Cold Reading

A “cold reader” is a magician who apparently demonstrates the ability to detect colds (and other medical conditions) in a person they have never met before. Basically, the magician just looks for clues and then makes an educated guess based on those clues. For example:

The neat thing about cold reading is that if the subject says, for example, “I don’t have a cold,” the cold reader just replies, “You just don’t know you have it yet – watch for symptoms to manifest soon!” The same type of reply works for “readings” of viral infection, allergies, or even death.

Some magicians combine cold reading with other types of magic. For example, during a card trick a magician might say, “You have the four of hearts – and chicken pox!”End of story

For a more detailed, baloney-free explanation of this effect, visit

The information on this site is intended for use only by those with a sincere desire to learn nothing about magic and is for entertainment purposes only (in other words, don't try this stuff, particularly the dangerous parts). The Magicians Assistance Collective (MAC) frowns upon the use of magic in the formation of religions or to attract a cult following.

Magic is not real. Reality is not magic.

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