The Four Burglars: In Memory of Paul Daniels

By Tom Interval

The Four BurglarsPaul Daniels (1938-2016), the famous U.K. magician, performed and taught his own version of The Four Burglars, a classic plot in card magic dating back to 1591.

For years I’ve taught a version to some of my magic students and only recently saw that some of Paul’s handling was similar to my own. He added a psychological subtlety and four-jack display I hadn’t seen before.

I thought it would be fun to perform Paul’s version in honor and in memory of one of the greatest magicians of all time: The Four Burglars, In Memory of Paul Daniels (see embedded video below).

On his YouTube channel, Paul posted four videos showing three different versions of The Four Burglars. I didn’t know Paul personally, but I think I can safely assume the trick was one of his favorites to teach.

So why would a world-renowned magician post videos of simple card tricks, such as The Four Burglars? He was trying to emphasize what’s really important in magic: the performance. The Four Burglars is a card trick with a story, and people like stories.

As Paul has said many times, magic is so much more fun to watch when it’s funny or at least interesting. I constantly drive home this point to each of my magic students. The Four Burglars isn’t particularly funny (albeit it could be depending on the presentation), but it has a story line that makes it interesting. Tricks with stories draw in the audience and keep its attention.

Here are Paul’s videos of the trick. You can watch my two-minute presentation of his “Version 3” in the embedded video below.

R.I.P., Paul, and best wishes to Debbie and the rest of your family and friends.


To see more cool magic-related videos, please visit the Interval Magic YouTube Channel.

Copyright 2016 Tom Interval


About Tom Interval

San Diego Magician Tom Interval, owner of Interval Magic, provides magic entertainment and training to private and corporate clients locally and nationally. A member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM), Society of American Magicians (SAM), and the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), Interval has captivated tens of thousands of people at numerous venues, including Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia. With a BA in professional writing and minors in communications and business administration, Interval writes magic-related e-books, magazine articles, and blogs and produces tutorials and related videos for his YouTube channel. Most recently, Interval earned The Linking Ring Award of Excellence for a cover story he wrote for the magicians' publication. To learn more, please visit
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