Are there any magic trixks so good that even professionals don't know how it's done?

I was thinking about Penn and Teller’s recent show “Fool Us”, where they get a chance to watch a trick once, from one angle, in the audience; and then they have to work out exactly how it’s done. i didn’t watch many but they had a pretty good success rate. Are there any tricks though, that even after repeat viewings professional magicians cannot work out.

Not necessarily replicate, perhaps it does require a lithe body or an amazing memory etc., just figure out. For these purposes I’d disallow any trick that has never been performed in front of an audience or requires a volunteer who is not explicitly one of the magician’s assistants, unless it has been performed with a volunteer who would be unimpeachably honest.

Yeah, we had a discussion on these boards not long ago about a card trick David Berglas does that certainly very much impresses the professionals. There are theories about how it is done, but, I think, nothing definitive.

I think it is this one - (no time to check now)

First of all, at least one person knows how every trick is done. There are many that only the originator knows every last detail of, but professional magicians can figure out each one. However, unless the sole person who knows how a trick is done admits to it, no one else will ever know if they’ve done more than replicating it. It’s pretty rare that a trick is that much of a secret anyway. Professional magicians often need staff and assistants that know the details of the trick.

The very best magic is done with the simplest of mechanisms, deft physical coordination by the magician and confederates, and the a complex understanding of human behavior.

I haven’t looked into in detail, but there are published instructions for this trick. It’s similar to one I use a lot, but more complex since any magician knows how mine is done.

Some of the stuff i’ve seen on Mindfreak with Chris Angel defies description. He makes you wonder if he’s some kind of wizard…

A wizard of camera tricks, mainly. :slight_smile:

Let’s hope **ianzin **finds this thread. I believe he is one of our biggest experts in pro magic…

I would also make a completely unknowledgeable WAG that there is a big difference between Big Magic (“wow how did they levitate/make that big thing disappear/break those locks/survive that gunshot, etc…”) vs. appreciating the craft of Small / Close-in Magic (“wow, that is clearly a manual dexterity/misdirection-based move, but I don’t see how they do it!”)

I would love to know how this is done, but can’t find anything online.

The only way I see that trick working is if the man handling the cards is in on it, since Berglas never touches the cards himself.

I can’t recall the details, it was too long ago but I recall reading an article about a guy who was a “magician’s magician” who specialized in performing tricks that baffled other magicians. He did it partly by deliberately devising his tricks completely independently (including avoiding reading books on magic) so he’d use approaches they were unfamiliar with, and partly by knowing what magicians would expect and manipulating that. I recall one trick that he revealed the secret of, a card trick he called a “tuned deck”; it turned out that the main trick was the name of the trick itself. In reality, he performed multiple card tricks, all calling them by the same name of “tuned deck”; the other magicians kept trying to figure out what that meant. And since he kept switching tricks, every time one thought he saw what the trick was the next performance of the “tuned deck” would “prove” him wrong.