How to Perform the 4 Jacks Card Trick

Magic Illusion Also Known as the 4 Burglars

  • 01 of 07

    4 Jacks Easy Card Trick

    Four jack playing cards
    Perry Mastrovito / Getty Images

    This easy card magic trick uses one regular deck of playing cards. To the spectator, the four jacks are shown and then placed into different parts of the deck: upper, middle, lower, and wherever. In a flash, they are found together at the top. This card trick is also known as the "four burglars."

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  • 02 of 07

    The Setup

    Jack Card Magic Trick - Setup
    ​The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    First, learn the mechanics of the trick. Before you perform the trick, you should place the four jacks on top of the deck and then place three other cards—any three other playing cards—on top of the jacks. If you are familiar with the world's best easy card trick, you will notice that this trick has a similar method.

    Make sure that the jacks are fanned so they can be seen by spectators. The other three cards on top are hidden by the jacks, as shown in the figure.

    Pictured is the back view (the magician's) view of the cards. The jacks are spread in a fan and a packet of three cards remains on top of the deck. Next, perform the trick.

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  • 03 of 07

    Displaying the Cards

    Display the cards
    The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    Display the deck from the front (pictured). The spectators should see four jacks fanned on top of the deck. They should not see the three extra cards hidden on top (behind).

    Gather the jacks and push them together and then down into the deck. From the spectator's viewpoint (pictured), they will think that the four jacks are on top of the deck, but in reality, the jacks are fourth fifth, sixth, and seventh in the deck. The top three cards are other (non-jack) cards.

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  • 04 of 07

    Losing the First Jack

    Displaying the first jack
    The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    Take the top (non-jack) card and without showing it, place it in the lower half of the deck.

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  • 05 of 07

    Losing the Second and Third Jacks

    Losing the second and third jacks
    ​The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    Take the second and third cards and without showing them, place them into the deck—one near the middle and the other above it a few cards.

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  • 06 of 07

    Showing the Fourth Jack

    Showing the fourth Jack
    ​The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    Show the top card to be jack by simply turning it over. Turn this jack over and leave it on top. Spectators think that this jack is the last jack of the four that were originally on top of the deck. In reality, this jack is the first of four still on top of the deck.

    Push the other cards (non-jacks) into the deck. The spectators will think that the other jacks are lost in the deck, but in reality, they are all on top.

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  • 07 of 07

    The Jacks Return

    The Jacks return
    ​The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

    Turn over the top four cards to show that the jacks have returned to the top of the deck.

    If you like, you can use patter, which means getting illustrative using a story along with your magic trick. Here's an example: 

    "There were four burglars who entered a bank (show the four jacks fanned on top of the deck). One went down into the basement to see what he could find (take the top card—not a jack—and place it near the bottom of the deck).

    The other two went and explored other rooms (take the second and third cards—non-jacks—and place them into other parts of the deck). The last jack acted as a lookout on the top floor (show the fourth jack on top).

    Unfortunately for the burglars, bank security and the police were onto this crew. This magic police force went to work and they captured all of the burglars (show the four jacks on the top of the deck). Justice prevails."