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Retention Pass & Vanish: Coin Magic Techniques

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This Retention Pass and Coin Vanish Magic Trick makes use of the following techniques:

The Finger Palm


If you are not yet familiar with these methods I suggest that you study and practice them carefully before you attempt this routine.

You can find them all here: The Magic Tricks Guide to Fundamental Coin Magic Techniques

So, if you are ready to try this, let's take a look at the routine. This is a 'classic' routine. Don't make the mistake of discounting these famous old routines because of their familiarity. Remember that most people still don't know how they are accomplished. These routines have become 'classics' precisely because they are good enough and enjoyable enough to have stood the test of time and exposure, yet remain as popular as ever.

Here's what the effect looks like from audience's side of things, step-by-step:

retention pass

The magician shows a coin, clearly displayed between the thumb and fingers of one hand. The other hand is displayed empty.

retention pass

The magician places the coin in the open palm of the empty hand.

retention pass

The magician then turns the coin over in the palm, clearly displaying it as it flashes in the light.

retention pass

The fingers then close around the coin, holding it within the fist and the hand that placed the coin there is removed.

retention pass

The magician then slowly opens both hands to show that mysteriously...the coin has vanished!

It is a simple but highly effective illusion. The first part is called a 'retention pass' for two reasons. One is because the coin is not actually transferred from one hand to the other, but retained. The other, and more interesting reason, is because it makes use of a very powerful psychological effect called 'retention of vision'. When the magician 'flashes' the coin in the palm it leaves a strong impression on the retina of the observer, causing the brain to continue to 'see' the coin even after it has gone. The effect lasts for a split second but it is very convincing and gives the conjuror just enough time to conceal the coin undetected. So, now let's look at this from the magician's perspective and see how the illusion is accomplished:

retention pass

After 'flashing' the coin in the palm, the magician curls the fingers around it - or so it seems. Infact the thumb slips the coin back and it is retained...

retention pass

...and finger palmed as the hand withdraws. At this point all attention is drawn to the closed hand in which it is thought that the coin is concealed.

retention pass

Whilst attention is now focussed on the slowly uncurling fingers of the other hand, the magician snaps the coin backwards and...

retention pass

...and into the sleeve. Here we see the coin visibly in the sleeve but this is only for clarity of explanation. In practice you will send the coin whizzing all the way to the elbow.

Both hands can then be shown quite openly front and back because they are really empty. Clearly you need to have practiced the technique of sleeving to a high standard and be wearing appropriate clothing. Simple as it is, this trick can be high-impact if it is performed well.

Have you checked out these fantastic coins for magic tricks? Have a look at this: Magic Coins & Gimmicks

All the best with your magic!

For anyone interested in taking coin magic seriously, I'd like to personally recommend the Bobo's Modern Coin Magic 4 DVD Set, which is a detailed course in all aspects of coin magic, tricks and performance. It contains video demonstrations and explanations of nearly all the techniques, sleights, effects and routines in the unsurpassed classic of modern coin magic. I've studied the DVDs and think they are superb. For most people the text and line illustrations of the original book require a deal of work to interpret and understand. Here that work is done for you: you just watch, repeat and learn. If you regard these DVDs as a complete course in coin magic, you will learn to a very high professional standard. It's simply the best there is - and the price is amazing, too!

Get Modern Coin Magic Now!

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