Easy Magic Tricks

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Using the simplest props and common household items — handkerchiefs, string, rope, playing cards, coins, dice, thimbles — children of all ages will amaze friends and family with these easy-to-learn magic tricks. From classic table stunts and mind-reading acts to dice divinations and more magical merriment, this fully illustrated guide carefully explains each trick ...
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Easy Magic Tricks

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Using the simplest props and common household items — handkerchiefs, string, rope, playing cards, coins, dice, thimbles — children of all ages will amaze friends and family with these easy-to-learn magic tricks. From classic table stunts and mind-reading acts to dice divinations and more magical merriment, this fully illustrated guide carefully explains each trick step-by-step . . . and will turn amateurs into wizards in no time!

Performers will baffle their audiences with:
• The Color-Changing Handkerchief
• The Dissolving Knots
• Dollar Bill Mind Reading
• Dice Mathemagic
• The Disappearing Thimble
• Drinking Glass Levitation
• Penny Jumping
• The Midas Dinner Roll
and many more fun, fascinating illusions.

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780486455556
  • Publisher: Dover Publications
  • Publication date: 5/19/2008
  • Series: Dover Magic Books Series
  • Pages: 128
  • Sales rank: 712,907
  • Product dimensions: 5.20 (w) x 8.40 (h) x 0.40 (d)

Read an Excerpt

Easy Magic Tricks

By Joseph Leeming

Dover Publications, Inc.

Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-0-486-15282-0


Magic with Rings

Every person known to be interested in magic is likely to be asked at any time to do some tricks. Or oftentimes a party or group can be entertained with some magic that will baffle the onlookers.

All of the tricks in this book can be done without any expensive or elaborate equipment. However, there are a few simple and proven rules that will add fun to your performance.

Always practice every trick alone or with a trusted friend, until you really know how to do it easily. Then you won't be caught sometime forgetting how a trick is completed.

A part of every magician's equipment is his line of chatter which he keeps up when showing off to the audience. You can't be talking to the audience if you are wondering if your trick will come off, so learn it well before you show it.

When going out on a party, take along a few of the simple things mentioned in this book, so you will have on hand all you need for the tricks you want to do.

The tricks and magic in this book are mostly new and will give everyone a lot of fun.

These tricks are especially good ones to know. You can practically always get hold of one or more rings in any gathering.

Most of the tricks described here are ones that can be done without secret preparation.

1. The Ring Magically Knotted to a String

EFFECT: A spectator is given a piece of string about three feet long and is asked to tie the ends around the magician's wrists. When this has been done, the magician borrows a ring from a member of the audience and turns his back for a moment. When he turns around again, the ring is securely knotted to the middle of the string, which must be cut or untied to remove the ring.

SECRET: The trick is accomplished as follows. Push the center of the length of string hanging between your wrists through the ring, thus forming a loop. Slip this loop over your right hand and wrist, bringing it to a point below the string that already encircles your right wrist. Then pull the loop underneath the string around your wrist and bring it back over your right hand, passing it from the back of the hand to the front. You will find that the ring is firmly knotted then to the middle section of the string between your wrists.

2. The Magically Released Rings

This is one of the most surprising of the impromptu tricks that can be done with rings. It will repay you to master it, as you can do it at any time.

EFFECT: Several rings are borrowed from the audience and the largest is tied to the middle of a piece of string about two feet long. The other rings are then threaded over the two ends of the string by a spectator, so they rest above the first ring. Two spectators now hold the two ends of the string, and a handkerchief is thrown over the rings. The magician holds his left hand, palm upward, beneath the rings and puts his right hand beneath the handkerchief for a moment. Almost instantly the rings fall down into his left hand, having been magically released from the string.

SECRET: The way in which the first ring is fastened to the center of the string is the secret of the trick. The string is doubled and the looped end is pushed through the ring. The two ends are then passed through the loop and pulled as far as possible, thus securing the ring in a loop. This appears to be a perfectly tight knot, but it can be undone in a moment by simply drawing the loop down over the ring. The string will then pass through the center of the ring, and all the rings will be released and fall into your hand.

3. Instantaneous Ring Release

This is an instantaneous passing of solid through solid, a very surprising effect.

EFFECT: One end of a looped string is passed by the performer through a ring and the other end is then passed through the first loop. The drawing shows how this is done. Two spectators are then asked to hold the string at the places marked A and B, while the magician grasps the loop at C. The spectators are asked to pull the parts they are holding clear of the ring and to pull on them steadily. The magician, meanwhile, pulls gently but firmly on his part of the string. Now the magician suddenly exclaims, "Pass!" and the ring instantly drops free of the string!

SECRET: You "magically" cause the ring to be released by simply letting go of the part of the string that you are holding. It all happens in a flash and to the audience, it looks as though the string had been drawn right through the solid metal of the ring.

4. The Ring on the String

This is an excellent mystery, for it is worked so quickly that what happens appears to be absolutely impossible.

EFFECT: The two ends of a piece of string about eighteen inches long are tied around the performer's wrists. He then takes in one hand a large metal ring or bracelet which the audience has examined to make sure it is solid. The magician turns his back for a moment or steps behind a screen, and reappears immediately with the ring threaded on the string between his wrists.

SECRET: This trick requires a little preparation, for it is done by the use of two identical large metal rings. You can get these at any ten-cent store. Before presenting the trick, slip one of the rings over your right hand and wrist and push it up your arm beneath your coat sleeve so it is well concealed. Now, as soon as you turn your back or step behind a screen, put the other ring in one of your pockets (a vest pocket if you turn your back) and pull the ring on your arm down over your hand and so onto the string.

The beauty of this trick is the speed with which it can be done and a little practice to insure smooth and rapid execution will be well repaid, as the effect is truly startling.

5. The Flying Ring

One of the very best ring tricks, but one that requires thorough practice. Learn it well and you will be able to do it well.

EFFECT: The performer borrows a ring, puts it on his left palm, and closes his hand over it. A handkerchief is then fastened over his closed left hand by a rubber band slipped over hand and wrist. Another handkerchief is then fastened over his right hand in the same way. "Now," says the magician, "I propose to make the ring in my left hand travel up my sleeve, across my chest, and down my right sleeve into my right hand. Which finger of my right hand would you like it to go to?" The audience chooses, say, the first finger. The magician flutters his left fingers, shakes his left arm, moves his shoulders (to help the ring on its way), and then shakes his right arm as the ring travels down it. The rubber band and handkerchief are removed from his left hand, which is found empty. When the handkerchief is removed from his right hand the ring is found on the first finger!

SECRET: As described above, you place the ring on your left palm and close your left hand over it. You must then turn your hand over and raise it chest high, with the left arm slightly bent. Next ask the audience for a handkerchief and take it in your right hand. Throw it over your closed left hand to completely cover it.

Now take a rubber band placed in readiness on a table or in your right coat pocket and ask a spectator to pass it over the handkerchief down to your wrist. As you make this request, illustrate what you want done with your right hand, passing this hand, with fingers curved inward, underneath the handkerchief toward your left elbow. As the right hand passes beneath the left hand, let the ring drop from the latter into the palm of your right hand. Do not stop the motion of the right hand. Keep it moving slowly and time the drop correctly. This move should be practiced a number of times before a mirror until you can do it smoothly and perfectly, with nothing to indicate what is going on.

Drop your right hand to your side and ask for the loan of a second handkerchief. Meanwhile work the ring into a position at the base of your right second and third fingers. Gripped by the folds of your skin, it can be held tight and will not be visible if you keep your fingers slightly curved inwards. Raise your right hand, palm down, and close your fingers slowly. Have the second handkerchief thrown over your right hand by a spectator and fastened with a rubber band around the wrist. Then proceed to carry the trick out to its conclusion, as outlined above. You will find it easy to work the ring onto the finger chosen by the audience.

6. The Ring and Pencil Trick

This trick requires some skill in presentation, but can be mastered with the necessary amount of practice. It is good and has been a favorite with many famous magicians.

EFFECT: The magician borrows a ring and a long pencil or produces a ring and pencil of his own. He wraps the ring in a handkerchief, and then asks a spectator to hold the two ends of the pencil, one in each hand. He asks another spectator to feel the ring inside the handkerchief to be sure it is there, and knocks the ring against the pencil so the other spectators can hear it. Next he puts the handkerchief over and partially around the pencil and pulls it swiftly toward him. As it comes clear of the pencil, the ring is seen to have left the handkerchief and, in some mysterious way, to have gotten onto the pencil.

SECRET: The trick is done with the aid of an extra ring, which you have in a convenient pocket at the beginning. When ready to do the trick, get this ring into your right hand and grip it between the flesh at the roots of the second and third fingers. When your hand is partially closed, it will not be visible to the audience.

Take the borrowed ring in your right hand, holding it between the tip of the thumb and the tips of the first and second fingers. Spread a handkerchief over your left palm. Then proceed as though to put the borrowed ring in the center of the handkerchief but, instead, drop the concealed ring onto the handkerchief and close your left fingers and thumb around it, concealing the ring inside. At the same time, tuck the borrowed ring into the palm of your right hand.

Take the handkerchief in your right hand and straighten its folds, then put it on the table. Pick up the pencil in your left hand and transfer it to your right hand, sliding it through the center of the ring held in your almost closed right hand. Keep hold of the pencil with your right hand, which is closed around the center portion of the pencil, as in the drawing.

Pick up the handkerchief in your left hand and at the same time ask a spectator to hold the two ends of the pencil. Ask another spectator to feel the ring inside of the handkerchief and then knock it against the pencil. Then let the handkerchief rest on the pencil beside your right hand. Push it over to cover the ring on the pencil, simultaneously taking your right hand from the pencil. Then draw your left hand, still holding the handkerchief, quickly toward you. This will set the borrowed ring spinning around the pencil, and will reveal it to the audience.

While the spectators are still surprised and are removing the borrowed ring from the pencil, quietly remove the extra ring from the handkerchief and drop it in the most convenient pocket. Then pass the handkerchief for examination.

7. The Mysto Ring Flight

EFFECT: The magician slides a ring onto a pencil, covers it with a handkerchief, and asks a spectator to hold the ends of the pencil. He gives an empty, but sealed, envelope to another spectator and asks him to put it in a pocket. He asks the spectator holding the pencil to feel the ring through the handkerchief. It is still there. Presto! The magician draws away the handkerchief and the ring has vanished. He asks the spectator who has the envelope to take it from his pocket and open it. The vanished ring is found inside!

SECRET: For this trick you need three identical rings, which you can get at the ten-cent store. You will also need a secret assistant or confederate in the audience. Cut one of the rings in two and sew one half of it to the center of a handkerchief. Put one of the solid rings in an envelope, which is sealed and given to your confederate, who puts it in his pocket. You are now ready to do the trick.

Put the remaining solid ring on a pencil and ask a spectator to hold both ends. Then give an empty sealed envelope to your confederate, who puts it in the pocket already containing the envelope holding the duplicate ring. Throw the handkerchief over the ring, and arrange the half ring sewed to the handkerchief on top of the pencil. Put your right hand under the handkerchief and over the solid ring, and hold the half ring through the handkerchief with your left hand. Ask the spectator holding the pencil to hold the half ring. When he has removed one hand from the pencil to do so, slide your right hand and the solid ring with it to the end he has left free.

Now ask a second spectator to come forward and hold the end of the pencil that is in your right hand. Slip your hand off the pencil and the ring with it. Then remove the handkerchief and reveal that the ring has vanished. The trick ends by the confederate producing the prepared envelope, opening it, and producing the duplicate ring, apparently to his great surprise.

This trick may be done more simply by omitting the confederate and the envelopes. In this case, after you have removed your right hand, and the ring, from the pencil, put your right hand immediately underneath the handkerchief. Tell the audience that you are going to try to make the ring on the pencil "pass!" As you exclaim the word, remove the handkerchief and open your right hand, revealing the ring which in some mysterious way has been freed from the pencil.

8. Rubbing a Ring onto a Pencil

This is an excellent trick, but it requires good address and skill in the presentation.

EFFECT: The performer borrows a ring from a spectator and holds it in his left hand. He then asks a spectator to hold both ends of a long pencil. The performer then puts one hand above and one below the pencil and rubs his hands together. The ring is rubbed right onto the center of the pencil.

SECRET: Take the borrowed ring in your right hand. Hold it on your palm and, while showing it to the audience, get it into the position shown in the drawing. A very slight contraction of the hand will then hold it securely. Bring your right hand to the left, turn it over toward your left palm, and pretend to put the ring into your left hand. Close your left fingers at once and keep the hand closed.

Now take a long pencil from your pocket and hold it by the middle with the tips of your right fingers. This will put the lower end of the pencil against the palm, and you will be able without difficulty to slide the ring onto the pencil. While you do this, tap your left hand with the pencil and talk to the audience, telling them what has happened so far in the trick, etc.

Slide your closed right hand, and the ring with it, to the middle of the pencil and ask a spectator to hold both ends. Put the left hand beneath the pencil, open both hands so the palms come together with the pencil between them, rub the hands together, and then suddenly remove them. The ring will be seen spinning around the pencil, having been magically rubbed through the solid wood.

9. Instantaneous Flight

This is an instantaneous and invisible flight of a ring, which has been featured by many famous magicians. Skillfully done, it is a wonderful effect.

EFFECT: The magician takes a borrowed ring in his left hand and throws it into the air, where it vanishes, only instantly to reappear on one of the fingers of his right hand.

SECRET: Two rings are used, which are duplicates. If a ring is borrowed from the audience, which makes the trick more effective, it should be, if possible, a wedding ring, and the performer should provide himself with an imitation wedding ring from the ten-cent store. This ring is tied to one end of a piece of cord, which is led up the left sleeve, across the back, down the right sleeve close to the wrist, where it is tied around the forearm.

The borrowed ring is taken in the right hand and apparently is transferred to the left hand. Actually, however, it is retained in the right hand, tucked away into the space between the thumb and first finger, and the duplicate is shown at the left fingertips. The performer turns his left side toward the audience and hangs the borrowed ring on a hook of the hook-and-eye variety, which is sewed to the right side of his trousers just above the pocket. The right hand is then shown to be empty.

The last part of the trick is done in a flash. Turn your left side to the audience and get the borrowed ring in your right hand, slipping it over the tip of the second finger. Face the audience and point to the ring in your left hand with your right forefinger, keeping the other fingers closed. Throw both hands upward, and let go of the ring in your left hand. It will fly up your left sleeve. At the same instant open the fingers of your right hand and look upward at it. The ring will be seen to have flown to your right second finger.


Excerpted from Easy Magic Tricks by Joseph Leeming. Copyright © 2008 Dover Publications, Inc.. Excerpted by permission of Dover Publications, Inc..
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

Magic with Rings
Impromptu Coin Tricks
Coin Tricks Requiring Simple Apparatus
Mathematical Magic
Magic with Handkerchiefs
More Magic with Handkerchiefs
Magic with String
Magic with Ropes
Mind-Reading Magic
Magic with Dice
Thimble Magic
Dinner-Table Magic
Stunts to Fool Your Friends

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