The Magic Square

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The Magic Square

The Magic Square is one of the most amazing facets of math and magic... if performed correctly. It can be a very boring and/or confusing stretch, if you do not present it and explain it properly. Done correctly, you can both astound and impress your audience with your apparent mathematical genius.

Without getting into the presentation, I am going to show you how to create a 'magic square' with nine playing cards.

First, lets establish exactly what a magic square does. When a set of numbers are entered into a grid, like a tic-tac-toe grid, with three squares across and three squares down, the sum of all the verticals, horizontals, and diagonals will total the same.

To create a magic square with nine cards, begin with nine cards in the following order...

8 Ace 6 3 5 7 4 9 2 ..

Deal the cards into three lines of three cards each, one above another. Example:

8 A 6

3 5 7

4 9 2

Assuming the Ace is '1', if you add the totals of each line, regardless of which way you add it, the answer will be '15'. That's the 'magic' of a magic square. I'm not going to try to tell you in this tip how to use it, but I'm confident if you think about it, you'll think of a way to present these cards, in this order, to your spectator...



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William Pirraglia