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#3 Rope Thru Thumb

In this one, there are TWO, count ‘em, TWO Tricks in One – A volunteer holds the tip of your thumb while another pulls on the rope that is wrapped around your thumb. And YES, the rope goes RIGHT thru your thumb. How? Simple, you can PULL OFF your thumb!! And then you do that, too!!

When I started doing this trick about 18 years ago, I would just wrap the rope around my thumb and then pull it right thru my thumb. It amazed my audiences, but a few times members of the audience said they were sure I was just slipping the rope off the tip of my thumb. That’s when I asked a volunteer hold the tip of my thumb – to prove I was not just slipping the rope off.

Then at a different show a few years later, I actually had a teenager at a birthday party for his 50 year dad in Oakville, Ontario, say that I was unwinding the rope off my thumb by only pulling on one of the ends. So, that’s when I asked for a second volunteer to hold both ends of the rope and pull on the count of 3.

Over the years, I have added more and more bits to this very simple close up trick and have turned it into a routine involving two volunteers in a parlour (small show) show situation. What I want to tell you here is-listen to your audience. They will come up with ideas you can use to make your magic more interesting and fun.

One thing you want to be careful of though is to make sure you choose someone who you think will pull hard on the rope, because if they don’t, the rope may just slowly come from around your thumb and the audience will know what happened. If you choose someone who is very young or who seems shy, you should let them hold the ends and then you also hold the rope near the ends and pull with them on the count of 3, which will ensure you both pull at the same moment and fast enough as to not give away the secret.

And of course, at any time during your shows or stroll, you will get an audience member who wants to know how your tricks are done. When that happens, I always go into the “Pulling Off My Thumb” trick, which is a trick I don’t mind giving away because it is pretty well known and documented in many magic books for kids. The only thing I have added to that trick that I haven’t seen before is the idea of keeping your index finger on the joint of your thumb throughout the trick. This creates the psychological idea that there is only one thumb used because the index finger is on the thumb at the beginning and the end.

So, enjoy pulling a rope thru your thumb and always be ready to “pull off your thumb” if someone starts asking how your tricks are done!!

Oh…and once again, never forget that Practice makes Magic!


Steve Baker is a magician located in the GTA residing North of Orangeville, near Mount Forest, Ontario.

Since 1997, Steve has entertained adults and children at private functions and large public venues to amaze with sleight of hand, strolling magic, mentalism and fun characters from Cornwall to Windsor and from Port Credit to Subbury and many points in between in Ontario, Canada.