The one where they mix and unmix, the same happens again but then they vanish by Geraint Clarke

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BUT FIRST, YOU NEED TO READ THIS

Imagine I asked you to buy a strawberry ice-cream from me… moments after telling you it was the worst flavour. That’s what’s going to happen TODAY. But instead of ice-cream, it’s a card trick.

I’m not going to try and ’sell’ you something. Instead I’m going to tell you something and my hope is, at the end, you’ll still want to buy it.

Good magic is when your spectator’s expectations and the reality of what just happened are misaligned. If they expect it to happen and it happens, you’ll get a golf clap.

However, if they expect a good trick and you show them a great trick, the magic hits harder.

SO WHAT’S THE WORST PLOT IN MAGIC?

Using that rule, the worst plots in magic are ACAAN and Oil & Water. In ACAAN, they name a card and number and you ask them to count down. By the time they get a few cards down, they already expect their card to be at the position that they named. So their expectations and the reality of the effect align. It’s not a good trick.

“BLASPHEMY. BURN HIM”

Hear me out. Now imagine that deck was blank and the ONLY card in the entire deck is the card they named and it’s at the position they named. Now that’s a great trick. They expected it to be in the position they named and it is. Okay… But you flip over the cards and their free choice is the only card that exists. Their tiny mind is BLOWN. The reality exceeds their expectations.

BUT THIS IS ABOUT OIL & WATER – PERHAPS THE MOST TERRIBLE PLOT IN MAGIC

The cards mix. They separate. They mix again. They separate again. They mix again. They separate again.

Now to finish, the deck separates too.

After the first phase, your audience now expects it to happen. So every subsequent phase is on a level plane. Their expectations and reality are aligned.