Let’s talk about sleight of hand, shall we?

Sleight of hand (and that is the way it’s spelled – not slight) is a technique used in magic where a magician makes use of hand movements to manipulate small objects such as coins and cards.

Sleight of hand is a technique that magicians can use in order to produce a required effect.

Certainly, there are tricks that do not use sleights and some of them are quite good. However, knowing and being proficient at even just a few sleights can create miracles in the minds of the audience.

There are a lot of different opinions on exactly how various sleights can be categorized, but a commonly accepted philosophy holds that there are seven different methods used for sleight of hand magic tricks. Each of them, of course, can be broken down into sub-categories. They usually require lots of practice before a person can be effective enough in using them.

Palming is one of the most common sleights and one that almost everyone has heard of even if you’re not a magician. It refers to the action of concealing an object in an apparently empty hand.  Harder than it sounds to perform properly.

The steal is another sleight of hand method wherein a performer tries to obtain a needed object secretly. This can be a card, coin, sponge ball or pretty much anything that can fit in your hand. Sometimes with proper misdirection, even larger objects can be “stolen” secretly and introduced into play. Think about the stereotypical gambler sneaking an extra ace into a game.

In a way, the opposite of stealing is ditching. This refers to the act of secretly getting rid of  an object that the performer doesn’t need. One minute the magician has it, the next, it’s gone.

If we think about our gambler again, he would ditch whichever card he replaced with his ace.

Loading is a technique that is used to move an object secretly to where the magician wants it to be in order to reveal it later. Sneaking a rabbit into a hat in order to produce it later would be an example of loading.

Simulation is another sleight of hand technique that magicians use to give the audience the impressions that something has happened when in fact, nothing has. This relies heavily on showmanship and acting.

Earlier, I mentioned misdirection. This is an invaluable tool in the magician’s arsenal – one might say that it’s indispensible. This involves whatever it takes to lead the audience to look somewhere else while the magician executes a secret move. Misdirection allows a magician to divert attention away from something he’s doing that might obviously give away the trick to the audience. Books are written just on this subject.

Switching is another sleight of hand principle that is used to exchange an object secretly in place of another. There are hundreds of switching techniques out there, some relying on gimmicks to help the exchange.

Doing sleight of hand magic takes a lot of practice since hand and body movements are often employed to generate a certain effect. Even a few different techniques can provide the basis to hundreds or thousands of magic tricks.

Knowing some of these methods can mean the difference between a professional magician and a hobbyist.

There are loads of books in print that can help you learn sleights and other useful magic techniques. One of the best on the market is a book by Joshua Jay called Magic: The Complete Course. It’s available through Amazon and is very inexpensive. It also comes with a two-hour DVD to help the budding magician see the moves in real time as well as reading about them. Click on the title above for more info.

In the interest of full disclosure, I will admit that I edited that book, but I have edited books for other magicians and this is the one I principally recommend. I receive no financial gain from the sale of these books.


How to Learn Magic Tricks


If you are wondering how to learn magic tricks, but weren’t sure where to begin, you’re in luck. There are three easy resources that anyone can use to learn magic tricks, and they’re all commonly available. You can learn nearly any magic trick you’d like to by consulting books, videos, and online resources. This article will explain how to find the best resources to learn the tricks you’d like to know how to perform, without getting scammed.


One easy way to learn magic tricks is by going to the local library. Most community libraries are free, and they generally have a large selection of magic books available. these books are often excellent resources for learning timeless classic magic tricks, card tricks, and sleight-of-hand. After all, most of these methods haven’t changed much over time. There are a few drawbacks to learning from books, however. Some libraries don’t update their collection frequently, so you may not be able to find information on the hottest new trick that you’d like to learn. If you don’t learn well from books, you may also have trouble with this method.


If books aren’t for you, perhaps video is a better medium. There are many DVDs available that will teach you magic tricks, and most cost under $20. If you don’t have any cash to invest, but still want to watch tricks being performed, you can always check out a video hosting site like YouTube. just do a search for the trick that you’d like to learn, and several videos are sure to pop up. Unfortunately, many of the performances and explanations on video hosting sites aren’t very professional, or even accurate. A lot of people upload videos of themselves long before they’ve become proficient at the trick. You should always keep this in mind when watching these types of videos.


If you’re serious about learning magic, these free resources just might not cut it. If you have a bit of money to invest, you might consider purchasing an online magic course. Many of these information products are quite comprehensive-some have audio and video included. They’re often designed and marketed by magicians for magicians, so you’re sure to get a quality product.


If you need to know how to learn magic tricks, And have never done magic before, it doesn’t really matter which method you choose. it’s best just to get started and jump in with both feet. Before you know it, you’ll be practicing your new skills and showing off your magic tricks to your friends and family. Learning magic is a worthwhile investment that will provide you with years of enjoyment and provide your family with years of entertainment.



How to Do Magic Tricks That Will Amaze and Baffle Your Friends


Anyone can learn how to do magic tricks. What most people don’t realize is that while the really impressive tricks you see on television seem difficult or mysterious, the fact of the matter is that all you need to do is practice, practice, and practice some more. But where do you find out how to do the great tricks like you see on television or on stage? Unfortunately, most of those tricks are custom created by the artist. The good news is that there are pretty impressive tricks out there for the taking, and all you have to do is give them a go.


One of the first places you’ll want to look to find out how to do magic tricks is the Internet. You’re here, aren’t you? The Internet is full of great websites teeming with information on how to perform simple tricks and how to practice the techniques you need to perform them. You can even go to any video sharing website and search for magic trick secrets and you’re likely to find some fairly nice tricks, explained in detail, and all right in front of you. The downside to this method is that you can search for literally hours before you find the really golden information that will help you get on your way to magician status. Search websites that are aimed at magic trick enthusiasts rather than broader video sites, and you’ll be more likely to meet with success.


Another great source for how to do magic tricks is hobby shops or magic shops. While there may not be one in every city, there is generally one somewhere near major metropolitan areas or places where there is a thriving arts community.

But enough where to learn magic tricks, let’s talk about how to DO magic tricks. The key to most magic tricks is distraction. You have to redirect your audience’s attention from what you are doing to what you want them to see. Watch the pros do it on television, and you’ll see that every trick involves some form of distraction, from dancing girls to flashing lights and fireworks. It’s a cheap way to do it, but it’s got to be done.


The other key to successfully performing magic tricks is dexterity. Practice your finger movements as precisely as you possibly can. Sleight of hand is absolutely essential to doing any kind of magic from card and coin tricks to catching bullets (definitely NOT a beginner trick).


Of course, all these tips are nothing without practice. If you don’t practice, you won’t get good. That’s a promise. Spend a little time in front of a mirror or doing the tricks in front of friends, and you’ll be on your way to magic trick stardom in no time.

Copyright © Rod Doiron