How to Do the Color Changing Card Trick

Deck of cards with 4 showing
Wayne Kawamoto

Magicians love card tricks where a spectator’s chosen card appears to change colors. A spectator’s selected card can appear to go from one card to another or be identified by being a different color. In this, a spectator freely selects a playing card from the deck, and it’s the only card that has a different color back. How did the spectator find the one different card?

The Effect

You bring out a deck of cards and casually spread the cards. You allow a spectator to freely select a playing card that is shown and set aside. You then show that the deck contains the same backed cards (for example, cards with blue-backed designs). And when the spectator turns over the selected card, it’s the only card with a different back (for example, a red-backed card in a blue-backed deck). In the end, you’re clean. The spectators may examine the cards and there’s nothing to find.

The Secret

  • It’s all in how the spectator selects the card.


  • A deck of cards
  • A single card from another deck that has a different back design; this card must be the exact same size as the cards in the deck.

Necessary Skills

  • Hindu Shuffle


Make sure that the card that you want to make the spectator select is on the bottom of the (face down) deck. In this example, we’ll be using the ace of spades as the card. The ace of spades is a red-backed card in a blue-backed deck.

Note: If you like, you can remove the card with the same identity (ace of spades) from your main deck. This way, if the spectator examines the deck, they won’t find the second ace of spades. This doesn’t necessarily detract from the trick, but can make it more mystifying.

Blue deck of cards with one red card
The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

Selecting a Card

Now you'll be performing a Hindu Shuffle Force.

  1. Begin by holding the deck with your right hand. Notice how the deck is gripped by the thumb and fingers of the right hand on the sides of the deck. Also, the deck is gripped from above.
  2. Using the fingers and thumb of the left hand, grab a group of cards from the top and move them towards the left.
  3. After taking the cards, drop them from the left fingers into the hand.
  4. Ask the spectator to call out “stop.”

Note: These instructions are geared towards right-handed magicians. If you are left-handed, please reverse the directions.

Shuffle the playing cards
The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

Show the Card

While holding the cards in the palm of the left hand, return to the right hand to grip another group of cards from the top of the deck and remove them towards the left.

Continue to execute the Hindu Shuffle until the spectator says “stop.” When the spectator says “stop,” cease the shuffle and immediately turn over the cards in your right hand. The spectator will think that he freely chose this playing card, but it’s actually the card that you wanted him to choose.

Showing the ace of spaces
The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

Show the Rest of the Deck

Show the identity of the card. You can also state the card that the spectator “selected” which will act as a distraction. The spectator will be thinking about the identity of the card and not how it was chosen. With the “selected” card still face up, use your other hand to deal the card onto the table, face up. At this point, you don’t want to show it’s back yet. You’re waiting for the big surprise at the end of the trick.

A split deck and an ace of spades
The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

The Big Finish

Assemble the deck face down and spread through the cards, showing their backs (blue).

Lay the deck face down on the table. Ask the spectator to turn over the selected card. He’ll be surprised to discover that it’s got a different back design.

At this point, you’re clean. The spectator can examine the cards and there’s nothing to find.

Blue deck of cards with one red card
The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto