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He is just selecting the correct cards, and what direction to flip them and what side they should

face up.

He is using cards like this:

To spell OF CLUBS,OF DIAMONDS,OF HEARTS or OF SPADES he only needs 12 cards.

Card 1: O
Card 2: F
Card 3: <BLANK>
Card 4: O, D
Card 5: F, I, O
Card 6: <BLANK>,A, F
Card 7: S, H, M(1), <BLANK>
Card 8: P, E, M(2), C
Card 9: A, O, L
Card 10: D, R, N, U
Card 11: E, T, D, B
Card 12: S

M(1) and M(2) are each part of a M, M is special- it do not fit to just one half card, therefore it takes two
cards, as you can see on
These 12 cards needs to be printed so all 4 parts have text on them- but we do not at any time see all
cards- he can easily hide 12 cards in that deck.

The rest needs a blank part though.

Now we have calculated he can spell OF CLUBS,OF DIAMONDS,OF HEARTS and OF SPADES with
just 12 cards depending on how he lay them out- what about the other part?

It can be these possibilites:


we have 52 cards -12 to spell OF XXXX, so 40 cards.

we know for sure that he needs to show at least three cards( shortest word length), so three cards can
have all 4 parts printed on. The rest needs to have one blank part to show.

we have 13 words, and 40 cards.

To spell a word he take a specific set of cards, and choose the correct side to have upwards, and the
correct way to flip them.

To not waste cards, it makes sence to group them into words with the same length.

So lets start with some three letter words


Card 1:S,T,A
Card 2:I,W,C
Card 3:X,O,E

four letter words:


Card 1:N,F,F
Card 2:I,O,I
Card 3:N,U,V
Card 4:E,R,E
Five letter words:


Card 1:E,S,T
Card 2:I,E,H
Card 3:G,V,R
Card 4:H,E,E
Card 5:T,N,E

and the rest:


Card 1:K,J,T
Card 2:I,A,E
Card 3:N,C,N
Card 4:G,K,

just the queen left

Card 1:Q
Card 2:U
Card 3:E
Card 4:E
Card 5:N

so with 21 cards it is possible to spell all needed combinations just be selecting a specific set and
selecting the correct direction And if i spended a bit more time on it I could do it much better.

Perhaps he even only used one side of the cards? I bet it is possible

The weird cards in the deck are markers, so he know what set of cards to select, then he remembers what
way he should flip them to spell what he wants.

A basic example: He wants to spell SIX, so he graps the set that spell ACE, TWO or SIX:

Card 1:

-------- --------
| | | |
|A T| other side |S |
|______| |______|

Card 2:

-------- --------
| | | |
|C W| other side |I |
|______| |______|

Card 3:

-------- --------
| | | |
|E O| other side |X |
|______| |______|
He turns the side to the right in the image up, only revealing S,I and X

In that way he can spell any word, by just selecting the right set and what direction to turn them because
the set is prearranged so the sets spells words

EDIT:Thank you for gold whoever it was :)


656d, 12h

This may contain many errors, and I am on my way to bed, but i scribbled an idea down.

I think it is possible to make a deck of cards where the marker cards are not needed.

They require you to be quite good at counting how many cards you lift, but arent magicians that?

With some minor adjustments I can make make it work even if the stack lifting is off with 2 cards in
either way.

You would just need to memorise this easy algorithm to choose what you want the cards to spell.

Convert the card to an integer, subtract 1, divide that with 3, multiply with 5.

The result is the card index

Now take the the modulus 3 of the card integer - 1.

The result is known as the rotate count.

Example, we want to show the word EIGHT, so we do:


So the card index is=10

(8-1) mod 3=1

So the rotate count is 1

Now you dig 10 cards into the stack, grab five cards.
Use this rotate table:
0=Do nothing
1=rotate 180 degree

Now you have the word EIGHT in your hand, place it where you want it to end.

Now split the stack at ~ card 27, use this rotate table:
80 degree=OF CLUBS
Flip and rotate 80 degree= OF SPADES

Place where you want.


656d, 11h

The deck would look something like this:

Side A Side B

left right left right

Card 0: <BLANK> <BLANK> T

Card 1: <BLANK> <BLANK> H
Card 2: A T R
Card 3: C W E
Card 4: E O E
Card 6: F F <BLANK>
Card 7: O I S
Card 8: U V I
Card 9: R R X
Card 10: S E <BLANK>
Card 11: E I N
Card 12: V G I
Card 13: E H N
Card 14: N T E
Card 15: <BLANK> <BLANK> <BLANK>
Card 16: <BLANK> J K
Card 17: T A I
Card 18: E C N
Card 19: B K G
Card 20: <BLANK>
Card 21: Q
Card 22: U
Card 23: E
Card 24: E
Card 25: N
Card 26: <BLANK> <BLANK>
Card 27: O
Card 28: F
Card 29: <BLANK>
Card 30: D H C S
Card 31: I E L P
Card 32: A A U A
Card 33: M R B D
Card 34: O T S E
Card 35: N S S
Card 36: D
Card 37: S
Card 37:
Card 38:
Card 39:
Card 40:
Card 41:
Card 42:
Card 43:
Card 44:
Card 45:
Card 46:
Card 47:
Card 48:
Card 49:
Card 50:
Card 51:
Card 52:

Perhaps I could even make the trick work with only one side of each card? Would require some tricks
tomorrow perhaps?


656d, 14h

How do you know this? Are you a magician or did you just figure this out by watching the video? If so,
you are fucking awesome.


656d, 14h

Umm, if you look at

you can see I was just trying various things, but when i saw only half of the cards were used I realised
that it could be done that way.

So I coded a small program to help me think about the problem, and then things started lining up....

I am already thinking about how I could make an algorhitmn that would make the trick possible without
marker cards....I think it is possible :)


656d, 11h

So, magic?


656d, 11h

Now you just need to buy the trick to see if youre right


656d, 13h

Yes Pen and Teller couldn't figure this out but you did!


657d, 2h

I'm not sure what to think of this one. First off, I have to say that it is an amazing trick. It is performed
well, and the idea behind it is sound. I think that Penn and Teller knew how the trick was done, but opted
to give an explanation that was false in order to allow him into the next round (Since the trick really was
amazing). Personally I believe that he has a sort of "algorithm" in mind once he takes the cards out of
the deck. The cards are mixed in a way that while he is taking the "Your card is" cards out of the deck,
he is cutting, flipping, and rearranging the cards in his hand in order to put the cards in the correct order
so that when he spreads them out, they spell out the card. If you were to inspect the other cards, I think
you would find black marks on the underside of them that would have allowed him to spell out any card
in the deck. But it is this "algorithm" that allows him to shuffle it into the correct sequence. But I'm still
glad he made it through. I'm just wondering if Penn and Teller let him through on purpose.


657d, 2h

Also has to do with the spacing of certain cards. You can see the D on the right and left are different.
One is using 2 cards the other 1. The one on the right, would be used in the word Spades as well. The S
at the end is always there.


656d, 22h

I think you are right, I did a quick program to find the needed letters to spell every card.

The next step is then to draw them, and find out what letter "building stones" are required on the cards to
create those letters.

Remember, the card can have one half that can be used to create one letter, and another half to create
another. The cards can also be flipped vertically.

Unique characters is:


I used this code, so you can change it if I did something wrong:

string allWords =
string uniqueCharacters = "";
for (char currChar : allWords)
if (uniqueCharacters.find(currChar) == string::npos)
uniqueCharacters += currChar;

cout << "Unique characters is:" << endl << uniqueCharacters << endl << endl;

656d, 22h

I took the letters, and splitted them in half, some letters I bet could be splitted a better place, to make
them form other letters.

But the building set is something like this:

As you can see there are many duplicates, many "building blocks" can be made by taking another
building block and flipping. And not all parts of a building block needs to be shown, he can cover some
of it with the next card.
I bet he have pre arranged the deck with easy to remember points of flipping to form whole words.


656d, 21h

I drawed a red line between the most obvius duplicates(Half letters that already exists, or can be made
by flipping another)

I am sure there are other shortcuts, or ways to cut the letters up- but these where what i found in 1
minute. And i am pretty sure I made some mistakes, but this is just to test the concept.

If we then remove the duplicates we end up with an "alphabet" looking like this:
22 building blocks, and there can be two building blocks on each card, so 11 cards.

All those cards that are only shown half when he lays them out can also contain a letter building block
on the haft that is not shown.

And perhaps there is letter building blocks on the other side of the cards?

I think he have arranged the deck very cleverly, so if he wants to create the word "NINE", he knows
exactly where to lift the cardstack, and place on top.

If you look are the word "DIAMONDS", there is no I, but he have one in NINE, so I think he needed to
compromise in some of the prearranged card end position, to make hes stacking algorhitmn work.


656d, 16h

I drawed

Also, that's orange.


656d, 13h

Hahahhahaha god this made me laugh.


656d, 20h

I just realised something...

If you look at the word DIAMONDS in the video

OND are one only on half of the card.

So, he can actually make all four diffent required letters in that position to spell "CLUBS",

If we take the last D letter in diamonds (before the s), it could have been 4 different letters depending on
what class he was trying to spell.

BDE or T for cluBs,diamonDs,hearTs or spadEs.

the S after is always the same.

Since he is only using half a card, a card that looked like this

would only have to be flipped to make all 4 letters:

Therefore he could have 8 cards, with:

Card 1:D
Card 2:I
Card 3:SHA
Card 4:PEMC
Card 5:AOL
Card 6:DRNU
Card 7:ETDB
Card 8:S

arranged in a way, so it spells DIAMONDS, then if he covers the other half of the cards it says
HEARTS, if he then flips it around it says CLUBS, and if he then cover the other half it says SPADES.


656d, 19h

But why isnt M on only half a card?

Simple: It is too big! So he have to split it on two cards, I will call the one half M(1) the other M(2)

So, by having the following printed on the cards he can spell out





Card 1:O
Card 2:F
Card 3:<BLANK>
Card 4:O,D
Card 5:F,I,O
Card 6:<BLANK>,A,F
Card 7:S,H,M(1),<BLANK>
Card 8:P,E,M(2),C
Card 9:A,O,L
Card 10:D,R,N,U
Card 11:E,T,D,B
Card 12:S

Only by choosing what side to have up, and what direction to flip over the cards.


656d, 16h



656d, 17h
But they can't be two sided like that. he layed out all of the cards at the start, and at least half of one side
of every card was blank


656d, 17h

I do not see all cards at one time anywhere.

12 of them can easily be double printed.

The rest of them requires a blank half though- but as my calculations in my new post show- it is


656d, 22h

Almost, "one" is supposed to be "ace" and you're missing "jack", "queen", and "king".


656d, 21h

You are correct, thank you :) I am not a card player :)

I have updated the string and reran the algo.

The new characters is JKQ

J can be made with a half U, K is a line and half a X

Q needs a special buildig block though, we need to add

Thank you for your input :)


656d, 15h
#include <algorithm>
#include <iostream>
#include <string>

std::string unique_letters(std::string source) {

std::sort(begin(source), end(source));
std::string::iterator newEnd = std::unique(begin(source), end(source));
source.erase(newEnd, end(source));
return source;

int main() {
std::string allWords =
std::cout << unique_letters(allWords) << std::endl;

656d, 23h

You know you could just buy the trick on his website and get certainty...

Also the rules of the show don't really allow them to change their theory as then it would be impossible
to fool them. They'd just have to guess their way through.


656d, 18h

There's no "next round", if you fool them you go to Vegas with them.

He used what's called the "Spreadwave Deck", which as you allude to allows you to algorithmically
shuffle the deck to say anything you want.


656d, 14h

considering that this is the guy who created the Spreadwave Trick, yes that's what he does.


656d, 13h

Yeah, I'm aware it was him who made it (there was a cool Youtube video on him).


656d, 15h

That's what I meant. I am surprised that Penn and Teller would say that there were multiple decks in the
box or that the box was important somehow, when it's fairly easy to see what he did. My theory is that
they loved the idea and the presentation of the trick so much, they gave an incorrect guess on purpose so
that he could go to Hollywood with them.


656d, 15h
From what I recall watching the show, they're only allowed one guess (and a lot of the contestants who
got through did so by making more obvious (wrong) hints at how they did it).

The most likely way he could have done it was several decks, each with only a few moves, or one deck
with lots of more complicated shuffles - it makes more sense to have a few decks.

Also, I think Bich made the deck up himself, so can catch them by surprise ^


656d, 15h

The reason he got through was because Penn and Teller said that the box was important and that he had
multiple decks in it. Which is what surprised them when he showed them that they were wrong. I think
multiple decks would have been easier, but it also would have been more likely to be discovered by
Penn and Teller. I'm pretty sure only one deck was used.


656d, 14h

It was a single deck, the trick has been reveled. The box being important was a bait by him.


656d, 16h

Yes, but what you have is a guess. Penn and Teller get 1 guess. Even still, it's not like you have good
proof of it, like Penn and Teller do of all the other tricks they were not 'fooled' on.

Just saying, I don't think Penn and Teller let him pass on purpose. There were other really good acts, that
Penn and Teller saw which they didn't let pass.


656d, 17h

Yep it's all to do with the rotation and orientation of the blocks of cards before, after and in between the
3 cards with words on them. You can watch him (and others who have done this trick) rotate and flip the
blocks of cards. I am almost certain that all you have to do is know exactly how to align the cards for
each number and suit.


656d, 15h

The trick is called Spreadwave and you're right about how the cards work, except I don't believe they are
marked. IIRC you need to memorise the algorithms to reorder the deck to spell out each card. The cards
are arranged quite cleverly ("Your", "Card", "Is The" are markers) and there is only a few operations to
get to each one.
It's a very cool trick and you can see that a lot of work went into constructing the deck.


656d, 15h

The ball seems insignificant, but largely helps with this explanation. By using a red ball, he's subtly
forcing a red card to be chosen, cutting his choices of cards to spell in half.


656d, 15h

Eh I'd be nervous with that. If he only had enough cards in the deck to spell out "Red" cards, then he
would be completely screwed if someone said "Black". It would then make it impossible for him to
shuffle the cards into anything even remotely correct since he wouldn't be able to get the color or the
suite right. I think the cards could be typed out in a way that would allow him to shuffle the deck into
any order he wants. Someone said above that it is called a Spreadwave.


656d, 13h

Fairly certain you're right. I'm not sure Penn and Teller really new that right away though. Remember
they only have about 60 seconds to solve each problem. I can't provide the link now since I'm on mobile
but you can literally buy this trick and everything required to preform for about $40 online


656d, 10h

Isn't it possible he just used plants in the audience?


656d, 9h

Doubt it, that is the whole point of the ball. He could never assure that the people that he wanted to get
the ball WOULD get the ball. It was there just to show that the card chosen was truly random. And like
many people have stated, you can go online and buy this trip relatively cheap. The trick is in how he
shuffled the cards while removing the 3 text cards.


656d, 7h

this comment section is some /r/bestof level shit



I think your right. I also think there is no way Penn and Teller got fooled by this. However, I hope they
were because that would really ruin the point of the show.


656d, 20h

It was a good trick, but the best part of the presentation was Teller's reaction to his 'no' reveal.


656d, 17h

Thats because Teller is the magician. If you watch this show, he figures out 98% of the tricks with Penn
basically being stumped them whole time. I've seen them live, Teller is fantastic.