A Trick You Can Do

A Trick You Can Do

On this page you will find a trick that you can perform for your friends. It is not intended to turn you into a professional magician but who knows. There are three golden rules to magic they are PRACTICE, PRACTICE and PRACTICE. You must practice each and every effect before it is performed for your friends. If you do not you will spoil the presentation and you look rather silly, however, if performed well, your audience will be entertained and maybe baffled, good luck and have fun.

The Match Stick Game


  • One assistant
  • One box of matches. (Other small items such as coins will suffice instead of the matches).

Effect: The audience sees you making patterns with the matches that you tell them equals a number and you tell them what the number is. You would say, “If I lay this match next to this one, so the heads just touch like this that will equal three. If I move it like this it will equal five and if I add this one to the pattern like this, it will equal two” and so on.

Method: The actual pattern made by the matches has NOTHING to do with the number. The number only refers to the number of FINGERS that happen to be on the table at the time. Why do I need an assistant? I hear you ask. The assistant does two things.

  • Confirms the number that you have secretly told one of your victims, so they know that you are not making the whole thing up
  • Helps you hide the secret, as you can take your whole hand off the table and still give a number that the matches are supposed to represent.

You must also explain two other things during your performance.

  • That the number changes with time. Even though this pattern represented four a few seconds ago it now represents only two and in a little while, it maybe as many as 20. Obviously the number changes when you or your assistant changes the number of fingers (or thumbs) that are touching the table.
  • People that don’t know the secret may of course touch the table. These are called ‘outside influences’. So you would say that this pattern equals six (maybe one from you and five from your assistant) but with outside influence it equals 11 (because someone else happens at that moment to have a hand on the table)

Practice placing your hand on the table in a natural way without drawing attention to it. If people catch on, you need more practice. I have had friends and family at this one for hours and then give up and go home frustrated. Some people of course do catch on after a while and you must say to anyone who thinks they have ‘got it’, to play the game and make some patterns with the matches and confirm the number. You will soon know if they have got it.

This is a great way to entertain friends after a dinner party, try it and see.

If you want some more ideas give us a call on Freephone 0800 01 88 118, we will be glad to help.

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