People don’t really go the bar to see or perform magic tricks. They want to have a good time with friends, perhaps meet someone interesting and, well, to get drunk tbh. But who doesn’t love a good bar trick when you are out with friends. After all, there are only so many things a group of friends can talk about. Also, magic tricks are the perfect ice-breaker and conversation starters for when you meet someone new (just make sure you actually pull off the trick and don’t end up embarrassing yourself, no pressure though). Magic tricks also come in handy when you want to mooch off a free drink from a friend, not to mention the pleasure of seeing their dumfounded expressions at your magical prowess.
So, the next time conversation is about fizzle out, you see someone who want to impress or you want Josh, that miserly old scoundrel, to buy you a drink then you simply whip out a couple magical tricks from the our stash of wizardry and proceed to astound!
The Snifter Switch
The bet: Place a cherry or olive on the bar and cover it with a tapered glass (wine goblet, brandy snifter) and one other glass (any kind). Bet your friends that they can’t move the olive into the second glass using nothing but the snifter covering it. They can’t touch the olive, split it or even drag it across the countertop.
The Payoff: The magic lies in science, specifically, in centrifugal forces. When everyone else tries (and fails) tell them to stand back and watch the magic unfold. Begin spinning the snifter around the olive until it is dragged into the center of the glass due to centrifugal forces working on it. Swiftly, turn the goblet upright and drop the olive into the second glass. Collect your $5 from the audience. Proceed to have a good night.
The bet: When there is a pile of pennies on the table, you and a friend get to draw 1, 2 or 3 pennies each turn, but no matter how many pennies your friend picks up, you will always be able to make draw last.
The Payoff: The trick is to lay down a pile of exactly 17 pennies and to make sure that your friend picks up first. The total draw for each turn has to be 4 pennies. For instance, if your friend picks up 3, you pick 1, if he picks 2 you pick 2 and if he picks 1 you pick 3. You’ll always win that way.
Upside Down Wine Bottle
The bet: That you can empty the content of a wine bottle into a bowl and then suck the wine back up into the bottle while holding it upside down in the bowl?
The Payoff: Again, science comes to the rescue. When emptying the bottle, leave a small amount in the bottom of the bottle. Proceed to microwave the bottle for around 3 minutes. Hold it very carefully with a cloth wrapped around to prevent burning. Lower the mouth into the bowl and voila, the wine will start to rise back into the bottle. What happens is that when you microwave it, the water and alcohol in the bottle turn into steam and vapor. When you take it out and lower it upside down into the bowl with wine, a seal is formed which quickly cools the steam and vapors. The pressure inside the bottle drops and the surrounding atmospheric pressure pushes the wine back into the bottle. I’ll have my free drink now, thank you very much!
The Bottle and Coin Trick
The bet: Place a banknote over the mouth of an empty bottle and hold it in place with some quarters. Now bet your friends, or the sponsor of that free drink, to remove the banknote without touching the coins, the bottle or making the coins fall to the floor. They will try to tug it slowly, pull it quickly or wiggle it out and inevitably, fail.
The Payoff: It’s simple really. Lick your finger and quickly snap it down the banknote, pulling it as you go along, in quick movement. The moisture on your finger will pull it out swiftly without moving the quarters. It would require some practice, but once you have mastered it, free drinks every evening!
The Simplest One Yet
The bet: Get a paper, a pen or marker and a hat. Writer your friend’s name on the top third of the paper, then your name in the middle third and again the friend’s name on the bottom third. Tear the paper into three equal strips and fold them. Put the pieces in a hat and bet your friend that every time you pull out your own name, he has to buy you a drink, but if you pull out his, you will buy him a drink. He will agree seeing how his name is in there twice and yours is only once.
The Payoff: This is a simple con. Simply shake the hat, put your hand inside, feel with your fingers along the top and bottom edges of the piece of paper you are going to pull out and surprise, surprise, it would be yours. How come? Because the strip with your name is torn both at the top and the bottom. You’re welcome.
The One with Water and Whiskey
The bet: Take two identical shot glasses and fill both to the brim, one with water and the other with whiskey. Ask your friends to transfer the contents of each into other without using a third shot glass or any other container. Most of them won’t even attempt it because they can’t see how.
The Payoff: Luckily, you can. Take a business card or a playing card and place it on top of the shot glass with water. Carefully invert the glass and place the card with the inverted water glass directly on top of the shot glass with whiskey. Whew! Next, very carefully slip the playing card slowly so that there is a slight space open between the two shot glasses. Very slowly, the water will begin to drop down and the whiskey will start to rise up? Wait, what! How? Science *smirks*. Alcohol is lighter than water and therefore, will rise. This may take a few minutes but eventually you will emerge the hero! Now about that free drink…
The One with a Strong Blow
The bet: Take an empty shot glass and put a dime right in the middle. Now wonder aloud is someone is willing to bet that they can take the dime out without touching the glass or the dime.
The Payoff: Lean near the edge of the glass and blow into it with everything that you got. The dime will blast out and drop onto the bar. With a little practice, you might even be able to catch it on its way out.
The Bottle and the banknote
The bet: Take an empty beer bottle and very carefully place it upside down right in the middle of a banknote. Ask friends if they’d be willing to remove the banknote from underneath the bottle without touching and moving the bottle. Smirk when they fail.
The Payoff: Very gently and carefully, start rolling the banknote towards the bottle. The rolling banknote will push the bottle off it very gently until it is off the note and on the table. Make sure you do not touch with your hands at all. You might be tempted to try the ‘swiping quickly the cloth/note from under the bottle’ trick but in that case make sure you are really, really good at catching the bottle and not breaking it. The bartender might not like that too much.
The bet: Take an empty glass and challenge your friends to balance a credit card on one rim of the glass. They would be able to do that easily. Don’t worry, we don’t want you to lose. Proceed to give them a quarter and ask them to now balance it on the edge of the credit card. They will try relentlessly, and fail. It is impossible.
The Payoff: But nothing is impossible for the maestro. When it is your turn, fill the glass with water right up to the rim. Place the credit card over one rim and then place the quarter gently on the outer edge of the credit card. The water tension would not let the card topple over when you place the coin. Proceed to collect your winnings.
The bet: Take three empty shot glasses and three filled shot glasses. Arrange them in a line so that the three empty shot glasses are the start followed by the three filled shot glasses. Ask your friends to change the arrangement to alternating shot glasses (one empty, one full, one empty, one full and so on) while moving only one shot glass. They will think hard. They will even move a shot glass around to figure out the arrangement. But they won’t succeed.
The Payoff: Lift the second filled shot glass and pour its contents into the second empty shot glass. Place the now empty shot glass back between the filled ones. Tadaa!