Jim Steinmeyer is one of the nation’s most creative inventors of magic tricks. A few years ago he invented a marvelous mathematical trick. Known as the Steinmeyer nine-card trick, it has since been given many clever means of doing it by other magicians.

Here is one of the simplest:

Take any nine cards from a standard 52-card deck and deal the nine cards into three piles of cards each. Pick up any pile and remember its bottom card. Drop this pile on top of one of the others, and these six on top of the last pile. The cards remain down throughout.

Hold the nine cards down and spell the value of the chosen card by dealing one card down to the table for each letter. So, if the card chosen is the Queen of Spades, spell Q U E E N and drop the remaining cards on top.

Pick up the packet and spell O F. As before, drop the rest of the cards on top. Pick up the packet and spell the suit of the card you selected: S P A D E S. Drop the rest of the packet on top.

The position of the chosen card should now be at a random spot because card names spell out with as few as 10 letters up to as many as 15. So, now spell M A G I C and turn over this last card. Believe it or not, this will always be the selected card!