What Are The Greatest Close Up Magic Tricks Of All Time?

Close up magic tricks are, unsurprisingly, magic tricks you can do close up. This means that they’re good for small audiences and usually have few angle considerations. Of course, some of these tricks can be done on stage or in a parlor setting, but are also able to entertain just a few people if you’re working at a restaurant, on the street, a bar, or just entertaining your friend and family. Obviously magic comes in different categories, card magic and coin magic are normally perfect to do close up. In many ways, magic for virtual shows is a kind of close up magic, and there is a ton of mind reading magic that also works in close quarters. When you want to learn magic tricks, it’s often best to start with playing cards. When you get the basics of card magic down, you can move to more advanced sleight of hand and you’ll be entertaining people in no time. Let’s kick this list off with probably the oldest magic trick in the world.

The Cups and Balls

This is probably the oldest trick in the world. It is referenced in Seneca’s 45th Epistle to Lucilius over 2,000 years ago. Additionally, there is a painting in a burial chamber in Beni Hasan in Egypt showing what looks like someone performing this trick, but no one is totally sure if it’s showing a magic trick or an old version of a gambling con game.

Most modern versions of the trick are variations of Dai Vernon’s routine. The Professor’s routine features three cups and three balls. The balls vanish one by one, to be found under the cups, the balls then penetrate the cups, the spectators are then given the chance to choose which cup the balls appear under, and finally the production of large items, normally fruit.

If you see The Cups and Balls being performed today, it’s usually a version of Vernon’s routine you’ll see.

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The Linking Rings

Ernesto Melero is one heck of a clever guy. The linking rings is incredibly well known, it’s been performed since the 1800s. An early explanation sees print in Nouvelle magie balance dévoilée, Vol. 2, 1854, p. 39 by J.N.Ponsin.

Until Ernesto came along, there had not been a development to the main method for some time. He has made it easy to do links and unlinks of the rings that would be impossible without his special set. The idea is very simple, not mechanical, and can be learned in minutes by anyone familiar with the traditional method of performing the trick.

We absolutely believe this is the best close-up version of The Linking Rings ever released.

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Magic Loops

This simple loop of invisible thread enables you to perform miracles. And has been able to since 1907 when the method was first described in Conjurer’s Monthly Magazine, Vol. 1 No. 6, Feb 1907, p. 188. Even then, the article was titled “Some Old Tricks For New Beginners”, suggesting that even back then, it was an old idea.

The idea of using elastic thread was created by Finn Jon. He sold them through Georges Proust in the mid-eighties.

Today, magicians like Dynamo have popularized the use of them, and even our own Joshua Jay never leaves the house without some so he can perform his amazing Haunted Deck.

They’re also used for PK Touches, Floating Bills, and more PK-style effects.

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Haunted Key

The Haunted Key was originally used as a fortune telling device going back to around the 1800s. In this version, a large key was held between the pages of a bible, its ends extending beyond the pages of the book. Two spectators would rest the bible and key on their extended fingers. Similar to a Ouija board, the key could answer yes/no questions or even reveal letters.

The use of the key as a magic trick is also old, but printed references are hard to find. It was definitely being sold in the 1900s, and was then thought to be old. There is a reference by Joseph Kolar in The Linking Ring, Vol. 25 No 6, August 1945, p. 108 for a method balancing the key at the tips of the finger and thumb. This was being sold as a single page of instructions.

Today, The Haunted Key Deluxe combines the old methods with the aforementioned elastic loops to achieve a modern, incredible version of this old classic.

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RD Insta

Henry Harrius is the undisputed king of cube magic. RD Insta is the most visual solve ever created. Although the notion of solving a Rubik’s Cube magically is not new, Henry’s solution is a stunning masterpiece of modern magic.

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Double Cross

When it comes to close up magic tricks, Double Cross is one of the most popular releases in the last 10 years. In the effect you draw a small cross on the palm of your hand and close your hand. Following the magical gesture of your choosing, the cross vanishes. The spectator opens their hand and the cross is there.

The trick has its foundation in the centuries old Ashes On Palm effect, but is brought up to date by using a Sharpie.

Coin Bite

Well, we can thank David Blaine for popularising this very old trick. The folding coin used by Blaine was first written up in Sleight Of Hand by Sachs in 1885! Then Street Magic came along and magic shops couldn’t make them fast enough. Let’s remind ourselves of how Blaine took a very old magic prop and brought it bang up to date:

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