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The Hole Card Problem

Solution by 

Mark Daynes

The following solution to the Hole Card Problem is from Mark Daynes of Norwich. We like it.


A royal flush in spades is shown and one card is selected in the fairest possible manner this card is placed under an envelope on the table after a magical gesture the envelope is moved to one side and a large hole is seen to have appeared in the centre of the selection. The envelope is opened and the missing centre falls out.

There is a difference in this method as the spectator doesn't get to hold the cards or name a card, the spectator selects a card. Although this may not be the sort of answer you are looking for it's still a pretty good effect and any one who has a love of card magic will try it.


You need a duplicate Ace of Spades and you need to cut a hole in this Ace and place the cut out portion into a small manila type envelope, the type that a playing card only just fits into.


Take out the royal flush from your deck and set it up from the face 10S, JS, QS, KS, AS, AS with hole in it.
The cut out portion is placed into the envelope.


1. Display the royal flush face up between your hands holding the two Aces together as one. Square up the packet maintaining a break between the Ace and the King, turn the packet over executing a Turn-over Pass at the break. Riffle off two cards from the bottom of the packet with your right thumb and get a little finger flesh break above the two cards. As you talk, upjog the top four cards ( the one's above the break) about the width of the border on the backs of the cards.

2. Transfer the packet as if you were about to do a Glide - your right finger and thumb pinch the out jogged packet and pull it further, the ends of the two Aces will remain hidden by the back of your left hand.

3. With your right forefinger pull out the card above the Aces - this is easy because of the outjog of the four cards that are on top - and place this pulled out card on top of the packet, as you say, "Iíll transfer cards one at a time from the bottom to the top just say stop any time you want." Itís handy if this goes on a little bit as it lets the spectators see the cards all in one piece or so they think. When they say stop square up the packet and show the bottom card saying, "You could have stopped me any where but you stopped me on the Ace."

Turn the packet face down, still in Glide position, and glide back the proper Ace and pull out the ace with a hole in but only pull it out about 10 or 15mm so the hole doesn't show.

4. With the right hand pick up the envelope on the table and let it lay on your fingers of your outstretched palm. Place the envelope under the packet of cards so that your right thumb can rest on top of the protruding ace with the hole in it. Now in one action take the Ace and the envelope while turning your right hand palm down. Place them both on the table so the envelope covers the hole in the card and the ends of the Ace can be seen.

If you want you can casually transfer the bottom card to the top of the packet in your left hand and flip the whole lot over and spread them to show the cards they could have stopped you on.

5. All there is left to do is reveal the hole in the card and the piece in the envelope. (just don't take half and hour doing it as a lot of magicians do to milk the effect in most tricks nowadays).

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