Algebra equation mathematical model mathematical proof
Age Group
15 16
Expected time
1 period
The card colours command.PDF
beaker symbol

The card colours command

What’s the mystery? A shuffled pack of cards seems to be under the control of your voice commands, as you can predict the number of red and black cards in two piles that are lying face down on the desk.
Domain(s)  Mathematics
Subdomain keywords Algebra, equation, mathematical model, mathematical proof.
Age group 15 to 16 years old.
Expected time for the mystery One hour preparation for practising the trick and understanding the algebra used in the solution.One hour in classroom with the students as they explore the trick and mathematics.
Safety/supervision None: just ensure that a full deck of 52 cards is used.Disclaimer: the authors of this teaching material will not be held responsible for any injury or damage to persons or properties that might occur in its use.
Preparation and list of materials A standard pack of 52 playing cards with no jokers.Pencil and paper to record information in experiments.
Learning objectives Student will learn about the basics of algebra, such as variables, constraints, and equation substitution.
Resources Videos showing this trick, as well as others, being performed and explained using a different ‘body language reading’ presentation can be found at:

The application of magic in teaching computer science algorithms and free books to download can be found at: