What is the best street magic trick to perform?

Aug 5, 2017
288
280
WA state USA
That’s a broad subject in how you asked it, kind of not sure how to approach it…and Im the peanut gallery here so take my advice with a grain of salt but here I go anyways🤣

If you are having some difficulty choosing which tricks to open and perform with in a street environment it is likely because you are still fleshing out a persona or character. Those really help inform you on some of your presentations and effects.

For instance a balloon swallow is a great opener for some street buskers, but not so much if you plan on doing a gambling act. I see you know the Chicago opener…a solid persona would help you choose a presentation for the trick, like is it a prediction? Magical change? Magician in trouble? No matter your presentation I think it’s a trick you should be using for now because it can be pretty interactive (I know some people dislike it, ymmv).

That being said, what helped me is sorting my tricks into ones that can be done for groups of 2, 4 or 6+(surrounded). Then I WROTE DOWN set lists for the situation and DID THEM. Doing this made sure I had a plan already when I was approached or vice versa. It also helped by me having a plan already to go if the group size changed. It also showed me lots of my material was terrible🤣 My stuffs not great now…but it’s not terrible anymore🤣 Writing your stuff down will also help you edit it later, both in your magic sets and patter.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for but if ya got anything out of this I hope it’s to write down a set list for certain situations and do it.…work on your persona as you go.
 
Jan 2, 2016
1,039
861
21
California
It really depends on what you're looking for and the situation.

Personally, when I'm doing street/bar magic, I like to pack light. The stuff I usually have on me if I know I'm going to do magic is my wallet (and the stuff in it), ring, phone, a deck of cards, some rubber bands, and some coins. Sometimes I'll add a thumb tip, sharpie, or spongeballs. All of these can be used to do various tricks and are either things I would already have on me, or things that don't take up much pocket space.

Obviously this isn't an issue if you have a bag or backpack, which is perfectly fine. Just make sure you know where everything you need is and there isn't dead time of you rummaging through your backpack for the gimmick you need. That's generally why I like to keep everything in my pockets.

I also can't guarantee that I'll have a table so I usually want tricks that can be done almost entirely in my hands or theirs.

I also usually look for tricks that require little to no extra gimmicks. So either tricks I can do with the stuff I mentioned above or objects I can borrow or find wherever I am. Plus, people seem to love it when you can do magic with stuff they know for a fact isn't tricky in any way.

Gregory Wilson's On The Spot 1 & 2 are great resources for impromptu magic that can be done with everyday and borrowed objects.

If it does require extra gimmicks, it either has to fit well in my pockets or take up no extra space whatsoever. This would be things like gaff cards as you can just stick them in the box.

If it's a larger gimmick, I'll only carry it if I feel like the effect is worth it. So this would be things like the omni deck or invisible deck as they hit hard. Plus, the invisible deck is a great out.


As far as openers go, I'd say stick to stuff you're good at and that hits fairly hard. Even if you're advanced, you might wanna do something with little to no sleight of hand to mess up.

I personally tend to start with a simple right card/wrong card trick (the wrong card turns into their selection), slop triumph, or the Chicago Opener if I have the card necessary. Even as someone who's been doing magic for around a decade, I still get shaky when showing new people stuff so I generally stick to stuff I know I won't mess up until I'm a little more comfortable with the audience.

I'd also suggest mixing things up. There's sort of this joke in magic that spectators won't remember most card tricks and will be like "yeah he unlocked my phone, he made a bunch of fake bunnies appear in my hand, he made two metal rings link to each other, he did a card trick". Thus, I always suggest having a bit of variety in your tricks if you're going to be showing them a lot of stuff.

For other tricks, some of my personal favorites for a street setting are:
- Double Cross
- Stairway
- Missing Link.
- The Biddle Trick
- Las Vegas Leaper
- TNR Transpo
- Various tricks with a pen and coin that I've also picked up and strung together into a short routine
- Wikitest
- Code Breaker
- TOXIC
- iCurveball
- Divorce
- Ring Thing
- On/Off
- Double Exposure
- Card to Pocket
- Angle Z
- Hoy Book Test
 
Jun 30, 2021
11
6
www.youtube.com
It really depends on what you're looking for and the situation.

Personally, when I'm doing street/bar magic, I like to pack light. The stuff I usually have on me if I know I'm going to do magic is my wallet (and the stuff in it), ring, phone, a deck of cards, some rubber bands, and some coins. Sometimes I'll add a thumb tip, sharpie, or spongeballs. All of these can be used to do various tricks and are either things I would already have on me, or things that don't take up much pocket space.

Obviously this isn't an issue if you have a bag or backpack, which is perfectly fine. Just make sure you know where everything you need is and there isn't dead time of you rummaging through your backpack for the gimmick you need. That's generally why I like to keep everything in my pockets.

I also can't guarantee that I'll have a table so I usually want tricks that can be done almost entirely in my hands or theirs.

I also usually look for tricks that require little to no extra gimmicks. So either tricks I can do with the stuff I mentioned above or objects I can borrow or find wherever I am. Plus, people seem to love it when you can do magic with stuff they know for a fact isn't tricky in any way.

Gregory Wilson's On The Spot 1 & 2 are great resources for impromptu magic that can be done with everyday and borrowed objects.

If it does require extra gimmicks, it either has to fit well in my pockets or take up no extra space whatsoever. This would be things like gaff cards as you can just stick them in the box.

If it's a larger gimmick, I'll only carry it if I feel like the effect is worth it. So this would be things like the omni deck or invisible deck as they hit hard. Plus, the invisible deck is a great out.


As far as openers go, I'd say stick to stuff you're good at and that hits fairly hard. Even if you're advanced, you might wanna do something with little to no sleight of hand to mess up.

I personally tend to start with a simple right card/wrong card trick (the wrong card turns into their selection), slop triumph, or the Chicago Opener if I have the card necessary. Even as someone who's been doing magic for around a decade, I still get shaky when showing new people stuff so I generally stick to stuff I know I won't mess up until I'm a little more comfortable with the audience.

I'd also suggest mixing things up. There's sort of this joke in magic that spectators won't remember most card tricks and will be like "yeah he unlocked my phone, he made a bunch of fake bunnies appear in my hand, he made two metal rings link to each other, he did a card trick". Thus, I always suggest having a bit of variety in your tricks if you're going to be showing them a lot of stuff.

For other tricks, some of my personal favorites for a street setting are:
- Double Cross
- Stairway
- Missing Link.
- The Biddle Trick
- Las Vegas Leaper
- TNR Transpo
- Various tricks with a pen and coin that I've also picked up and strung together into a short routine
- Wikitest
- Code Breaker
- TOXIC
- iCurveball
- Divorce
- Ring Thing
- On/Off
- Double Exposure
- Card to Pocket
- Angle Z
- Hoy Book Test
Thanks so much for the list some of the tricks i know some i'm unfamiliar with, but rest assured i will be looking them all up. Also would you recommend perfect cent?
 
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Reactions: TheChimneySweep
Jun 30, 2021
11
6
www.youtube.com
That’s a broad subject in how you asked it, kind of not sure how to approach it…and Im the peanut gallery here so take my advice with a grain of salt but here I go anyways🤣

If you are having some difficulty choosing which tricks to open and perform with in a street environment it is likely because you are still fleshing out a persona or character. Those really help inform you on some of your presentations and effects.

For instance a balloon swallow is a great opener for some street buskers, but not so much if you plan on doing a gambling act. I see you know the Chicago opener…a solid persona would help you choose a presentation for the trick, like is it a prediction? Magical change? Magician in trouble? No matter your presentation I think it’s a trick you should be using for now because it can be pretty interactive (I know some people dislike it, ymmv).

That being said, what helped me is sorting my tricks into ones that can be done for groups of 2, 4 or 6+(surrounded). Then I WROTE DOWN set lists for the situation and DID THEM. Doing this made sure I had a plan already when I was approached or vice versa. It also helped by me having a plan already to go if the group size changed. It also showed me lots of my material was terrible🤣 My stuffs not great now…but it’s not terrible anymore🤣 Writing your stuff down will also help you edit it later, both in your magic sets and patter.

Not sure if this is what you are looking for but if ya got anything out of this I hope it’s to write down a set list for certain situations and do it.…work on your persona as you go.
i love that so much because i always forget my best tricks in the moment. I will definitely write them down. Thanks so much!
 
  • Like
Reactions: TheChimneySweep
Jan 2, 2016
1,039
861
21
California
That's the one i meant. Wasn't planning on buying it just wanted your opinion.

In the end it'll always be up to you. What I like in a trick might be something you dislike and vice versa. I know a lot of people prefer Perfect Cents to Exact Change. They're both great tricks that accomplish a similar effects.

There's a lot of tricks I genuinely don't like but I don't think are inherently bad tricks. I just personally don't like the method, effect, etc.
 
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