Wednesday, February 14, 2024

Liu Qian's Magic Card Show in TV Gala

Liu Qian presented a magic card show at the Chinese Spring Festival TV Gala 2024. Like most magic shows, being interactive with the audience is a very popular way to make the show interesting. Liu's show was so amazing and well received that even audiants in front of TV could participate and get unexpected and unblievable results.

I watched the show on YouTube. When I saw the amazing result, I could not wait any longer to give it a try. I did get a similar and amazing result. Initially, I could not find play cards at that time, and I did not want to destroy cards simply by playing the game. I wanted to do the show with my grandson. I asked him to get a piece of paper to make cards with four different numbers and any drawing shapes. We enjoyed the game very much.

I tried the game several times. Afterwards, I got my understanding and some ideas about the game. I made some modifications to replace Chinese contents with Western ways. Finally, I created the following modified version of the game.

This game is related to mathematics and computer science. Therefore, I write this on my programming blog.

Modifications of the Rules

In Alberta, we have two hokey players: the Flames in the south city of Calgary and the Oilers in the north city of Edmonton. I'll use them as players. The following are the rules and related modifications:

  • In the original show, people from the south had number one and those from the north had number two.
    I made this change: Flames at the sourth have number one, and Oilers on the north have number two.
  • The number of Chinese characters in one's name was used in the show.
    The number of Flames and Oilers names is 6. Another alternative for fun is to use the number of vowels or consonants, just for kits to learn.
  • One interesting choice is the sex of a random person: male as number one and female as number two in the show.
    I use the flip of a coin, the head as number one, and the tail as number two.
  • The secret or magic words are 見-證-奇-蹟-的-時-刻
    I use the English word m-a-g-i-c-a-l

Based on my understanding and analysis, I categorise all the steps in the game into three groups.

Build Cards' Structure - Preparation 1

Those are steps to build cards in the right structure.

  1. Fully shuffle four cards first. Fold the cards in half. Then, based on the fold line, rip the cards into two halves. Finally, put one half on top of another half. The total number of cards is eight.
  2. I chose the Flames to start a game. I read the name of the characters one by one, and at the same time, I place the top card on the bottom of the deck. In this way, I repeat the process six times.
  3. Take the top three cards up and place them any place between the remaining cards, i.e., after the first, second,... or fourth card (before the fifth). I put the top three cards after the fourth card.
  4. Pick up the top card. Keep it in a secret or safe place. This is the secret card.

Up to this step, you have seven half-cards in your hand. Eventually, you will have a last-half card left, and the card will match the secret card, which is the other half.

Deceive or Confuse - Preparation 2

Continue to interact with audiences. The steps in this second group would further deceive or confuse them. By the time of the last step, the right number of cards will be ready for the steps in the last group.

  1. I chose the Flames team, which is in the south of our province. Based on the above rule, the number is one. Take the top card from the deck and place it between the remaining cards. I place the top card behind the third card. It could be placed behind the first card, the second card,..., or the fifth one.
  2. At this step in Liu Qian's show, Liu used male or female for a random choice. Based on my above modifications, the alternative random choice is to throw a coin. My grandson received some chocolate candy coins. We made an agreement: one side as number one, another side as number 2. I explained to him that this is like a hokey game to choose the starting side in the beginning. He threw the coin and got the number two. I asked him to take the top two cards and throw them into the air.
    I asked my grandson to mimic Liu and Xiao Ni (one famous show anchor as the game player). They said, Sorry, cleaning maids. My grandson said, Sorry, dady and mami, we will clean those cards.

Magic Words for Magic Results

Up to this step, there are only five half-cards left. The game entered the most interesting and exciting stage.

  1. Read the magic words in the above rules, one character by one. For each read, place the top card at the bottom. The order is as follows: m-a-g-i-c-a-l.
  2. The last step is the moment in the most emotional and exciting mode. Place the top card at the bottom. At the same time, say it loudly: Keep my luck. Then take the top card from the remaining deck. Throw the card into the air and say, Announcing things, go away!.
    Repeat this sequence until the last card is in the hand.

Now get the secret card and place it next to the last one. Turn them over. What magic!

The last half-card left in your hand is exactly the other half-card, the secret card!

Liu Qian played such an extraordinary magic show at the Chinese Spring Festival Gala. Almost all the audiences, including me and my grandson, in front of the TV, proved this magic result.

Liu said that this is a very ancient magic game. Every year on the eve. of the New Year, many people play this magic game. If you succeed, your days in the next year will be full of happiness; if you fail, then repeat watching and playing the game till you win.


Liu Qian presented a really good magic game. After following the show and seeing the result, I could not explain the logic, which is really magic. Anyone could play this game, such as alduts. However, I think this game would be very attractive to young kids. The steps in the game are very complicated and long. It is hard to memorise those steps. I repeatedly watch the show, and I think it will be forgotten after a while. That's why I wrote this blog with all the steps. Those steps are grouped into three categories. I think this will be helpful as a study place and reference.

Liu's show was in Chinese. In order to help non-Chinese-speaking people as well as oversee Chinese kids, I modified some parts of the game, based on my understanding, with other alternatives, such as creating cards from a piece of paper, drawing characters, numbers, or shapes, using sports teams, throwing a coin, counting characters, vowels, and consonants, using different magic words, et cetera. In this way, it might attract more people around the world to enjoy the game.

Although the steps in this game, including your modifications, are very long and complicated, those are the magic spirits that make it very hard to grasp its logic. They provide you with an opportunity to demonstrate or practice your show-time talent and bring magic and happiness to everyone. Like many new things, the process of learning and practicing is very important. The repetition will help you to link steps in a fluent and natural way, and the show-time will help you to control rhythm and to present your confidence.

With some changes I made to Liu's show, I hope you can create your version better than mine. Enjoy the game!