Do you dream of standing on a stage in front of an awe-struck audience? Can you hear it; the gasps of amazement, the quiet of a collective held breath, the whispers of wonder, and the thunderous applause? Beginning magicians start out with an overwhelming desire to bring joy, excitement, and awe to others as they jump into learning the art of magic.
It takes a lot of time and a lot of effort to get to the place you want, wowing audiences with your magic. It all begins with a little dream and a ton of practice!
If you’re ready to jump on board the magic train, you can start by learning some easy magic tricks. Here are 8 of the best magic tricks for beginners.
Beginning Magic Tricks
1. Sleight of hand
Sleight of hand is hands-down one of the top tricks you need to know as a magician. It comes in handy as the foundation of much of what you will do when performing magic tricks. You will want to learn sleight of hand and practice it regularly until it is basically second nature.
To learn sleight of hand, have someone pick a crayon from a box that is behind your back. Once they’ve chosen it, have them place it into your hands. Keeping your hands behind your back, turn to face the person and carefully scrape the crayon with your thumbnail, collecting a bit of wax under the nail.
With the crayon behind your back in one hand, wave your other hand in front of the person and let them know you are reading their mind. While you are waving your hand in front of their face, sneak a peek at the color under your fingernail. Then, reveal the color to the person.
2. Bending spoons
The bending spoon trick is a simple and fun magic trick that will wow your audience. The basis of the trick is pressing down on the spoon and making it appear that the spoon is bending. When you pick up the spoon, the audience sees that the spoon is unbent.
To perform this trick, grip the spoon with both of your hands and press the bowl of the spoon onto a table. Hold the handle of the spoon between your hands, wrapping your three fingers around it and placing your thumbs on top.
“Press down” on the spoon and make it appear the spoon is bending by sliding the handle of the spoon through your hands until it is at the base of your hands. After wowing your audience with the supposed bend, pick up the spoon and show them it is still straight.
3. Find the card
The basic find the card magic trick is always a crowd favorite. It is a simple trick with no preparation and can be used with any deck of cards. In this trick, a person will choose a card, not show it to you, and you will guess the card.
Set up the trick by having the person shuffle the deck of cards. When they are finished, hold the deck facing the person and make sure the back of the deck is towards you. When you do this, you will have the cards second, third, and forth from the back fanned out for the audience, with the top card behind them unbeknownst to them.
Ask the person to choose a card, and count 1,2,3 while pointing to the three cards that you have fanned out at the back. Once they have chosen, remind them to remember their card, while gathering the deck together, keeping the hidden card at the top of the deck.
Take the amount of cards from the top of the deck that matches the number of the chosen card, and then put them one by one anywhere in the deck, while counting. Due to the hidden card, you are simply moving their card to the top of the desk. Once it is in place, turn the card over and tell them that their card has magically moved to the top of the deck!
4. Freeze water instantly
Appear to freeze water in an instant with this tried and true magic trick. In this trick, you will pour water into a cup, say some magic words, and the water will pour out as ice.
Gather a non-see through cup, sodium polyacrylate, and a pitcher of water. Set up the trick beforehand by pouring 1 tablespoon of sodium polyacrylate into the cup. To perform the trick, pour ¼ cup of water into the cup. Say magic words, add a little performance piece about the magic, all while the water is reacting to the sodium within the cup.
Once the water has been absorbed into an ice-like gel, turn the cup over and show them the water is gone and the “ice” has taken its place.
5. Cork trick
The cork trick is a fun magic trick that makes it seem like two corks are stuck together and then pass through one another. To perform the trick, you will place a cork in the crook of each hand. Then, grab the cork in the right hand with the left first finger and thumb. Turn your hands, causing the right thumb to go through the loop of the left finger and thumb. At this point, it appears the corks are interlocked, but they aren’t.
Then, separate your hands. It will seem to your audience that the corks passed through each other, when they were actually never interlocked at all.
6. Levitating a card
Levitation is always a hit when it comes to magic tricks! One of the top beginner levitation tricks is the basic levitating card. In this trick, you will make it seem that a card is floating between your hands, from one to the other.
Prepare for this trick by creating a tab on the back of a card. Do so by taping a bit of a plastic straw horizontal on the back of the card. Cut a black thread and string it through the straw. Tie a loop that fits around your thumb around one end of the thread and tape the other end to the back of the straw, creating another loop.
Make sure you are wearing black when performing the trick so that the thread is essentially invisible. Place both loops around your thumbs, lift up the card, and use the thumbs to move the card back and forth along the thread. Against your black shirt, it appears to the audience that the card is floating between your hands.
7. Color changing card
Take the find the card notion up a notch by performing the color changing card trick! In this trick, the person will choose a card which will end up being the only different colored card in the entire deck.
When preparing the deck, place the card that you want them to choose on the bottom. Perform the hindu shuffle force, holding the deck in your right hand and using the fingers and thumb of your left hand, grabbing a group of cards from the top and moving them left. Once you grab the cards, drop them from your left fingers into your left hand. Tell the person to call out, “stop,” when they are ready.
With those cards in your left hand, perform the same technique, grabbing a group of cards from the top of your right hand and moving them left. Repeat this process until the person calls out, “Stop!” Once they do, stop shuffling and turn over the cards that remain in your right hand. This creates the illusion that the person chose the card, however, it is simply the card that you wanted them to choose.
Show the person the card and use the other hand to set the card face up on the table. Take the rest of the deck and put it on the table face down, so the person can see the blue backs. Ask the person to turn over their card. When they flip their card back up, they’ll be amazed to see a red back.
8. Linking paper clip
In this simple trick, two paper clips magically connect in midair. To perform it, you will need two paper clips and a dollar bill. Fold the dollar bill into thirds, like an accordion. Connect one paper clip to the front of the bill, at the top. It needs to go over both the front and the middle layer of the bill. Connect the other clip to the back, at the top. Holding one end of the dollar in each hand, pull them apart quickly. The clips will fly up into the air and when they land, they will be attached.
The Final (Magic) Word
You don’t choose magic. Magic chooses you. Once it finds you, it keeps on calling to you until you finally answer.
You’ve heard it. You’re ready to answer the call. You just need to know how.
With these 8 simple magic tricks, you can begin to develop the skills you need to put on an awe-inspiring magic show. Practice and practice again. You’ll be ready for the stage in no time.