#5 Cup or Pocket
It’s like “The Old Shell Game” only simpler: not 3 shells and a pea – just one tiny cup and a ball. And then you ask: “Is the ball in the cup or my pocket?” And just when they think they know, it’s not a ball anymore!!
There are two NEW secret moves in this beautiful piece of misdirection (the other is the finger palm from videos #2 and #4) where the ball actually creates the misdirection for you. You do the first move over and over again as the ball is rolling across your table. The audience will be watching amazed at the ball that has once again reappeared in the little cup.
The second new move is a false transfer, that I will get to later. Preparation: one cup, two identical balls and a final load that can be anything that fits in the cup.
Now, I’m left handed so I will tell you where and how I do the moves for this trick, but you’ll have to try it out with each hand and different pockets to see what feels most comfortable for you.
Everything goes into your right pants or jacket (if you’re wearing one) pocket and you are set to find your audience. Since I created this video, I have changed the “patter” (what I say) that I use when doing this trick.
So for you who are reading this after watching the video, you get the new patter warning your audience to beware of “conmen” playing this game of chance.
Here how I start out: “Has anyone heard of The Old Shell Game? It’s an ancient game of chance that ‘conmen’ performed to take money from unsuspecting passers by on street corners or markets as long ago as ancient Toronto…just kidding…ancient Roman times.”
Now, I said Toronto there, because I was doing the trick in Toronto. You don’t have to say Toronto…unless you are in T.O. If you’re in Ajax, say….you get the idea!
I continue: “The conmen placed a pea under one of 3 walnut shells, then he moved the shells around and asked the mark-that’s what conmen called the unsuspecting audience they had just gathered, where the pea was. A crowd would gather and before long everyone was losing lots of money believing and betting they knew where the pea was. What the people or marks didn’t know was that this kind of ‘game of chance’ is a magic trick!! There is NO chance of winning at this game.”
This is when I reach into my pocket and take out the cup and one ball. And I say: “I’m going to show you what this game would look like and I’m going to make it even simpler by only using one tiny cup and a ball. You still won’t be able to win, but see if you can tell if the ball is in the cup or in the pocket?”
The first move is an actual transfer of the ball and then the pretend move to the pocket. You move the ball from your right hand to your left and hide it there and then really put the ball into the cup, but now you pretend to move the ball back into your right hand and put the right hand into your pocket. Then you ask the audience: “Where do you think the ball is? In the cup or in the pocket?” About half the people will think the ball is in your pocket and half will think it’s in the cup. That’s OK, because this is just a set up for what’s coming next.
But first, the hand in your pocket now secretly gets the second ball and holds it in finger palm (ring and baby finger). Now, you pick up the cup with the left hand and tip it over and let the first ball roll across the table. Every time the ball rolls across the table is the perfect misdirection to allow you to move the cup into the right hand and simultaneously reach for the rolling ball with the left hand and load the hidden ball into the cup from your right hand. Then you hold up the ball in your left hand as you put the cup down on the table. And finally, place the ball into your right hand for the second phase.
This time you execute a false transfer, which is pretending to place the ball from your right hand into your left hand, but you secretly keep it in your right hand. You hold the ball in the middle of your right palm, and then you put your right thumb on the ball as you turn your hand over. This will convince your audience that you leave the ball in your left hand.
This is very important. Move your left hand first and focus all of your attention on it. Here is where my patter gets different from the video. Now, you pretend to put the ball into the cup. Next, you move your right hand to your pocket and ask where the ball is again. Most people will now say they think the ball is in the cup, but as I said it’s a trick. It doesn’t matter what they say. I continue: “If you say that the ball is in the cup, I will show you the ball is in my pocket.” Raise your right hand to show the ball and then put it back into your pocket. “But if you say the ball is in my pocket, I will show you it is in cup.” With the left hand, tip over the cup and let the ball roll across the table and once again move the cup into the right hand and simultaneously reach for the rolling ball with the left hand and load the hidden ball into the cup from your right hand. Then you hold up the ball in your left hand as you put the cup down on the table. And finally, place the ball into your right hand for the third phase.
From this point on I pretty much do what you saw in the video. Now that the audience believes the ball can appear wherever you want it to, now give them some fake reasons for being able to do it.
First, talk about the trap door and follow the steps on the video and then patter about being able to use magic dust to make the ball invisible and finally the strange ability to change the ball into whatever you want for the finale.
So, this one was a very long post because it is very complicated to explain intricate manipulative moves with words, but just take it one sentence at a time and you’ll get it.
And once again, don’t rush this. Practice it. That’s the only way that it will look like MAGIC!! ——————————————————————————————————————————————————– Steve Baker is a magician located in the GTA residing North of Orangeville, near Creemore, Ontario.
Since 1997, Steve has entertained adults and children at private functions and large public venues to amaze them with sleight of hand, strolling magic tricks, mentalism and fun characters from Toronto to Sudbury and from Windsor to Cornwall in Ontario – Yours to Discover!!