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8 Easy Magic Tricks For You To Show Off At Parties

8 Easy Magic Tricks For You To Show Off At Parties

Everyone is fascinated with magic tricks, but few realize how easy most of them are to perform. As a kid, you may have gotten a magic kit as a present and probably spent time mastering them to “amaze” your parents and relatives. It was fun. Now, as an adult, you can channel your inner Houdini and become an instant magician at your next party.

1. Show your psychic power

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    Image via WikiHow

    Here’s a trick built upon a little quirk of math that not too many people know about. When 9 is multiplied by any number between 2 and 9, the digits of the answer will always add up to 9. That is the basis for this trick, and here are the easy steps:

    1. Ask a single person to select a number between 2 and 9. Ask them to then multiply that number by 9.
    2. Ask them to add the two digits of the answer. (It will always be 9).
    3. Ask them to subtract 5 from that number (It will always be 4).
    4. Ask them to assign an alphabet letter to the number based upon A=1; B=2; C=3 and so forth (They will get D).
    5. Tell them to think of a country that begins with that letter, but not to say it out loud. 99.9% of the time they will choose Denmark (who’s heard of Djibouti?)
    6. Now, tell them to take the second letter of that country’s name and think of an animal that begins with that letter, but keep it secret as well.
    7. Pause and appear to be giving this some thought. Then quite casually, say, “I don’t think Denmark has elephants, except in zoos.”

    2. Magically linking paper clips

    dollar-paper-clips-ictcrop_gal

      Image via Real Simple

      There really is no magic to this trick, but no one will know that but you. The next time you need to go to a birthday or graduation party, and you have not had time to find the perfect gift for the occasion, try using a much larger bill for this trick and presenting that to the recipient afterward as their gift. You are going to make two paperclips magically link in midair.

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      Here’s how it is done:

      1. Fold a dollar bill, accordion style, in thirds, as done in the picture above.
      2. Next, attach one of the paper clips to the front piece of the bill and over the middle piece as well. VERY IMPORTANT: The short side of the paper clip should be facing you. And be certain that the paper clip is toward the edge of the bill, not over toward the fold.
      3. The second paper clip should be attached exactly the same way to the back piece of the bill and should also be over the middle piece as well. VERY IMPORTANT: The short side of the paper clip should be facing away from you this time, and the paper clip should be more toward the edge of the bill, not close to the fold.
      4. Now, hold each end of the bill with one hand and snap it straight. The paperclips will fly up into the air and land linked together. Note: They actually link when the snap occurs, but don’t reveal that.

      3. The coin vanish

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        Image via Howcast

        This one may take a bit of practice, because there will be a secret pocket that you don’t want to reveal to your audience as you swirl the empty scarf at the end of the trick.

        Materials needed:

        • a scarf that is of flimsy material and a dark solid color
        • a rubber band (if you can find one close in color to the scarf, all the better).
        • a quarter

        Before you begin this trick, you need to put the small rubber band around your thumb and next three fingers of your left hand.

        Do not let others see that rubber band. Hold your hand at your side or put it in your pocket. When you get ready to do the trick, pull out the scarf with your right hand and drape it over your left had. Ask someone for a coin. Place the coin on the scarf.

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        As you are folding the scarf in any way you wish, open up your fingers and capture the coin with just a small amount of the scarf. Remove your fingers from the rubber band as it is capturing the coin. You can then wave the scarf or let it fall to the floor, but you will need to be careful how this is done, so no one sees that little rubber band.

        If you want to then reverse the trick, place the scarf back over your left hand, push down into the scarf with your right hand letting the rubber band fall into your left hand. Pull the scarf back up and reveal the coin.

        4. The rising card

        martini-rising-cards_2

          Image via Martin’s Magic

          This one is a bit complicated to explain, but you can manage it! For this trick, you need a regular deck of cards and a volunteer. This explanation is a bit complicated and detailed, so once you have read through this please watch the video as well.

          1. You hold a deck of cards in your hand upright, as shown in the picture above. The last card facing you and away from your audience has been lowered just a bit.
          2. You pull up the last three cards of the deck and fan them out. They are really not the last three cards, because you still have that one that has been lowered back there.
          3. Ask a volunteer to choose one of the three cards that you have pulled up. Let us suppose they choose the middle one which is, in your head, card #2. You then slide the cards back down with the one lowered card still behind them. Their #2 is now actually #3 because you have that one card behind them.
          4. Place the deck face down and start taking the cards from the top of the deck and counting off as you put those cards somewhere in the middle of the deck. If they chose card #2, then you count 1, place it in the middle and then count 2, placing it in the middle. Their card is actually the top one on the pile, because remember their card was actually #3.
          5. Put the deck back in its original upright position. Place the index finger of your other hand on top of the deck, wiggle is just a bit as the pinkie of that hand pushes the card up from the back of the deck. It might be a little confusing, but trust me that the video will help explain it all!

          5. The coin pyramid

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            Image via YouTube

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            While this next trick is not “magical,” it is certainly a great one to test and frustrate your fellow partygoers. You will need 10 coins to make a pyramid as shown in the picture above.

            Now the “trick” as you explain it to your friends is to invert this pyramid in only three moves, moving only one coin at a time. They can only move three coins total. Unless they have seen this before, they will be pretty stumped. You will then show them in three easy moves.

            One: Switch the bottom-left coin to the 2nd from the top row on the right side.

            Two: Move the bottom-right coin again to the 2nd from the top row on the right side.

            Three: Move the top coin to the center of the bottom.

            Voila!

            6. The find the card “sucker” trick
            circus6

              Image via Magic.About.com

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              This trick is actually a holdover from old carnival days, when “suckers,” as the “carnies” called them, placed a bet when they were absolutely certain they would win. Here is how they were “suckered” in.

              1. Take a regular deck of playing cards and put the Ace of spades on the bottom of the deck.
              2. Have the person you are about to fool pick any card from the deck and not show it to you.
              3. Cut the deck in half. Ask the person to place his or her card on the top of the first half of the deck (NOT the half with the ace of spades on the bottom). Place the other half on top of the person’s card.
              4. The individual’s card is now the one right after the ace of spades.
              5. Now you begin turning over the cards one by one telling the “victim” that you will tell them when you find their card. They are to say nothing as you go through the process.
              6. You start flipping over cards. Theirs will be the card that you flip right after the ace of spades.
              7. You flip over the ace of spades, then their card, and continue on. At this point, they know that they’ve won the bet because you have already passed up their card.
              8. You flip over a few more cards and then say, “The next card I flip over will be yours. Would you like to place a bet on this?” Of course, the victim will, because you already flipped their card and didn’t call it. The next card cannot possibly be theirs.
              9. Once the best is placed, you reach down to the cards on the table and flip over their card. You win.

              This was not fun for the victim of these carnivals when they lost a great deal of money on the scam. You, however, can be much nicer and suggest something more in line with a joke, perhaps a burger.

              7. The magical moving pen

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                Image via YouTube

                For this trick, you will only need a pen (it must be round), and a flat smooth surface, along with the ability to be very sneaky. You will announce that you will be moving the pen across the surface with your “mind” power – telekinesis, that is.

                1. Rub the pen on your sleeve or pants, stating that in order to set up the special mental force field you have to infuse some static electricity into the pen (this is good drama).
                2. Then, place the pen on the surface, with your hand above it, index finger pointing out. Lean over to “focus” your mental energy on the pen and begin to move your index finger forward as you quietly blow on the pen. (This may actually take some practice, so that you can be sneaky enough). One suggestion is that you wear a baseball cap to “disguise” your mouth a bit as you are leaning over. But, usually, the observers are so intent on the pen moving and your finger, they will not be watching your mouth.

                8. Breaking a pencil with an index card

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                  Image via Howcast

                  This one might be just a bit painful, so practice beforehand. Carrots will also work quite well.

                  1. Tell your audience that you are actually a secret ninja and can turn any object into a weapon.
                  2. For this trick you will need a pencil and an index card.
                  3. Give the pencil to a volunteer and ask them to hold it very tightly by both ends.
                  4. Take the index card and hold it as if you are going to slice through the pencil with its edge. Hold the card above the pencil, making downward motions toward the pencil as you count off to three.
                  5. On the count of three, you extend your index finger out along the card and come down on the pencil. The pencil will actually be broken by your finger not the card.
                  6. Here is the video, so you can see the trick in action.

                  Featured photo credit: magic hands/jenny.nash712 via flickr.com

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                  Last Updated on August 12, 2019

                  How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

                  How To Start a Conversation with Anyone

                  The hardest part of socializing, for many people, is how to start a conversation. However, it is a big mistake to go about life not making the first move and waiting for someone else to do it [in conversation or anything].

                  This isn’t to say you must always be the first in everything or initiate a conversation with everyone you see. What should be said, though, is once you get good at starting conversations, a lot of other things will progress in the way you want; such as networking and your love life.

                  Benefits of Initiating a Conversation

                  First thing is you should acknowledge why it is a good thing to be able to initiate conversations with strangers or people who you don’t know well:

                  • You’re not a loner with nothing to do.
                  • You look more approachable if you are comfortable approaching others.
                  • Meeting new people means developing a network of friends or peers which leads to more knowledge and experiences.

                  You can only learn so much alone, and I’m sure you’re aware of the benefits of learning from others. Being able to distinguish the ‘good from bad’ amongst a group of people will help in building a suitable network, or making a fun night.

                  All people are good in their own way. Being able to have a good time with anybody is a worthy trait and something to discuss another time. However, if you have a specific purpose while in social situations, you may want to stick with people who are suitable.

                  This means distinguishing between people who might suit you and your ‘purpose’ from those who probably won’t. This can require some people-judging, which I am generally very opposed to. However, this does make approaching people all the more easier.

                  It helps to motivate the conversation if you really want to know this person. Also, you’ll find your circle of friends and peers grows to something you really like and enjoy.

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                  The Rules

                  I don’t have many rules in this life, for conversation or anything; but when it comes to approaching strangers, there are a few I’d like used.

                  1. Be polite. Within context, don’t be a creepy, arrogant loudmouth or anything. Acknowledge that you are in the company of strangers and don’t make anyone feel uncomfortable. First impressions mean something.
                  2. Keep it light. Don’t launch into a heartfelt rant or a story of tragedy. We’re out to have fun.
                  3. Don’t be a prude. This just means relax. This isn’t a science and conversation isn’t a fine art. Talk to people like you’re already friends.
                  4. Be honest. Be yourself. People can tell.

                  Who To Talk To?

                  I’m of the ilk that likes to talk to everyone and anyone. Everyone has a story and good personalities. Some are harder to get to than others, but if you’re on a people-finding excursion, like I usually am, then everyone is pretty much fair game.

                  That said, if you’re out at a function and you want to build a network of people in your niche, you will want to distinguish those people from the others. Find the ‘leaders’ in a group of people or ask around for what you’re looking for.

                  In a more general environment, like at a bar, you will want to do the same sort of thing. Acknowledge what you actually want and try to distinguish suitable people. Once you find someone, or a group of people, that you want to meet and talk to, hop to it.

                  Think of a few things you might have in common. What did you notice about their dress sense?

                  Building Confidence

                  The most important part of initiating conversation is, arguably, having confidence. It should be obvious that without any amount of self-esteem you will struggle. Having confidence in yourself and who you are makes this job very easy.

                  If you find yourself doubting your worth, or how interesting you are, make a few mental notes of why you are interesting and worth talking to. There is no question you are. You just have to realize that.

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                  What do I do? What is interesting about it? What are my strong points and what are my weak ones? Confident people succeed because they play on their strengths.

                  Across the Room Rapport

                  This is rapport building without talking. It’s as simple as reciprocated eye contact and smiles etc. Acknowledging someone else’s presence before approaching them goes a long way to making introductions easier. You are instantly no longer just a random person.

                  In my other article How Not To Suck At Socializing, there are things you can do to make yourself appear approachable. This doesn’t necessarily mean people are going to flock to you. You’ll still probably need to initiate conversations.

                  People notice other people who are having a blast. If you’re that person, someone will acknowledge it and will make the ‘across the room rapport’ building a breeze. If you’re that person that is getting along great with their present company, others will want to talk to you. This will make your approach more comfortable for both parties.

                  The Approach

                  When it comes to being social, the less analytical and formulaic you are the better. Try not to map out your every move and plan too much. Although we are talking about how to initiate conversation, these are really only tips. When it comes to the approach, though, there are some things you should keep in mind.

                  Different situations call for different approaches. Formal situations call for something more formal and relaxed ones should be relaxed.

                  At a work function, for instance, be a little formal and introduce yourself. People will want to know who you are and what you do right away. This isn’t to say you should only talk about work, but an introduction and handshake is appropriate.

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                  If you’re at a bar, then things are very different and you should be much more open to unstructured introductions. Personally, I don’t like the idea of walking directly to someone to talk to them. It’s too direct. I like the sense of randomness that comes with meeting new people.

                  However, if there is rapport already established, go for it. If not, take a wander, buy a drink and be aware of where people are. If there is someone you would like to talk to, make yourself available and not sit all night etc.

                  When someone is alone and looks bored, do them a favor and approach them. No matter how bad the conversation might get, they should at least appreciate the company and friendliness.

                  Briefly, Approaching Groups

                  When integrating with an established group conversation, there is really one thing to know. That is to establish the ‘leader’ and introduce yourself to them. I mentioned that before, but here is how and why.

                  The why is the leader of a group conversation is probably the more social and outgoing. They will more readily accept your introduction and then introduce you to the rest of the group. This hierarchy in a group conversation is much more prevalent in formal situations where one person is leading the conversation.

                  A group of friends out for the night is much more difficult to crack. This may even be another topic for discussion, but one thing I know that works is initiating conversation with a ‘stray’. It sounds predatorial, but it works.

                  More often than not, this occurs without intention. But if you do really want to get into a group of friends, your best bet is approaching one of them while they are away from the group and being invited into the group.

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                  It is possible, like everything, to approach a group outright and join them. However, this is almost an art and requires another specific post.

                  Topics Of Conversation

                  Other than confidence, the next thing people who have trouble initiating conversations lack is conversation! So here are a few tips to get the ball rolling:

                  • Small talk sucks. It’s boring and a lot of people already begin to zone out when questions like, “What do you do?” or “What’s with this weather?” come up. Just skip it.
                  • Everything is fair game. If you are in the company of someone and a thought strikes you, share it. “This drink is garbage! What are you drinking?” “Where did you get that outfit?”
                  • Opinions matter. This is any easy way to hit the ground running in conversation. Everyone has one, and when you share yours, another will reveal itself. The great thing about this line of thought is that you are instantly learning about the other person and what they like, dislike etc.
                  • Environment. The place you’re in is full of things to comment on. The DJ, band, fashions; start talking about what you see.
                  • Current events. Unless it’s something accessible or light-hearted, forget it. Don’t launch into your opinion on the war or politics. If your town has recently hosted a festival, ask what they think about it.

                  Exiting Conversation

                  Although I’d like to write a full post on exiting strategies for conversations you don’t want to be in, here are some tips:

                  • The first thing is don’t stay in a conversation you’re not interested in. It’ll show and will be no fun for anyone.
                  • Be polite and excuse yourself. You’re probably out with friends, go back to them.  Or buy a drink. Most people will probably want to finish the conversation as much as you.

                  Likewise, you could start another conversation.

                  If you’d like to learn more tips about starting a conversation, this guide maybe useful for you: How to Talk to Strangers Without Feeling Awkward

                  Featured photo credit: Priscilla Du Preez via unsplash.com

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