Coincidence At Play

A fun close-up or parlor magic routine (with a mentalism flavor and an “OMG!” ending) that revolves around the game of chess!

By Jay Jennings

The Effect: The performer shows six square cards, each with the image of a chess board setup. On each card a different piece is missing — a pawn on one, a rook on another, etc. He then shows the backs of those cards and each is numbered from 1 to 6. Those cards are laid aside for now.

A deck of cards is introduced and instead of playing cards on the faces, there are pictures of chess pieces, one piece on each card. A spectator is asked to pull a card from the deck and place it face down on the table. A chess piece has now been randomly chosen.

Returning to the chess boards, the magician shows six square chips, each with a different number, 1 through 6, on the face. A spectator shakes them in a cup and dumps them out, discarding any that are face down. This continues until only one square is face up and the chess board with the matching number is placed on the table. A chess board has now been randomly chosen.

Turning over the board and then the card with the chess piece, everybody now sees that the chess piece is the exact match to the one missing on the chess board!

Perfect as a “synchronicity” routine for couples.

Chess has been going strong for about 1,500 years and is going through kind of a “fad” phase right now (the Netflix series The Queen’s Gambit, etc.) so there’s never been a better time to introduce a chess-themed routine into your act.(And even after the fad fades, whenever that will be, the game of chess is still such a big part of most cultures that the routine will continue to feel relevant to audiences.)

Coincidence At Play is a close-up effect, but “plays big enough” that it could be used in a parlor-type situation. I make a couple changes to the props and it’s perfect for that — and I show you the way to make those changes yourself, too.

Skill Level Needed — And Is It Magic Or Mentalism…?

I wouldn’t exactly call it self-working, but there’s no sleight of hand required to perform and no “gimmicks” to go haywire, so you can focus on the presentation. (That’s the way I like my routines.)

Coincidence At Play is a fun routine to perform and fun and mystifying for your audience. While not technically a mentalism piece, it can easily be used as a way to get to the subject of mental powers, intuition, etc.

Two Ways To Get Coincidence At Play

If you don’t mind doing some “arts and crafts” the download-only version of Coincidence At Play will get you going. It includes a “Print Your Own Props” section that allows you to make the needed props on your own printer (or the quick print place down the street).

Print the chess boards on regular paper, print the chess piece cards on thicker paper or Avery business card blanks (it’s all set up for that) and you’re good to go.

If you don’t want to do any arts and crafts, get the version that has the professionally created props and those will be shipped to you by the next business day. You will also be able to download the PDF version so you can get started learning the routine even before your props arrive!

Whichever version you get, you’ll also have access to a set of tutorial videos that will get you going as quickly as possible!

And you’ll be able to download the PDF within 10 minutes after paying — no need to wait for someone to wake up tomorrow and mail you a link.

We’re not Neanderthals, after all!

The PDF file you’re going to download is not a skimpy little bit of instructions. You’ll find:

  • The Method
  • The Preparation
  • The Presentation and Script
  • Miscellaneous Notes
  • Resources

Plus, it also includes the “Print Your Own Props” section that allows you to print the chess boards, number chips, and chess piece cards needed to perform the routine!

“Won’t props I print look sucky?!”

Nope! Professional artwork means what you print out will look professional. (Well, unless you’re rocking a dot-matrix printer from the 80s…)

Here’s a picture of what the props look like if you print them yourself — these came from my consumer-grade inkjet printer on plain paper…

A peek at the
Print Your Own Props
section of the PDF download.
Print cards on heavy paper or on Avery 8371 Business Card blanks (or similar). It’s all set up for that in the file!
Designed to be printed, glue put on the back, folded lengthwise, and then cut apart — backs and fronts match automatically! No need to think!
Numbers pasted on poker chips (or anything else that size you have laying around.)

The Done For You props and the Print Your Own Props use the same artwork — save money by doing some DIY arts and crafts, or get the Done For You option and spend that extra time practicing a billet switch (not that a switch is needed for this effect)!

DIY – Print Your Own Props

A link to the PDF file and tutorial videos will be emailed to you within 10 minutes. You’ll be set to Print Your Own Props!


Get Coincidence At Play on PDF

DFY – All Props Included

A link to the PDF instructions and tutorial videos will be emailed within 10 minutes. Props are shipped within two business days.

$29 + shipping

Get Coincidence At Play

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