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This is my first post in this forum. I have to be honest, I didn't think I'd ever post in the "math equation" forum because I think Magic squares and the like are lame.

Same with the 9 card force. "between 10-20, add the two digits, subract the square root of 'your boring me to tears'" etc. etc. They're not my style.

I remember being intriqed with these types of puzzles in grade 9 but saw them as more "mathematical" curiosities. When I later in life see some of them published in children's magic books they don't feel "magically astonishing" to me. They feel "scientifically curious" instead.
Until now.

I am totally changing my tune. I imagine there are a large number of effects that are "mathematical" or "order" based in method, but don't use numbers per se. Let me tell you the effect that blew me away:

It's Paul Harris'"the Break-Room Boredom buster" as pubished on p. 252 of book 3 of his AoA Opus. Nothing about this trick says its mathematical, but it works no matter how you get to the end, hence I am tagging it with the adjective "mathematical". If I am incorrect in the use of the term, please correct me.

Add to this, I have been doing the 8 object (coins) trick called "The Sheep, the Thieves and the Barn" (Michael Ammar Complete intro to Coin Magic) to which I find the effect interesting and yet no sleight-of-hand is used.

This is where I'm at. With a new appreciation for effects whose method is based in order principles, but whose routine construction camouflages the method.

I hate when my 'smart' scientific friends reverse engineer a trick to come to the conclusion that it was "mathematical". With "Boredom buster" I love the subtle deception of mixing the cards up before the tear. As I came to the climax while reading the book, all I could think of was "But Paul Harris couldn't have known the order the cards were in before I started! It left me with the most enjoyable creeped out, out of body experience.

It was like the room got quiet and time stood still. I felt like Paul Harris was the "Eye of Sauron peering into my soul from his haunted tome of E-VIL" Smile It felt like being a layman again. It wasn't until I played around again that I realized the results are same no matter how you get to it, due to the built in order or "arithmetic" of the effect.

I hope you had fun reading about my child-like, brain-stopping layperson moment! I know I did Smile

I'm hungry for more effects like this! Smile
Frank Tougas
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I personally I like to perform "Little Bunny's Card Trick" a charming trick that makes use of a mathematical principle.
Frank Tougas The Twin Cities Most "Kid Experienced" Children's Performer :"Creating Positive Memories...One Smile at a Time"
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There are terrific sources for ideas mentioned in the thread: "Your Favorite Math Principle/Trick."

But . . . if you want some of the really best thinking I've ever seen, take a full look at the thread innocently entitled "more probability" started by Nir Dahan, with some amazing contributions by TomasB and others. Although the conversation gets pretty technical at times, even a non-math person can find some gems of magic here. It's all hidden in plain sight.

Jack Shalom
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