Magical Mathematics
The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks
Persi Diaconis & Ron Graham
With a foreword by Martin Gardner


Magical Mathematics reveals the secrets of fun-to-perform card tricks—and the profound mathematical ideas behind them—that will astound even the most accomplished magician. Persi Diaconis and Ron Graham provide easy, step-by-step instructions for each trick, explaining how to set up the effect and offering tips on what to say and do while performing it. Each card trick introduces a new mathematical idea, and varying the tricks in turn takes readers to the very threshold of today's mathematical knowledge.

Diaconis and Graham tell the stories—and reveal the best tricks—of the eccentric and brilliant inventors of mathematical magic. The book exposes old gambling secrets through the mathematics of shuffling cards, explains the classic street-gambling scam of three-card Monte, traces the history of mathematical magic back to the oldest mathematical trick—and much more.

Persi Diaconis is professor of mathematics and statistics at Stanford University, and a former professional magician. Ron Graham is professor of mathematics and computer science at the University of California, San Diego, and a former professional juggler.