David Blaine

Emma Stone Trick


This amazing illusion was performed as a part of David Blaine's TV special Beyond Magic. When yo first see it, it defies any rational explanation.

In this trick, Blaine asks someone to think of a card. He then hands Emma Stone a deck of cards and asks her to spay the deck of cards towards his hand. He holds the empty hand in the air.

Emma starts spraying the cards into David's hand. The cards are flowing all around and it would be impossible to see which card is going where. However, Blaine grasps with his hand and catches one of the cards.

He shows the card to everyone. It's exactly the card they were thinking of!

The whole room is amazed. How did he catch exactly that card? And he didn't even know what card they were thinking of! It seems impossible. Emma is amazed.

But as with all magic tricks, there is a rational explanation. We will reveal this trick, but first look at the performance if you haven't seen it yet. Maybe try to figure it out yourself. Then read our explanation below.

You can see the part with Emma Stone here: https://youtu.be/KrUBkWHaSLA?t=17m42s


First thing you have to notice is that we are not really shown that somebody had to think of a card. It is just implied from the previous video where David does the same trick for a different audience. When he does his magic on the street, David doesn't actually have to do the trick correctly the first time. He can do it multiple times with different audiences, and then only show you the version where everything worked out the way it was supposed to.

So, when he did this trick, he didn't really ask anyone to just think of one card. He had the card selected in advance and then forced the card to someone. Maybe it was Emma, or one of her friends, we don't really learn from the video. He probably asked someone to cut the deck wherever they wanted to. Of course, this is just a trick that enables him to force a card that he wants. Whenever a magician asks you to cut a deck, he is attempting to force a card on you. It might look like a free choice to you, but you chose just the card he wanted you to choose.

Unfortunately, since we don't have the footage of how exactly the card was chosen, we don't know what was the specific technique he used to force the card. But there is one thing we can be sure about: the card was forced.

He then tells them to »think of that card«. For the TV audience watching this at home, this creates the illusion that they are only thinking of the card, when in fact the card was physically chosen (and actually forced too).

So, Blaine knows from the very beginning which card they will be »thinking« of. He has that card prepared somewhere on him, probably in his sleeve. Then all he has to do as Emma starts spraying the cards is to use that as misdirection and use some sleight of hand to get the card into his hand. Since the cards are flying all around, he can easily camouflage this movement.

When the cards stop flying, he is left with one card in his hand. It appears as if he just caught one card form all the cards that were flying by. In reality, he had that card prepared from the beginning and just ignored all other cards that Emma sprayed into his hand.

Blaine created a great visual illusion. However, it was only that – an illusion.

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