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Mentalists love the small manila 'pay envelopes'. You can slip coins in them, cards in them, predictions in them, and whatever else your imagination desires. Here is a simple, but strong, technique involving pay envelopes to get you started on the mentalist highway...
All you need are five pay envelopes, a small piece of aluminum foil - like a gum wrapper, or a very small bead. Give an audience member a padlock and five keys. Only one key actually unlocks the padlock and the other four won't. Have the spectator try a key in the padlock and, regardless of whether it opens it or not, have them hand you the key and you'll drop it into one of the random pay envelopes laying on the table.
Have the small piece of foil or bead tucked out of sight between two of your fingers.
When the spectator tries the key that opens the padlock, you carefully drop both the key AND the foil or bead into a pay envelope. Once all the keys have been dropped into envelopes, you can turn your back while the spectator thoroughly mixes them.
You are now ready for the spectator to hand you the envelopes one at a time, as you hold each to your forehead and try to determine which contains the correct key. Of course, this is an easy task, as all you have to do is 'feel' the bottom of the envelope for a small 'lump' (the foil or bead). Set this envelope to one side and say that you'll get back to it. Select a second envelope as well. Go back and forth between the two, holding one to your forehead and then the other, until you dramatically decide on one only. You should open the envelope, hold it by the bottom, squeezing the foil or bead, as you turn the envelope upside down, emptying it into the spectators hand.
The work is done, the correct key is discovered, miraculously... and you are officially a Mentalist. This technique with the foil or bead can be used in many creative ways.