What kind of tricks would fool magicians?

Oct 12, 2021
I have been thinking about this quite a lot recently. I was wondering to myself if revealing magic on YouTube is good, bad or neutral which let to the question. If hypothetically everybody knew everything about magic, what type of tricks would you perform to fool people. Eric Mead did a coin routine act on Penn and Teller fool us. It seemed like the moves he did was something Penn and Teller already knew but it fooled them anyways. Is there something we can take from this? Please tell me your thoughts.



Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
Ultimately I don't think exposure is "bad" or "good" - I think it's irrelevant to a good performer.

As for fooling magicians - it's usually pretty easy, honestly. There's a couple approaches, really. One is to use a method that most magicians would be too scared to imagine using. I use a ton of suggestion in my performances, and I will rely on it 100% in many cases with no backup if it doesn't 'work'. I used to try to teach this to other performers but they'd never have the guts to take the risks.

Another way is basically the same way you fool laymen - create a presentation that leads them down the garden path so they end up cancelling out their own ideas of how it's done without you ever having to say anything explicitly. I vaguely recall a good example of this from Luke Jermay, who apparently fooled the pants off Max Maven with a marked deck by saying, "And look, the deck is not marked" and showing it in a way that didn't reveal the marks.

However, I would be remiss if I didn't mention this - I don't think "fooling" should ever be a goal in the performance of magic. In my opinion, "engaging" is a far better goal and will make for more satisfied audiences.
Nov 13, 2019
I was literally thinking about this idea the other day (or at least thinking about methods that are different to just control/force, double lift/palm or some other sleights for an effect).

Either way a friend asked me for my cards to show me a trick he saw on the internet. He took 3 cards, one was the ace of hearts and turned it upside down and placed it at the bottom of the pile. He then spread out the card with the ace in the central positon (if that makes sense?), to allow for the cards on either side to [Exposure Removed].

Either way his presentation really let him down as well as his hesitiants (something I think we all struggled with starting as magicians especiallly when mid sleight). Which meant I quickly figured out is wasn't actaully the ace of diamonds, but the effect was that it would change or jump to the deck, I believe in correlation with a gambling presentation.

But the main thing that I liked is how different the method is, it's something I have never seen before and for that reason I absolutley loved it, and if performed well might of caught me off guard.

(Also did these forums never have word corrector thingy (not sure of its name but like the red squiggle) because I never remeber having to proof read my answers this much and finding mistakes, or is my literacy skills just slipping?)
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Mar 15, 2018
Fooling magicians is quite different than fooling laymen.

But the show Fool Us isn't really about fooling Penn & Teller first of all. That's the premise behind the presentation and format, obviously. But really it's about entertaining people.

A trick that is a magician fooler might actually prove quite boring for the ordinary public. They'd rather have a trick on the show that entertains, than something that fools Penn & Teller and isn't very fun to watch.
Oct 21, 2021
yo chris ramsay has a magician fooler as well as the million card tricks channel. the key is to make the trick seem as fair as possible so a lot of spectator shuffling throughout the trick and having them pick when to shuffle, and stop shuffling. so its all about doing things that go against how a traditional magician would think that the trick would work
Nov 3, 2018
In theory, it's quite easy to fool magicians. There's an old saying: "If a layman knows 10% of how the trick is done, he thinks he knows how the trick is done. If a magician knows 90% of how the trick is done, he thinks he's fooled."
I believe this is the premise behind several Fool Us performances, where magicians openly stated that Penn&Teller will figure out all but one move, and therefore have to concede the trophy.
Personally, I find this development unfortunate -- by concentrating so much on the "fooling" factor, good effects have become much less enjoyable (to me).

So while it's an interesting hypothetical, I have to reiterate what others have said: Fooling people should never be your main goal.
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