How to Play 52 Card Pickup

Two Methods:Playing 52 Card PickupExtending the Fun

52 Card Pickup is a practical joke disguised as a card game that requires at least 2 players. It is great for creating lots of laughter, but you should definitely play with someone who has a great sense of humor and a little spare time. 52 Card Pickup is entertaining and can be played by children of all ages.

Method 1
Playing 52 Card Pickup

  1. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 1
    Ask a friend to play cards. Find someone who enjoys a prank and has time to hang out and have fun.
    • You can have more than one player, as long as none of the players know that 52 Card Pickup is a trick.
  2. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 2
    Find a deck of playing cards. Preferably use a deck of playing cards that belongs to one of the players. This will increase the chances of the cards being picked up instead of being left on the floor when the prank is over. It is also best if there are 52 cards in the deck.
  3. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 3
    Shuffle the cards. As the dealer, you can shuffle the cards yourself or allow one of the players to shuffle them.
    • Shuffling the cards is optional, but preferred because it gives the impression of a real game. In reality, it does not matter if the cards are mixed up.
    • Try not to laugh because the players may become suspicious.
  4. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 4
    Prepare the players. After you have shuffled the cards, ask the following question: “Are you ready to play 52 Card Pickup?”
  5. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 5
    Release the cards. Wait for a response and after one or all players say they are ready, bend the deck slightly and release your hold on the outside edges of the cards as if shuffling one-handed so that the spring tension sprays the cards all over the floor. Then say: “It's 52 card pickup!”
    • Another opportunity to play 52 Card Pickup is when you are playing absolutely any other card game and you find yourself losing. You can stop the game and say “52 card pickup” just before releasing all of the cards onto the floor.

Method 2
Extending the Fun

  1. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 6
    Create a competition. When the cards are on the floor, you can challenge the players to pick up all of the cards by indicating that the winner of the game will be the individual that picks up the most cards.
    • The goal of the competition is to remove each card from the floor as fast as you can. This is a great twist on 52 Card Pickup that creates excitement and further entertainment.
    • You can also issue a challenge to find a particular card where the first person to find that card is the winner.
  2. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 7
    Develop your thinking skills. Another way of enjoying 52 Card Pickup is by picking up the cards in sequential order. You can challenge yourself to pick up the cards in order of value starting with the card that you pick up first. While all players can enjoy this game, it does not require multiple players. It is also a great solitaire game and way to keep yourself busy when you have idle time.[1]
    • Ask small children to pick up the scattered cards as an educational activity. This will help them to gain dexterity while learning to put objects in a stack. You can also ask the child to only pick up the red cards or the black cards.
  3. Image titled Play 52 Card Pickup Step 8
    Facilitate team building. You can use 52 Card Pickup as a team building exercise by asking all of the participants to put the cards in order as a team. Keep track of time and when they are finished, ask why it took so long and inquire how well they worked together.[2]


  • Be a good sport and help pick up the cards.
  • Do not perform this trick in a location where cards can get lost or destroyed.
  • You can still play if you are missing a few cards, however, if you are missing nearly half the deck, the trick will not work as well.
  • Offer an incentive for picking up the cards that includes a prize of candy for the person who picks up the most cards. This works greater for younger players.
  • You can always get creative and make adjustments to the rules of the game.


  • Pick a location to play the game where cards will not end up in places such as behind furniture or other locations where they are difficult to retrieve.
  • Participants may refuse to pick the cards up off of the floor, in which case you will have to pick them up. Be a good sport about it.

Article Info

Categories: Party Games