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 Interval Magic

Magician Tom Interval, owner of San Diego-based Interval Magic, provides magic entertainment and training to private and corporate clients locally and throughout the United States. A member of the Academy of Magical Arts (AMA), International Brotherhood of Magicians (IBM), and Society of American Magicians (SAM), Interval has captivated tens of thousands of people at numerous venues, including Busch Gardens theme park in Williamsburg, Virginia, where he performed as a medieval conjurer, trained employees of the magic shop, and promoted the park on several local TV talk shows along the East Coast. As an entertainer, business owner, and former marketing communications professional, Interval understands that the success of any event depends on how satisfied his clients' guests are. Whether it’s a trade show or 50th wedding anniversary, Interval is dedicated to providing his audiences with a highly visual, interactive, mind-boggling magic experience they’ll remember and talk about for years to come. To learn more, please visit
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