A key component of mentalism is audience participation. You may ask an audience member to write something down, hide an object or think of a number.

Very often when you present an audience with a seemingly free choice you want them to make a particular decision. Here are a few methods of presenting the audience with a choice and getting the choice you want.

# Card Forces

A **card force** is simply getting the audience member to choose a particular card. There are many card forces. Here are a few that are particularly relevant for mentalists:

David Blaine lets a certain card be exposed for a fraction of a second longer than the others, ‘forcing’ this card on you.

The ‘Classic Force’ is explained well in this vid.

The ‘Riffle Force’ is very useful too.

# Mathematical Force

There are several **mathmatical forces**. There is The Magic Square for example. Here is another you can try:

*Pick a 3 digit number where the first and last digits have 2 numbers between them. (eg. 268)**Reverse the number (862)**Subtract the smaller number from the larger number (594)**Reverse that number (495)**Add that number to the total from 3. (495+594=1089)*

The total you arrive at is always 1089!

# Magicians Choice

**Magician’s choice** relies on the fact that you know something the audience member doesn’t. No matter what choice the audience member makes the choice gives you what you want.

As an example, I was at a mentalism show recently where the mentalist was smashing cups with his hand. One of the cups had a large metal spike under it. Of course the guy didn’t want to take any chances.

A dice was rolled for several choices ( it was sure to be loaded) then for the final 2 cups the mentalist asked an audience member to choose the cup. There were nos 2 and 3 left. The audience member picked 3 and the mentalist said ‘ OK, you have 3 which means only number 2 remains and hit 2’. If the audience member would have said 2 the mentalist would have said something different and still hit 2.

Giving the illusion of choice is important in your audience participation, take a look at and practise all these techniques. Once you understand them you can progress to more complicated forces.

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