A few magic tricks for the beginner, compiled by Genii editor, Richard Kaufman

Here are some great tricks that require absolutely no sleight of hand, yet will devastate any audience.

Remember to learn it thoroughly and practice well before trying it on anyone!

  1. Seeing Red
  2. Tear It!
  3. Will They Match?
  4. Blow Out!
  5. Made In The Shade
  6. The Vanishing Glass
  7. The X-Ray Tube
  8. I Predict!
  9. The Known

( Page 1 | 2 >> )

Seeing Red

Effect: The magician writes a prediction on a piece of paper and folds it in half. Different people in the audience call out various colors, and the magician writes each color that has been mentioned on a different slip of paper. Each slip is folded in half and dropped into a small box or paper bag.

A person from the audience is allowed to freely pick any one of the folded slips from the box. After he reads what color is written on it, the magicianís prediction is also readóand they match!

What You Need: You need a small box (such as a shoe box) or a plain paper bag. It must be opaque so that neither you nor the audience can see through it. You also need a small pad of paper and a pen or pencil.

Performance: Say, "I am going to predict the future on this piece of paper." Write the color "RED" on a piece of paper, then fold the paper in half and give it to a person from the audience to hold.

Ask a person in the audience to call out the name of any color. Then, write the word "RED" on a piece of paper. In other words, ignore what the person has said, and write "RED." The audience will think that you are writing the name of the color that the person has called out. Fold the paper in half and drop it into the box or bag.

Repeat the actions described in the last paragraph with other people in the audience, and each time a color is called out, you write down "RED" on a different slip of paper. Each piece of paper is folded in half and dropped in the box or bag. You should have at least five or six different colors chosen. The audience now thinks there are five or six pieces of paper in the box, each with a different color written on them. Actually all of the pieces have "RED" written on them. Here are a few tips: if no one in the audience calls out the color red, simply say, "I will also choose some colors myself!" Then, you write "RED" on two or three slips of paper and drop those into the box or bag. Also, if someone calls out the color purple, you must pretend to write for a longer time than if someone called out the color red.

Ask a person from the audience to reach into the box and select any one of the pieces of paper. Have him unfold it and read the color out loud. Of course he will say "RED" because that is what is written on all the pieces!

Ask the person who is holding your prediction to read that, and he will also say "RED," proving that you have predicted in advance which color would be selected.

Quickly place the box or bag containing the rest of the slips of paper away so no one will discover your secret.

Tear It!

Effect: The magician shows both sides of a paper napkin. He rips it into small pieces and then magically restores it to one whole piece.

What You Need: You need two paper napkins. Open one of the napkins and crush it into a small ball. Hold this ball inside the curled third and pinky fingers of your right hand. The ball should be hidden from the audience by the back of your hand, and the hand will look natural and not attract suspicion if you donít curl your fingers too tightly.

Performance: (The second napkin is concealed in your right hand as described.) Take the other napkin and, using both hands, unfold it. Show both sides.

Tear the napkin in half (fig.1). Put the pieces together and tear them in half again. Put the pieces together and tear them in half one more time.

Fig. 1
Fig. 1

Using the fingers of both hands, crush the torn pieces into a small ball. Hold this ball between your right thumb and first finger, in front of the hidden ball which youíve had in your hand the whole time.

Bring your hands together, palm to palm, as if to rub them together, rolling the paper into a ball between them. Now you will switch one ball for the other. Hereís how: when you bring your hands together palm to palm they will look like figure 2. The whole napkin is the one between your palms, nearer to you. The torn napkin is the one between your fingers.

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Curl your right fingers around the torn napkin ball so it is hidden inside them, and take the whole napkin ball with your left thumb and fingers. Immediately raise your left hand to your mouth and blow on the napkin it holds. At the same time your right hand (with the torn napkin ball hidden inside) goes into your pocket. Leave the torn napkin in your pocket and pretend to bring out some "magic dust." Sprinkle the invisible magic dust on the napkin held in your left hand. open the napkin to reveal that it is whole again.

Will They Match?

Effect: Five cards are chosen from a deck of playing cards and torn in half by the magician. No matter how often the spectator wishes the performer to mix the halves up, the matching halves of each card always find each other.

What You Need: You need an old deck of playing cards that you can destroy.


1.Give the deck to a member of the audience and ask that he or she remove any five cards. Once they have been removed, place the rest of the deck asideóit wonít be used again.

2. Hold all five cards squarely together and face down. Tear them all in half across their width (fig.1).

Fig. 1

3. Take the half-cards held by your right hand and place them on the table to your right. Deal the half- cards remaining in your left hand to the table one at a time, into a pile on the table (and secretly reversing their order). This second pile should be to the left of the first one.

4 . To the spectator who first selected the five cards, say, "Weíre going to play a little game, you and I, and itís called ëWill The Cards Match?í. I am going to spell out each of the words in the phrase ëWill The Cards Match?í and at anytime you may tell me to switch packetsóright in the middle of spelling the word! In fact, itís more amazing the more often you ask me to switch. Also, at the beginning of each word, you tell me which packet to start spelling with. Could you ask for anything more?"

5. Ask the person to point to either packet, and pick up the one she indicates. Begin to spell "W-I-L-L." For each letter that you say, take the top card off and put it on the bottom of the packet. A half-card is transferred from top to bottom for each letter. Make sure she under- stands that she can tell you to switch packets at any time. if she does tell you to switch, simply put down the packet youíre holding and pick up the other one. Then continue to spell the word, beginning with the letter after the one she stopped you on in the other packet. in other words, if she stopped you after "W-I," then you would resume spelling by saying "L-L." Remember to transfer a card from top to bottom for each letter. It does not matter if she never tells you to switch, or asks you to switch packets on every letter. After youíve finished spelling, place the packet youíre left holding on the table.

6. Take the top half-card off each packet and place them together in a separate place on the table, away from both packets.

7. Repeat Step 5, this time spelling the word, "T-H-E."

8. Repeat Step 6, taking the top half-card off each packet and placing them together next to the first pair of half-cards that you removed.

9. Repeat Step 5, this time spelling the word, "C-A-R-D-S."

10. Repeat Step 6, taking the top half-card off each packet and placing them together next to the first two pairs of half-cards.

11. Repeat Step 5, this time spelling the word, "M-A-T-C-H."

12. Repeat Step 6, taking the top half-card off each packet and placing them together next to the first three pairs of half cards.

13. Only one half-card should remain in each packet and these form your last pair.

14. Say, "Do the cards match, of course!" Turn over the pairs of half-cards one at a time to reveal that all the halves have found their proper matching halves.

Blow Out!

Effect: You drape a paper napkin over your left hand and borrow a coin from a person in the audience. After you have put the coin in the middle of the napkin you crush the napkin into a ball and put it under that personís hand. You magically produce the borrowed coin by blowing it out of a plastic straw. You open the napkin and show that there is nothing in it.

Things You Need: An unwrapped plastic straw and a paper napkin.

Performance: Unfold the napkin. Hold your left hand palm up and drape the open napkin over it. Straighten your left thumb and fingers under the napkin, in position to take the coin. Borrow a coin and take it with your right hand. Put the coin into the napkin (fig.1). Note that your left thumb is behind the coin, holding it through the napkin. Your right hand gives the coin a hard little push so it rips right through the bottom of the napkin and into your left hand! The audience cannot see this because the napkin covers it from the front.

Fig. 1

Crush the napkin into a little ball with both hands and put it on the table. Ask a person from the audience to cover the ball with his hand. The coin will be hidden in your left hand. Donít close your hand too tightly, though, or the audience will be suspicious.

Pick up the straw with your right hand and tap the back of the personís hand with it. Ask your helper if he felt anything. The person will say "no."

Put one end of the straw in your mouth. Grab the bottom of the straw with your left hand, making a fist around it. Blow into the straw and let the coin drop out of your left hand at the same time (fig.2).

Fig. 2
Fig. 2

Take the napkin from under the personís hand and open it, ripping it into little pieces. You must tear the napkin up so the person does not find the little hole you made when you pushed the coin through it earlier.

( Page 1 | 2 >> )


Copyright © 2007 by The Genii Corporation.
All Rights Reserved. No image, artwork, or text from these pages may be reproduced in
any form or by any means without the written permission of The Genii Corporation. Violators will be prosecuted.

Subscribe to Genii Buy Back Issues Kaufman and Company Advertise in Genii The Dealer Room Genii Books Genii Archive The Genii Forum Links Contact