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Can't find your card? Bondoogle it!

This page reveals the secret behind Bondoogle, an extremely effective card trick in the guise of a popular search engine. If you like this trick, you may also like my other computer-aided card and mentalism effects:

Bondoogle is the ultimate "Google Hack" for magicians.

The basic effect.

NOTE I have made an improved version of Bondoogle called "Google Fool" which works in Firefox and Chrome. That version has fewer 'tells' or 'give-aways' than this version. The main advantage of this version is that it works on other people's computers.
-- jbum

1. Ask a spectator to pick a card.

2. Fail to ascertain what it is.

3. Turn to Google for help. In Google, you type in "What is it?"

4. Google returns search results that reveal the card.

Bondoggle will also perform a Google Image search, in which case you will get images of the card.


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How it works.

NOTE I have made an improved version of Bondoogle called "Google Fool" which works in Firefox and Chrome. Google Fool has fewer 'tells' or 'give-aways' than Bondoogle, and more closely resembles the modern incarnation of Google. The main advantage of Bondoogle (this version) is that it works on other people's computers.
-- jbum

1. Bookmark the following URL on your browser (or set your home page to it). This is a fake Google of my own (devious) construction.

http://ipolygraph.com/google/

Note: If you like, you may hide the address bar in your browser, but when performed properly, no one will notice that the address is different.

2. Have the user select a card and covertly determine what the card is, using your favorite method. I use an ordered deck. You use any method you like.

3. Make a few bad guesses.

4. Go to the fake Google page. If you like, you can click on the "Images" button to do an image search (this way you get pictures of the card). Otherwise, it does a regular google search that returns text results.

5. In the input field, type a slash (/), a two-letter card code (codes are explained below), and another slash (/).

For example, if the card is the four of clubs, you would type:

/4c/

but to the user it will appear as if you typed "What".

Then finish the rest of the question, phrasing it any way you like, such as "What is it?"

When you hit the search button, Google will perform a search on the phrase "four of clubs", or whatever card you covertly input.

The two letter card code is a rank, followed by a suit. Ranks are a,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,1,j,q,k. Suits are h,d,c,s (first letter of the suit). For example to encode "ten of diamonds" you might type:

/1d/ is the card?

6. You may use either the web search, or the image search. I haven't enabled the other searches, yet, such as Groups, News and Froogle.

Note that this page will behave more or less like normal Google if you don't type the slash.

To impress your friends even more; our Bondoogle trick can also be used for a mind-reading effect, using the same technique (originally used in my 1995 program "Orville"). If the secret phrase you type is longer than 2 letters, Bondoogle will search for that phrase, whatever it is. You can use this for a good visual mind-reading act.

For example:

Magician: "Name your favorite movie star".
Spectator: "Charlize Theron"
Magician types (to Google): "What is it that I am thinking of?"
Google shows images of Charlize Theron.

If you experience problems, let me know using the feedback link below.

- Jim Bumgardner


Prefer to donate by mail? Or with bitcoin? Here's how.


Creative Commons License This work is licensed under a Creative Commons License.

The original version of Bondoogle was written in Flash and not compatible with as many browsers. A special THANK YOU to Seth Raphael for some ideas used in the first rewrite of Bondoogle.
- JB




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