2 Memory Card Tricks

memory card trick

Here are 2 amazing memory tricks you can perform on stage, at parties or for friends. All you need is a deck of cards. The technique can also be used to win card games.

The method is based on the Peg System. If you are not familiar please take some time to learn it then come back to this post.

Card Pegs

Each playing card has a peg which is a word which represents the card. For cards Ace to 10 the peg is a word which begins with the card suit and ends with a consonant sound which represents a number in the phonetic alphabet. eg. 2 of Clubs begins with the letter C for clubs and ends with the N sound which represents 2. You could use cone, coin, can, etc, we’ve used can. For Jacks, the suit is used eg. club, heart etc. For Kings and Queens the peg word is a word which begins with the suit letter and rhymes with the card itself eg. Queen of Diamonds – dream. See the table below for a complete list of pegs.

AC - catAH - hatAS - suitAD - date
2C - can2H - hen2S - sun2D - dune
3C - comb3H - hem3S - sum3D - dam
4C - core4H - hare4S - sore4D - door
5C - coal5H - hail5S - sail5D - doll
6C - cash6H - hash6S - sash6D - dash
7C - cock7H - hog7S - sock7D - dock
8C - cuff8H - hoot8S - safe8D - dive
9C - cap9H - hub9S - soap9D - deb
10C - case10H - hose10S - suds10D - dose
JC - clubJH - heartJS - spadeJD - diamond
QC - creamQH - queenQS - steamQD - dream
KC - kingKH - hingeKS - singKD - drink

Memorize Pegs

For each peg choose a clear and distinctive image in your mind. Make sure none of the images are the same as any image you have for numbers 1-52 as there are 52 cards in the deck as you need to peg them to the card images and don’t want any confusion. Now take some time to learn them.

Trick 1: Memorize a deck of cards in order

Get someone to read the cards out or show them to you. To memorize them in order peg the card image to the number image. Try and make the resulting image as unusual or strange as possible so it sticks in your mind. eg. if the first card is the 5 of Spades you should peg 5 of Spades (Sail) to the number 1 (Tie). For instance imagine a boat that instead of a sail has a giant tie!

If the second card is the 8 of Diamonds peg the image for 8 of Diamonds (dive) to the image for the number 2 (Noah). You could imagine Noah diving into a swimming pool.

To do this have the number peg word in your mind before the card is called. As soon as the card is called make the association in your mind. When you have memorized the deck you can recall them in order of have someone call a number and you can tell them the card in that position.

Trick 2: Identify missing cards

Another trick is to have someone remove a card or cards from the deck and you can identify the missing card/s. To do this when the card is read out picture the image in your mind then spoil it. For example if the 4 of Hearts is called picture a hare with no ears. If its the King of Diamonds imagine a spilled drink. Just picture the image for a second and that should be enough.

Once all the cards have been called out run through the whole deck in your mind and the images which are not spoilt are the missing numbers. Go through the suits in the same order each time and with practice you will be able to do it quickly.

Good luck learning these amazing tricks and if you win big in Vegas card counting don’t forget where you got the idea 😉

Credit: Harry Lorayne

Mentalist Memory Techniques: Peg System – Excercises

Pegs for Peg System

To begin using the peg system you will need to learn some memory pegs and start practicing it. It’s not rocket science but you have to take some time to learn it. Here are a few exercises to get you going.

Phonetic alphabet for numbers 0-9

0 – Z or S – first sound of the word zero
1 – D or T – letters have 1 downstroke
2 – N – 2 downstrokes
3 – M – 3 downstrokes
4 – R – final sound of word ‘four’
5 – L – Roman numeral for 50 is L
6 – g, ch, sh, soft g. g is 6 rotated 180°
7 – K, hard-ch, hard-c, hard-g. K looks like 2 7s
8 – F, V – f written out in joined up handwriting looks like an 8
9 – P, b – P turned around looks like a 9

Exercise 1

Write down the following words as numbers: climb, butler, chandelier, sounds, bracelet, hypnotize

Excercise 2

Write these numbers as their corresponding letters: 6124, 8903, 2394, 0567, 1109, 8374

Pegs for numbers 1-10

1. Tie
2. Noah
3. Ma
4. Rye
5. Law
6. Shoe
7. Cow
8. Ivy
9. Bees
10. Toes

Exercise 3

Peg the numbers to the following objects using the technique below.

9 — purse
6 — cigarette
4 — ashtray
7 — salt-shaker
3 — lamp
5 — typewriter
2 — TV set
8 — wrist watch
1 — fountain pen
10 — telephone

Here’s the technique:

  • 9 (bee) — purse. Make a ridiculous and/or illogical association of the peg word for 9, which is “bee,” and purse. You might see yourself opening a purse and a swarm of bees fly out of it, stinging you. Just “see” the picture for a moment, then go to the next one.
  • 6 (shoe) — cigarette. You can see yourself smoking a shoe instead of a cigarette, see millions of cigarettes falling out of a shoe, or you can see yourself wearing gigantic cigarettes instead of shoes.
  • 4 (rye) — ashtray. You might see yourself dropping ashes into a scooped out loaf of rye bread instead of an ashtray, or, you’re buttering an ashtray instead of a slice of rye bread. The first illogical picture that comes to mind is usually the best, because that is the one that will come to mind later on.
  • 7 (cow) – salt-shaker. Picture yourself milking a cow, but the cow has salt-shakers instead of udders. Or, see saltshakers coming out instead of milk.
  • 3 (ma) – lamp.  Picture your mother wearing a gigantic lamp for a hat. See the lamp going on and off.
  • 5 (law) – typewriter. You might “see” a policeman putting handcuffs on a typewriter, or you can see a typewriter walking the beat, swinging a club, like a cop.
  • 2 (Noah) – television set. Picture Noah sailing on a television set instead of an ark.
  • 8 (ivy) – wrist watch. You can see millions of wrist watches growing all over the side of your house, instead of ivy; or, you can see yourself wearing ivy on your wrist instead of a watch.
  • 1 (tie) – fountain pen. Picture yourself wearing a gigantic fountain pen instead of a tie, or see yourself writing with your tie, instead of a fountain pen.
  • 10 (toes) – telephone. See yourself dialing with your toes, or, you pick up the telephone, but it turns out that you’re holding your toes. (Probably talking to a heel.)

Now without looking write down the numbers with the associated objects: purse, cigarette, ashtray, salt-shaker, lamp, typewriter, TV set, wrist watch, fountain pen, telephone.

Exercise 4

Remember a list of errands: wash the car, going to the bank, send an important email, see the dentist, pick up the umbrella that you forgot at a friend’s house, buy some perfume, call the television repairman, stop at the hardware store, go to the bookstore and have your watch repaired.

car to (#1)
bank to Noah (#2)
email to ma (#3)
dentist to rye (#4)
umbrella to law (#5)
perfume to shoe (#6)
television to cow (#7)
hardware to ivy (#8)
book to bee (#9)
watch to toes (#10)

I hope you found these exercises useful. If you have any questions please dont hesitate to send a message via the contact form.

Credit:How to Develop A SUPER-POWER MEMORY by Harry Lorayne

Mentalism Effect: Memory Test

Mentalism Memory Test

Mnemonics or memory systems are a key component of mentalism. Here we take a look at a simple memory test which will amaze your audience!

The effect is to have members of the audience call out 15-20 things and for you to recall them in any order. While some people are familiar with memory systems the effect is still impressive and is used by many mentalists. Give it a try with friends, it is relatively easy to learn and you may be pleasantly surprised :)

There are several memory systems you can use to accomplish this mentalism effect. In this article we look at 1 tried and tested method which should serve you well.

Step 1

  • Memorise a key for numbers 1-20
  • The key for each number is an object which you associate in your mind with a number
  • The object should have some relevance to the number. One way of doing this is through rhyming

Example Memory Key

1 – Sun, 2 – Shoe, 3 – Sea, 4 – Saw, 5 – Hive, 6 – Sticks, 7 – Heaven, 8 – Gate, 9 – Mine, 10 – Pen, 11 – Devon, 12 – Shelf, 13 – Skirting, 14 – Flooring, 15 – Lifting, 16 – Pixie, 17 – Tin of Beans, 18 – Painting, 19 – Lightning, 20 – Horn of Plenty (Ice Cream)

Step 2

Each object on the list should be made into a vivid image in the mind’s eye. The object should also be performing an action, which should be consistent each time you visualise the object.

For instance: (1.) The sun could have a face which is smiling brightly or could be emitting heat rays, (2.) Something could be being placed into the shoe, (3.) The sea could be lapping at the shore.


1. Get a member of the audience to write a list of numbers 1-20 on a sheet of paper or blackboard. This person is to record objects as they are called out. The sheet is faced towards the audience so they can see it but you can’t.

2. Ask someone in the audience to call out an object for No. 1.

3. As soon as you hear what the object is, immediately associate it with the relevant object from the key. The object should interact with the object from the key and the image should be unusual. For example if a mobile phone is suggested the image could be the sun laughing at an old 1980s style mobile phone.

4. As soon as you have created a vivid image immediately forget it and move on to the next number and do the same again until you have done all 20.

5. Once all 20 items have been called out invite members of the audience to call out numbers between 1 and 20 at random and recall them using your key.


  • Invite the audience to give detailed objects, this can add humour
  • The quicker you can memorise and recall the objects the more impressive the effect is
  • Though we have chosen 20 objects for the sake of a performance the number can be much higher, you just need to extend the key