Name?

Anyone can use mentalism if they learn the tricks and how to use them. Using mentalism requires skills that you can learn by reading tutorials, but it also requires practice. The skills commonly practiced in this type of entertainment include cold reading or memorizing details about people for use.

Mentalism is not limited by age or gender. Mentalists include people from every walk of life, and there are plenty of different types of mentalists out there.

Some ways you can learn mentalist games are by:

  • Reading magazines and watching TV shows.
  • Mentalist websites provide tricks and tips.
  • Finding Mentalist videos on YouTube.

Mentalist entertainers can be found in all types of venues, including on the streets, at private parties, and even within some casinos. Some magicians may also use mentalism to produce more dramatic illusions by predicting an audience member's thoughts or physical actions.

How You Can You Become A Mentalist and Guess Names

Mentalists may use games in addition to psychological tricks and techniques. One such game that you can use as a mentalist is the name game. This is an easy beginning point for mentalism. This might include asking for a person's first name, last name, or favorite color. Mentalists perform tricks like the name game by getting information from the audience before you complete the trick.

Mentalists often get information about an audience member without them being aware they're doing it, which will allow the mentalist to quickly guess their secret. The mentalist will then continue this process until they guess your name correctly or give up trying. 

Some other games that you can perform as a mentalist include:

  • Betting someone that you can guess the card they're holding in their hand. This is a lot like telling them what it is before they pick it up!
  • Mentalists also sometimes use magic tricks to get information about people without them realizing it and then using this information later on. 
    • One example of this might be using a trick to get someone to think of a word and then using that information to guess their name.
  • Mentalists also use magic tricks like the one to make you believe that your card is black when it's red or vice versa.

Mentalists might say something along the lines of “I'll bet you that I can guess your first name.” This is a lot like betting someone that they couldn't tell what card it was in their hand. Another example of mentalism might be when the mentalist says, “think of any word, and then reveal to me two words from your mind!”

To guess a name using mentalism, you must first understand the various techniques that a mentalist may use to perform their act. An audience member is asked to think of any name and then write it down on a piece of paper or simply say it out loud for all those in attendance to hear.

The mentalist will then ask questions about the person's personal life to determine the name they are thinking of. The mentalist will then ask you a series of questions about your personal life to guess what is on your mind and, therefore, what name you may be thinking of.

Using Context Clues as A Mentalist to Guess A Name 

Once the mentalist has minimal information, they can start to guess more specific information about you, such as where you live, what school you go to, or who your friends are. This strategy takes time, and mentalists usually do not reveal all the information they know about you to make it more of a guessing game.

One way to try to guess a name is by asking some questions about an audience member’s personal life, such as:

  • “What are your hobbies?”
  • “Do you like to travel?”
  • “What do you like to do for fun?”

If they answer yes, then mentalists will ask if they like a particular country or city in that area. For example: “have you ever been to Paris?” They might say no but may have gone on many trips to other places.

If they answer no, mentalists will ask what their favorite city is and if they have traveled there to see it in person. They might be looking for a specific type of place as well, like the country or region that you reside in

The Benefits of Learning Mentalist Name Guessing Skills

Mentalism is also known as mental magic and uses many psychological principles, like attention diversion tactics or pressure sensitivity on people's moods. These techniques are used during performances to confuse audience members, which can make for an entertaining show. 

Audiences will pay for mentalist acts as entertainment like in sideshows or carnivals. Mentalist skills has been used in many TV shows and movies to guess the characters’ name or personality traits. People will be more apt to follow any advice given by a mentalist that tells them their fortune so that mentalism could translate into a fortune-telling show.

Drawbacks Of Using Mentalism to Try to Guess Names

If an audience member becomes uncomfortable with so much attention, they may not enjoy a mentalist’s show. On the flipside, mentalists run the risk of being wrong and making an embarrassing mistake. Though, if you are a mentalist in show business, you may already possess thick enough skin to get over making a mistake.

Audience members that witness any mistakes made by a mentalist may feel like they're being used for a show or just as entertainment. Because mentalists can only guess, they are not always right, which means audience members could not believe the show or think it's a scam.

If a mentalist guesses the name wrong and the person realizes that they've been tricked, the mentalist could lose all credibility with this individual. The mentalist’s show will come off as a scam if people feel like they are being cheated or getting “gamed” by the mentalist guessing their name correctly on the first try. It takes a certain charm to keep the show running after a minor mistake.

Some Additional Mentalist Shows and Attractions

Mentalists use card tricks and other performance techniques to create the illusion that they're reading minds or predicting future events. The art of mentalism is a form of entertainment where magicians can perform feats that appear miraculous but also possible by using various techniques such as:

  • Cold reading– Utilizing body language and other cues without using prior knowledge.  
  • Hot reading– Using prior knowledge of a subject when performing a reading.
  • Blindfolding their subjects or themselves– Usually accompanies hot reading to appear more miraculous.

Some mentalists perform mind reading shows where they will give the audience members a chance to ask questions and then have them answer aloud. Mentalists often perform in front of an audience seated at tables, where each person has shuffled their own deck of cards faces down. 

The mentalist selects one card from this group without looking at it or turning it over and asks the spectator to remember their card before returning it to the pack. The mentalist then shuffles the cards, divides them into two face-down piles, and asks the spectator which pile they think has their card in it (and which one doesn't).

Some other attractions that mentalists take part in are mental challenges, such as memorizing a list of items or numbers in quick succession. Mentalists sometimes do demonstrations by demonstrating things like the power of suggestion and hypnosis to make people think that they are experiencing something supernatural when nothing out-of-the-ordinary has happened.

Practice And Study Mentalist Techniques

Mentalists master the art of mentalism by learning to read body language and then using that knowledge in their shows. When learning how to become a mentalist, all you need are some books or videos on how to perform for your audience. Here are some books that can give you the tools to become a successful mentalist:

How To Be A Mentalist Master is a guidebook that features physical and intellectual exercises used by mentalists. This book will teach you how to enhance your memory and develop enhanced observational skills, as well as give you the proper tools for impressive stage performance. 

Becoming A Mentalist is a book that will help you hone your mentalist skills. In this book, you will learn the power of focus and observations as well as how to sharpen some skills that mentalists often use. You will discover how to tell if someone is lying and how to properly persuade another person with just your words. 

Practical Mental Magic is a book released in 1983 that focuses on some of the more uncommon mental magic and stage magic tactics. This guidebook goes through some of the necessities to making stage magic, and mentalism tricks successfully. Step-by-step instructions of technique and stage performance make this book valuable to any aspiring mentalist.

These books are some of the best tools to use when aspiring to become a successful mentalist. People skills and knowledge of stage performance are both critical to being a successful mentalist. 


Mentalists use various social cues to guess peoples' names. Some of these methods include facial expressions, word guessing, and body language. The advantage to using a mentalist is that they can be paid for entertainment purposes such as on cruise ships or at children's parties where people want the experience of having their name guessed by someone who doesn't know them personally. 

A disadvantage is if you're perceived as devious or trying to trick someone into getting information from them, this could lead to undesirable situations. Have you ever had your name guessed by a mentalist? How did it feel when he/she was able to find out what your first and last name were just by looking at you with no introduction beforehand?