When layman ask you to teach him a trick...

Feb 6, 2009
When layman ask you to teach him a trick,what trick should I teach him.
Can you give me some names of the tricks and where I can learn them.
tricks that I teach is the jumping robber band and ash on palm.
Nov 20, 2007
Sydney, Australia
I usually avoid it if possible. If they really insist and I don't find a way out of it... Something completely different from what I've been performing. If I've been performing ACAAN, which I usually am, might show them a really easy find a card trick - the first trick I ever learned actually. But generally... I mean, I had a guy, a friend, ask me to teach him my ACAAN today after a performance of it (which, even if I wanted to, simply wouldn't be possible) for about 15 minutes. But you can usually be persistent in refusing nicely.
Sep 1, 2007
Pretend to teach them, in the action of doing a trick. Like say, you take a card, put it in the middle of the deck, snap and its on top. And thats all, that is how you do it.


Agreed. Or be a pro and go "Look, you take the deck and..." you punch them in the face and run away.

Or you can do a deck vanish.. but that's boring.
Apr 1, 2009
This would actually be the perfect set up to other tricks. Again, it depends on who the laymen in question are. Friends or family, I tend to not stress so much about them learning a simple thing or two. they're not my target audience. But, anyway, back to sentence one. You can move into a trick that feels sort of like a lesson. Such as A Shuffling Lesson by Paul Harris, oorrrrr Search and Destroy by Aaron Fisher even. It's really your choice.

I see no problem teaching a very simple thing to them though, when it comes to REALLY showing them how something is done. It's always fun to learn magic. A simple jumping rubberband, or similar level effect works. Not something that is in your working repertoire, maybe even a little gag. And who's to say that they won't use it?
Jul 14, 2008
Personally, if I were you, I wouldn't teach a trick to him at all because sometimes, laymen don't know how to keep a secret. However, if he's really bothering you, then use 3 piles of 7 trick like William Draven said.
Sep 12, 2007
Normandy, FRANCE
I usually tell them I'm about to teach them how to do the classic tric where the selected card is found face up in the deck (which I might just have performed).

I then explain (and do it while I talk) that the point is to control the card to the bottom of the deck while shuffling, and then to put it face up on the top of the deck using a one handed reverse (basically, yopu slide your thumb underneath the deck, then bring it back on top dragging the bottom card with it). I explain also that the key is to tilt the deck towards them and to look people in the eye to misdirect them, and strange enough, they usually are quite impressed by what I just shjowed them ! (man, so that's HOW he ddi it !")

I then explain that the big secret is to palm the card...to hide it in your hand if you will. While I pretend to show them how to palm the card, I do a houdini change placing the face up card 2nd from the top, while they think it's in my hand. While I say "and look, the card is quite invisible from all angles", I do a Charlier cut (unseen by everyone staring at the other hand)

I then finally show the hand empty, and that their card is face up in the middle of the deck. The usually don't ask anymore after that :D
Oct 28, 2007
Sydney Australia
I try to teach them as much as possible. However for those extremely persistent I will show them "to impress their friends" and them show them how to do a really simple self working card trick... like Raise Rise or an Antifaro
for me it totally depends on the group.
If a little kid asks i may teach them a trick.
if an adult asks, depending on the mood im in and how responsive the crowd is i MAY teach them one.
But with kids i usually do. because hell what are they gonna do?
If i teach the kid a trick. it usually is the jumping rubber band. because, well its simple and hardhitting and just difficult enough so if the kid doesnt get it on his third or fourth try they will give up.
if they are a little older, then the radar card trick.
but ive only just started using that as a teach trick. i may stop because its almost good enough to put in a show lol.

if they ask me how i do a good trick, i usually say, No, if i teach you my tricks, i'll be out of a job. you'll be makin a living and i'll be living in a van, down by the river. Something along thoes lines
Jul 9, 2008
i find a great fix to this problem is to show them the Las Vegas card cheat Routine. It looks like you are teaching them something but you are in fact not. plus that "teaches" them the pass which they will never be able to get down. or you can teach them the "Will Our Minds Merge?" trick. which has no slights in it.
May 2, 2008
This would actually be the perfect set up to other tricks. You can move into a trick that feels sort of like a lesson. Such as A Shuffling Lesson by Paul Harris, oorrrrr Search and Destroy by Aaron Fisher even. it?

Bingo! This is what I do as well. Although, the Shuffling Lesson isn't PH's, it's actually Chad Longs... :rolleyes:
Jun 29, 2009
I usually teach this unique trick, i'm not sure of the name, but it takes preparation:

You take certain cards out of the deck with a clear "direction" and these include:

3's, 5's, 6's, 7's, 8's, 9's and aces. No diamonds, but all other pips have a clear "direction".

You point all their directions one way. Spectator chooses a card. when you go to hand them the deck to put their card in, you point your thumb and pointer in towards your body as you grab the portion of the deck closest to them (the top portion) and in one smooth motion simply reverse the deck, therefore their card goes in the opposite way the other pips of the other cards are facing.

They can shuffle, and you simply look through and find their card. I've done it a hundred times. Whats great is that it isn't a trick that gives other tricks away, and it WILL satisfy laymen.

EDIT: To me, if the laymen want to perform now, you've clearly done your job as a performer. That is the epitome of a spectator being interested. Not only were they amazed, but they actually are willing to take more time to possess the skills that you clearly have.
Jun 29, 2009
PLEASE DO NOT DO THIS!!! Pointers are some of the most underused utilities in card magic... teaching it to laypeople ruins everything.

I do understand that, because obviously there is a magical entity to using cards. I use my discretion of course, i've performed the trick hundreds of times but only taught it twice. Both people have invested their time into learning magic.

Even for those people with a clear understanding that something is "always happening" they will be very impressed every time they cannot figure it out. I made the mistake of showing my best friend some techniques, and i feel sometimes he does not treat them with respect when i perform for him. I learned my lesson.
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