David Blaine

Jimmy Fallon Mind Reading Trick


In his appearance on Jimmy Fallon’s show, David Blaine performed an amazing mind reading illusion. He gave Jimmy a shuffled deck and asked him to take out five cards. Blaine asked him to pick one of those five cards and remember it. He then performed some mind reading on Fallon. After he was done, he not only named all five cards in Jimmy’s hand, but also told him exactly which one he was thinking of.

It’s a great mind reading trick. You can watch it here:



The trick begins before you even start paying attention. Blaine is casually talking to his spectators and shuffling the deck of cards in his hands. But is he really shuffling the cards? Trust me, he isn’t. He is using what is called a false shuffle: he uses clever tricks to make it look like he is shuffling the cards, but in reality he isn’t really changing the order of the cards in the deck. He distracts you from this by talking to the people so you aren’t paying attention to the cards. At the end, everyone believes the cards were really shuffled.

The importance of this is that Blaine has memorized the whole deck and knows exactly where each card is. When Jimmy Fallon takes out the five cards, Blane just has to secretly look at the deck in his hand and he instantly knows which five cards are in Jimmy’s hands. He then just has to figure out which card Fallon is thinking of. This is a much easier task than it seems, since there are now only five possible cards Jimmy could be thinking of. He just has to look for small facial expressions which give away the correct card. Jimmy’s card is seven of hearts, so when he says ‘seven’ and when he says ‘hearts’, there are small changes in his facial expression which can be picked up by a skilled observer such as Blaine. Blaine is great at reading body language.

Once Blaine knows the card, he just has to finish the trick in a dramatic way, which he does wonderfully. 

Our reader Hector sent us his thoughts on this trick:

"David has memorized the order of only a section of the deck, and the is shuffling the other section.. the section that he has memorized is the one he exposes to Jimmy.. then when Jimmy takes the 5 cards, David is left with a bunch of cards in one hand and another bunch in the other.. he procedes to place the left bunch on top of the right bunch and then he says "Jimmy hold em up so only you could see it, like that" and David actually takes his cards to the level of his face and sees the first card in his bunch (which was the one that was inmediatly next to Jimmy's far left card) since David has them memorized he is able to name the next 5 cards.  Asking Jimmy to name every number and every suit is just part of the misdirection of the whole thing."

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