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How to do the pick a card any card trick

It’s almost inevitable at card parties. Someone at the table says, “Pick a card, any card.” Naturally you comply, view the card and watch the performer convincingly shuffle it back into the deck, without looking at it. You are certain there’s no way he could have kept track of that card. Then sure as you’re vulnerable, he pulls your chosen card from the deck for confirmation. Then, he won’t tell you how he did it. Now it’s your turn to do the pick a card any card trick. Read on to learn how to do a "Pick a card, any card" trick.

Find a marker. Split the deck to shuffle and take note of the bottom card in the stack in your left hand, as you tap the cards to even them up. That’s your marker. The pictured marker is the three of spades.

Keep the marker card in place. Shuffle the cards so the stack in your left hand slaps down first. The marker card will be on the bottom of the deck. Slip the deck together face down and fan it out, offering to do the trick for someone nearby. It’s traditional to say, “Pick a card, any card.”

Bed the chosen card. Your victim, or participant, may choose any card–look at it and keep its identity a secret from you. Then ask them to place it on the bottom of the deck–right under your marker. For illustrative purposes, the chosen card is shown in the picture. It's the ace of hearts.

Cut for effect. Cut the deck a few times to convince the audience that you no longer have track of the chosen card. Prove it by showing there’s a different on the bottom.

Pull the chosen card out. Turn the deck face up and sift through the cards until you spot the marker. The card on top of it is the chosen one. Display it to your audiences’ amazement. Pictured: the chosen ace of hearts is right on top of the three of spades, which was used as a marker.


Want to be able to do the pick a card any card trick again? Don’t tell anyone how you did it.


  • One out of every 60 times or so this fails. Cutting can separate the marker card from the chosen one, leaving you to look like a fool. Thankfully it doesn’t happen often.
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