Our Favorite Close-Up Magic Tricks

If you want to learn how to do close-up magic, you’re in the right place. As Vanishing Inc. is the world’s largest magic store, offering more than 15,000 magic tricks for sale, we know a thing or two about how to do close-up magic. In fact, our cofounder Joshua Jay fooled Penn & Teller with a best-selling close-up magic trick he created called “Out of Sight.”

We’ve already put together the list of the greatest close-up magic tricks of all time. It included some of the oldest magic tricks in history such as the cups and balls and linking rings. However, since our entire Vanishing Inc. team is composed of professional magicians, we thought it would be fun to also share a list of our favorite close-up magic tricks.

magician amazes crowd with close-up card magic trick using playing cards

Close-up magic is exactly what its name implies. It’s amazing magic tricks performed for smaller groups that are closer to the action. In recent years, close-up magic has become more popular than ever—especially the art of “street magic” popularized by David Blaine, Dynamo and Justin Willman. Magicians like Shin Lim, Mat Franco and Jon Dorenbos, have also brought close-up magic to a global audience on America’s Got Talent.

The best part about close-up magic is that you don’t need a stage or any fancy equipment. It can be performed anywhere from restaurants to bars, weddings or even card game night. This is why there are so many celebrities that are magicians and many of the best magic tricks are close-up magic tricks.

Close-Up Card Magic

magician performs card magic trick Switch One with card under glass

Card magic tricks are one of the best ways to get started in close-up magic. There are so many ways to learn card tricks. You can find everything from easy card tricks for kids and adults to mathematical card tricks. There are also the easiest card tricks that are completely self-working and others that require you to learn sleight of hand.

For the most part, you can perform a ton of card magic with just an ordinary deck of cards that can be found anywhere like the popular Bicycle Playing Cards or any of these stylish custom playing cards. However, there are also a variety of special gaffed playing cards or trick decks you can use to unlock a whole new world of card trick potential.

Here are some of our favorite close-up card magic tricks:

Before you try to learn any of these card tricks, you’re going to want to get your card magic basics down. That's why we have a free card magic crash course to help you get started in card magic.

Learn Free Card Tricks

Close-Up Magic Tricks for Beginners

legacy close up magic trick for beginners with playing cards and wallet

Vanishing Inc. Magic doesn't just serve professional magicians. We also work hard to help beginner magicians just getting started in magic with resources like the five best magic books for beginners or how to learn magic tricks for free. This is offered on top of a special section devoted to magic for beginners.

Here are some our favorite close-up magic tricks for beginners:

Want to learn more magic tricks? Here is our guide for the best way to start learning magic tricks.

Best Magic Tricks for Beginners

Close-Up Coin Magic

Vanishing Inc. magician holds Catch coin magic quarter above hand

Close-up magic often uses everyday objects. Behind playing cards, coins are one of the most often used magic props. Performing magic tricks with coins or bills, known as coin magic or money magic, is one of the most popular styles of close-up magic.

Some sleight of hand artists like America’s Got Talent semi-finalist Eric Jones can astound audiences with just a few ordinary coins. However, there are also some great coin gimmicks and gaff coins like coin shells, jumbo coins, coins with heads on both sides, bite coins like the one used by David Blaine and much more.

Here are some our favorite close-up coin magic tricks:

Want to learn how to do magic tricks with coins? We have some free coin magic tricks you can learn right now.

Learn Easy Magic Tricks With Coins

Close-Up Mentalism Tricks

magician performs mentalism trick the oracle system from Vanishing Inc.

Mentalism is a fancy word to describe the type of mind reading magic performed by famous mentalists like Derren Brown or Patrick Jane from the TV show The Mentalist. It typically involves reading minds, predicting the future, telepathy, spoon bending, cold reading or any feat that gives the illusion you’re using the power of your mind. Mentalism is especially popular because it can be performed both close-up or on a stage.

Here are some our favorite close-up mentalism tricks

You don’t need to read all the best mentalism books or own all the most popular mentalism tricks to get started in mentalism. In fact, you can learn how mind reading tricks work for free.

Easy Mind Reading Tricks You Can Do Right Now

Close-up Magic Books

distilled close up magic book by ryan plunkett sits next to a glass of whiskey

While we have a variety of magic downloads and magic DVDs available, magic books continue to be one of the best ways to learn close-up magic. They often offer more value for your money and can be read at your own pace. Many magic books are even available for free in section 793.8 of your library.

Here are some our favorite close-up magic books

Want more suggestions? Check out these other popular magic books.

10 Books Every Magician Should Read

Close-Up Magic Tricks For Virtual Magic Shows

magician performs a magic trick over zoom using playing cards

In 2020, the magic community saw the introduction of performing virtual magic shows on Zoom. What started as a novelty to continue working during the COVID-19 pandemic has evolved into a legitimate form of close-up magic that is here to stay for the foreseeable future.

Here are some our favorite close-up virtual magic tricks

Here are some of the other best virtual magic tricks to perform online.

Best Virtual Magic Tricks

Fun Close-up Magic Tricks

unsolved rubik's cube sits in a wine glass on a table

These are some of our favorite card magic tricks that don’t fall into any particular category. They’re just a ton of fun to perform and should be learned by every magician. They’re sure to amaze friends and family.

The most fun close-up magic tricks

While these magic tricks are easy to learn, they’ll still need some practice. Check out these great tips for practicing close-up magic.

How to Practice Close-Up Magic