Principles of magic tricks; how to basic coin tricks

The hand isn’t really quicker than the eye. In fact, you should avoid quick, sharp movements. The art of magic is the art of misdirection. You must focus your audience’s attention on a gesturing hand, on your face, on a prop, on another person, on a line of patter-on anything other than the hand that is doing the trick. Sometimes you need only look at what you want your audience to see. Otherwise, look at your audience, not at your hands; above all, don’t look at the “working” hand.

Learn one magic trick at a time. Practice it in front of a mirror until your gestures look natural and you can do them automatically. Disappearing coins Hold a quarter between the thumb and the index and middle fingers of your right hand. Pretend to take the coin in your other hand. Instead, as your left hand closes around the quarter, push it deep into the palm of your right hand. Relax your muscles so that the loose flesh folds around the edges of the coin. Later, you can retrieve it with your first two fingers and make it “appear” from almost anywhere.

The basic coin palm is useful in many tricks. Here’s another: place a coin in the center of a handkerchief.

Fold the cloth into three consecutively smaller triangles. Grasp the bottom corners, one in each hand, and hold the cloth out, tilting it back and forth. The coin will slip into your hand; palm it. Wave the cloth with your other hand while you slip the coin into your pocket.