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Easy Magic Trick: The Clock Prediction
Here’s an easy prediction effect. All you need is a picture of a clock or you can use the actual face of an analog clock or watch to perform the trick.
A spectator freely names a number and begins to spell the number around the face of a clock. This is repeated twice with the number that the spectator lands on. After three rounds, the spectator lands on a number. You prove that you knew ahead of time which number he would land on. This is a mentalism effect. This self-working trick is very... easy to learn and perform and requires no gimmicks or sleight of hand moves.
This effect is based on a quirk with the numbers on a clock face. Just follow the instructions and remember the sequence.
- Any analog clock or a picture of a clock (you can simply refer to and use the one here - this one displays the clock without any of the explanation as on these pages)
- A piece of paper
Ahead of time, write the number “one” on a slip of paper. Fold the paper so the spectator cannot see the number within.Continue to 2 of 4 below.
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Ask the spectator to select a number between one and twelve. While the spectator can select any number, as an example, we’ll say that the spectator selected the number “nine.” Have the spectator tell you the number.
Tell the spectator to start at 12:00 on the clock face and to spell the letters in their number - counting through the numbers on the clock in clockwise order. For our example “nine,” the spectator counts “n,” “i,” “n,” “e” - moving four spaces and ends on the number “four.”Continue to 3 of 4 below.
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Step 2After the spectator lands on a number as a result of “Step One,” tell him to spell the new number. In our example, the spectator landed on the number “four” so he will spell “f,” “o,” “u,” “r” and move four numbers and land on the number “eight.”Continue to 4 of 4 below.
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Repeat by having the spectator spell the new number. In our example, the spectator landed on the number “eight” so he will spell “e,” “i,” “g,” “h,” “t,” - moving five times to land on the number “one.”
Tell the spectator to open your note that has been sitting in plain view. Reveal that you predicted ahead of time that he would land on the number “one.”
In this prediction effect, you made it appear that you have predicted the future. The secret is based on a quirk with the spelling of the numbers... and the arrangement of the numbers on the clock face. No matter which number a spectator selects on the clock face, and as long as he or she starts at 12:00, will always end up on one. Go ahead and try this with different numbers to get a feel for how it works. Just as long as you follow the instructions, you always end up at 1:00. While I call this a "prediction" effect, magicians refer to this as a force. No matter what parameter a spectator selects, they will always end up with the same outcome, 1:00. It appears that the spectator has a free choice but actually doesn't.
Prediction effects are a staple of mentalism. If you like this kind of easy magic trick, I have previously published another one that's based on a clockface. There's another trick called the "Mystery Wheel." While it's not a clock, it's based on having spectators count in a circle.