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First of all, this is what I know about Berglas Effect. It is not copied, inspired, or learned
from any other resources.
BE PREPARED: Berglas Effect is a cool trick, just like any other magic trick, the method is never
as cool as the trick itself! When you see some magic trick, you think that “how is the prediction all
a sudden showed up in this piece of paper”, well, the magician wrote on it with a big marker while
you (the audience) is distracted.
Before posting the method, I would like to show you a whole bunch of Q&As. This is because:
1. Like I said before, the trick is cool, but the method is not. If you see the method first, all you say
is “no, this is not it!” I just want to convince you with these Q&As, before we get into the method.
2. After finish reading the Q&As, you will have a overall understanding about Berglas Effect. You
don’t really need the method section.
Q: What is Berglas Effect?
Berglas effect is known as the "Holy Grail" of Card Magic, which is also known as ACAAN (Any
Card At Any Number).
The trick has four requirements:
1. The cards are on view before the trick starts
2. A spectator freely names any card. They are not a stooge and can freely choose any one of the 52
cards, no restrictions.
3. Another spectator freely names any number between 1 and 52. They are not a stooge and have a
free choice, no restrictions.
4. A third spectator is invited to count down to the chosen number. The performer does not touch
To me, Berglas Effect is a combination of memorization, probability, presentation, audience
control, even sleight of hand.
Q: If someone (even David himself) performs Berglas Effect 100 times, can all 100
performances fulfill all four restrictions?
No! Only a percentage of the performances can fulfill all four restrictions. That is why I mentioned:
it is about probability.
Many of you may start to question my theory, let me explain:
Let’s look at the four requirements in a mathematical way. These four requirements are equivalent
to saying something like “think of a number between 1 and 52, I can guess what is your number in
Can you succeed? Yes, one out of 52 times. Which means anyone who try to perform Berglas
Effect, will have one success out of 52 performances.
Of course, an experienced magician will have a much better percentage than 1 out of 52. This is
when the rest of the factors like memorization, presentation and audience control become
Q: I still believe that there are people such as David Berglas can perform the trick 100%
fulfilling the four requirements.
Again, saying something like that is equivalent to saying “think of a number between 1 and 52, and
I can guess your number EVERY SINGLE TIME”. It is simply impossible.
Let’s don’t talk about the method for a second. Just imagine YOU are the one has such power.
What would you do?
You will start to perform this like a million times to prove that you have such power, right? Maybe
even film all the different performances, put it on your website or youtube, right?
Now ask yourself, have you seen anyone who claim that they know Berglas Effect tried to perform
this over and over? If I had the power to perform this 100%, I will start doing different shows, big
ones, small ones, live TV, and put all the clips on Youtube. Have you seen such clips? No! All you
see are just one or two performences from long times ago.
Correct me if I was wrong: Marc Paul claimed that the he knows the secret about Berglas Effect.
Why do I only see two clips for his performance on Youtube? If he can perform it 100%, perform
more often, tape them and show people, this is only going to make you more famous.
You might think that maybe there are some other reasons that he doesn’t perform it over and over.
Like what? Afraid of giving the secret away after too many people saw his handling?
I understand you don’t want to repeat a trick over and over, because after audience (especially the
same group of audience) sees your handling over and over, he might start to get a clue.
In order to fulfill all 4 requirements, there is not much handling, nothing to give away! This trick is
not about handling, magician barely touches the card.
The only reason you don’t see them perform over and over is: there is only a percentage of their
performances can meet all four requirements. Doing this over and over is going to give away the
real secret about Berglas Effect: you don’t get to fulfill the 4 requirements all the time.
Q: Only 1 out of 52 performance can meet all four requirements. Is a really small chance,
Yes, 1 out of 52 is small. However, with some very simple presentation (will be cover under
Method Section), you can easily bring the success rate up to more than 1 out 10 (10%).
Q: If the success rate of fulfilling the requirements is only 10%, what about the rest of the
Different magicians have different method to cover the 90%, which does not fully fulfill the
requirements. However, it will create almost the same effect from the audience perspective.
This is will be covered under Method Section.
Q: I sill don’t believe your theory. Do you have some proves?
There is no way I can prove me right, expect David himself said so.
How about you guys tried to prove me wrong? I have two questions here. If anyone can answer one
of my questions, it is equivalent to prove me wrong.
1. Fulfilling all four requirements is equivalent to be able to guess random number between 1 and
52. How is that scientific or mathematically possible?
2. To fulfill all four requirements, this is a trick without handling. The performance part is easy. If
someone (including David Berglas) really has the method that has 100% accuracy, why we can
hardly find any sources that shows their performances?