This trick is easy to learn and easy to remember. It will be great fun to watch your friends struggle with it. Then, when they have tried this way and that, becoming more and more entangled, show them how simple it is by doing it in no time at all!
Even after they see you work it, they probably will fail unless you tell them just where the catch comes in. Pick out one complete suit except the King and Queen, and arrange the eleven cards in order in three rows, with a space at the end-as in the illustration.
The trick is to move one card at a time, into the space that is next to it, and end with the cards completely reversed in order:
J 10 9 8
7 6 5 -
4 3 2 A
With the space at the end of the middle row this time.
There, will always be one space, and only a card that adjoins this space may be moved into it. (The first move must be either the J or the 8, as no other card adjoins the space. If the Jack is moved, the next move must be the 7 or the 10. If the 8 is moved, the next move must be the 7 or the 4.)
The cards may be moved either up or down or across, but not diagonally.
Try this yourself before you read the solution. You will find it a fascinating game. But, like other tricks, it loses much of its interest once you know how it is done !
The solution is quite simple. These are the moves in their correct order:
J 10 9 5 6 I 2 3 4
J 10 9 5 6 I 213 4
1 10 9 5 6 I 2 3 4
J 10 9 8 6 I 2 3 4
J 10 9 8 51 2 3 4
7 6 5
The catch comes toward the end, so be on the alert after you get the 9 in the top row, for the next move will be the 8 (not the 5), and then the 6 (not the 7).
When you have learned to shift the cards quickly, watch someone else try it!