5

Perfectly Sort Coins Without Looking at Them

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The Magic:

Let's start with a trick a moron could do. You can do it with coins, or playing cards, or anything with two marked sides. Do it with dollar bills and impress a stripper, whatever.

Let's say we're using a handful of coins. First you close your eyes (or get blindfolded) and tell your spectators to shake up the coins and throw them on the table. All you need is one piece of information: how many of the coins are facing heads-up.

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For your spectators' sake, start with a small pile.

Then, without ever peeking at the coins, you sort them into two piles, blindly flipping and shuffling them as if your hands were being guided by the spirit world. You magically wind up with the exact same number of heads in each pile. Every time.

The Math:

Let's say your spectators tell you that there are six heads-up coins in the pile. All you need to do is grab that number of coins and flip them. Just any six random coins. Take the ones you flipped and move them to their own pile, which we'll call Pile #1. The remaining coins are Pile #2. Both piles will contain the same number of heads.

Why does this work? Because math, that's why. Say you have 12 coins total. Your friend tells you six are heads, so you flip and separate six random ones -- if two are heads and four are tails, you're still left with four heads in each group. Here, we made a chart:

Pro Tip: Don't live in one of those weird countries with coins that have heads on both sides.

Go on, take a hammer to your swear jar and try this. If you're accused of feeling the coins as you go, just repeat it with cards or driver's licenses. And if they *still* think your super-sensitive fingers can distinguish the images you're touching ... well, just let them think that.

4

Correctly Guess the Final Number for Any Bar Code or Credit Card

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