Magic Math Sticks REVIEW

from the November 2015 issue of Linking Ring magazine

This is an exceptionally clever effect and versatile prop that can be used as a “bar betcha” or as a very entertaining full-blown mentalism effect. Part of the effectiveness of Magic Math Sticks is that the props are so organic and innocent-looking that you’d never think that the secret is in plain sight.

Four wooden math sticks, like the ones “used in elementary schools to teach arithmetic,” are handed out. They can be endlessly examined and the secret will never be found. Each stick has four sides with four digits running in a column down each side. The spectator can arrange the sticks in any order he wants.

If you’re doing the betcha, the spectator is asked to add up the numbers on a calculator, while the magician must do the addition in his head. The person with the fastest correct answer wins the game. Seconds later, the magician has the correct number. This can be repeated many times, with a different result each time using one, two, three, or four sticks. If you buy a second set, the eight sticks can lead to millions of combinations.

Now for the best part: If you want a strong mentalism effect, you do the super-human fast calculating bit and then you show them you can also read minds. With the sticks facing away, you proceed to tell the audience the number the spectator has calculated.

I took advantage of the recent movie The Imitation Game about the British mathematicians who broke the German’s Enigma Code during World War II. In my routine, similar sticks were used to test potential candidates. Part of the test was also to see how psychic each potential code breaker was, because the solution was more than a math problem. This easily explains the sticks and lets you either do the bar betcha or mentalism routine.

For $15, you get strong magic that fits in your jeans pocket. Within three or four bar betchas, Magic Math Sticks will pay for itself.

Highly recommended.