Magic and Illusion/Name of this illusion



One day I watched this mentalism trick on youtube but I dont recall what he said the name of the illusion was.

It goes like this. You ask a spectator to choose any # 1 through 50, but it has to be a 2 digit #, each # has to be different, and each # has to be odd. Statistically most people will pick the number 35, but it doesn't always work. Do you happen to know the name of this trick? And if not, what name would you give it?

Happy Holidays

ANSWER: Sterling,

Thanks for your question.

I thought the most popular number was 37, not 35, but it probably depends on the conditions you specify.

There is a similar popular choice for numbers between 50 and 100, but I can't remember what it is.

I'm not even sure that this has a name, as it's not really a trick per se - I know it as just one type of psychological force.

You'll probably find examples of this in books by Karl Fulves (e.g. Self-Working Mental Magic or Self-Working Number Magic), or one of the books by Banachek.

You could also try looking on The Magic Cafe ( for more info.

I hope this helps,


---------- FOLLOW-UP ----------


Thanks for replying

I've heard of before but I never got around to the answer on how to register to ask any Magician in these forums a Magical question.

The web owners say in this site "Due to abuse of the privelege, the Magic Café is currently blocking "free" email addresses and certain other addresses, including Yahoo, Hotmail, and many other free services which may or may not offer a paid service as well. Other email addresses may be blocked on a case-by-case basis."  Do you know what type of email addresses they allow? It doesn't say in their FAQ's and I've emailed them before but never got an answer.

Enjoy your day


I'm sorry you're having problems registering - it's been so long since I joined that I wasn't aware of this policy.

It's apparently to do with keeping out trouble-makers, but unfortunately it does block people with a genuine interest in magic too.

They apparently have a list of over 2,500 free email services that they now block, so it would seem your only recourse these days is to use the email address your ISP provides you (if you have one), or an email address on a domain name that you own.

I'm sorry I can't be of further help on this one.

Best wishes,


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Mark S. Farrar AIMC


I can answer questions on stacked decks, mnemonics and magic squares.


I have worked with stacked decks for many years, and am an avid reader of Simon Aronson's work in this area.

I have been using mnemonics for over 40 years, often in conjunction with Magic Squares (see below).

I wrote a book on Magic Squares as my "entrance examination" to become a Member of The Magic Circle, and regularly receive and answers emails on this subject.

I am an Associate of The Inner Magic Circle, as well as being a Life Vice-President of the Northamptonshire Magicians' Club.

I have also written a series on stacked deck magic for The Young Magicians' Club magazine, and wrote a full-length action/adventure novel, Ring Of Daggers, that features a magic square created specially for the story.

I left school with 10 O Levels, 3 A Levels and 1 S Level (all with the Oxbridge board of examiners).

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