Do you want to know how to learn magic tricks for free?
Magic will impress people. Magic will astound people. Magic might even win you friends!
Magic is easy.
No seriously, magic tricks are generally really easy. That’s the big secret that nobody wants you to know!
YOU can learn enough incredible magic in a day to convince people you have some kind of mystic powers, if you know where to look.
Want to know how? Read on for the ULTIMATE step-by-step comprehensive guide to learning amazing magic today.
There are FIVE key steps which we’ll go over right now. They are:
1. Choose your style
2. Your ONLY investment. A deck of cards.
3. YouTube: the best magic resource out there.
4. Perfect practice makes perfect
5. Start performing!
(BONUS STEP) 5. Take it to the next level with ADVANCED magic.
Before we start, why magic?
Magic has been around since, well forever. Ancient Egyptian murals show magicians entertaining crowds with tricks, which is pretty cool if you ask me. Magic has been popular forever, and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
Remember the first time you saw a magic trick? Chances are, you were a young child at the time and were convinced that magic was real. Can you remember that incredible feeling of being well and truly astounded by something?
People love to be fooled. It takes them right back to these memories and feelings of being a kid.
What I love about magic is that it gives you an insight into what people are really like; once you’ve blown their socks off with some magic they drop any persona or social facade they have on, and they become their real self with you. I love that, and I think you will too!
So no more waiting around. If you’re ready to find out how to get started in magic, let’s go ahead and start with step No.1
Step No.1: Choose Your Style
Have you ever watched David Copperfield float across the stage and wished you could do that? You might be suited to stage magic, which plays big but is hard to learn at home.
Or maybe you’re a fan of Derren Brown and love watching him get inside people’s heads. You might enjoy learning about mentalism and messing around with your audience’s thoughts.
What about comedy magic? Penn and Teller style.
And don’t forget the awesome magic that can be achieved with some sleight of hand and a couple of coins. Learn coin magic here!
Or like me, you enjoy watching David Blaine go out on the street and wow people with nothing but a deck of playing cards? Card magic might be for you. In fact, I think (personally) that card magic is the best way to go as a beginner.
I think as a beginner, you should have your end goal in mind when you’re learning, but don’t worry too much if you’re not sure yet.
The best way to figure out which type of magic is best for you is by giving them all a go and working out which type feels most natural and enjoyable.
If you want more advice on which type of magic is best, have a look at this post, and come back when you’re ready to get going!
Onto step number two…
Step No.2: Your ONLY Investment. A Deck Of Cards.
If you think that you need to spend hundreds of dollars on huge magic tricks to impress people, you’re completely…
There is only ONE thing that you’ll need. A deck of cards. This small pack of 52 ordinary looking playing cards will become the backbone of your magic.
If you want to know how to become a magician, than this is the answer. Full stop.
There are THOUSANDS of tricks you can accomplish with cards, and it’s the best all round way to get yourself going. Regardless of what style magic you have chosen, a deck of cards will come in useful for you.
Mentalists might get their spectator to pick a card, and then get inside his head and guess what he is thinking of. A classic illusion that is accomplished by nothing more than cards!
A comedy magician might perform a routine where the spectator picks a card and it ends up in a… disturbingly gross location. Check out this video for some inspiration!
And obviously, card magicians could use cards for any number of effects. Making them vanish, making them reappear, making them float!
You get the idea; cards are the key to your success as a magician going forward.
Luckily, it’s incredibly easy to get your hands on good quality playing cards without too much effort. In fact- you might even already have a deck of cards lying around that you can pick up and start using right away.
If you don’t, I’d recommend picking up some Bicycle cards; $5 for two packs is a great deal. That little investment is going to last you a LONG time.
Of course, there are plenty of other options out there and you can read all about picking your playing cards wisely right here!
Once you’ve got your hands on a deck of playing cards, you don’t have to spend any more money. None at all!
Everything you need is included in this deck, and there’s no point cashing out $500 bucks for ‘the floating table’ when you can wow people JUST AS MUCH with a simple card trick.
Now that you’ve got everything you need to get going, you want to know where you actually start your learning.
Onto step number 3 to answer that very question.
Step No. 3: YouTube- The Best Magic Resource Out There.
50 years ago, amateur magicians had to go to their local libraries and spend hours pouring over old magic books if they wanted to understand magic techniques and tricks.
Now, there’s nothing wrong with learning magic tricks from books (I actually made a post about the best magic books), but if you’re like me, you prefer to learn visually, which is where YouTube comes in.
There are hundreds of amazing magic tutorials just waiting to be watched on YouTube if you know where to look. Here are my personal favorite channels to learn from:
This is the Grandaddy of all magic channels on YouTube. No, seriously. This guy has been making top quality magic trick tutorials for almost 10 years now!
There’s almost too much choice when you take a look at his videos.
Most of the card tricks taught here only require a single deck of cards, which you are already kitted out with.
The tricks are simple but the methods are clever; you’d be surprised just how good people will think you are once you’ve mastered a few.
If I had to put a price value on the content of 52Kards, I’d say their magic tutorials are worth hundreds of dollars. But luckily for you, they’re completely free.
While Mismag822 teaches you some great card tricks, 52Kards takes it to the next level by showing you how to achieve specific moves and techniques.
Mismag is great, but the channel is mainly geared towards a younger audience. If you really want to learn great magic, 52Kards is the place to go.
Consider learning the guitar; you could just search for a tutorial on how to play a song. You might find one that shows you how to play it; great, right?
But what if you were able to learn the theory behind it so you could create your own songs? How much better would that be?
That’s what you get with 52Kards. Rather than just learning a card trick, you learn the sleights (moves) that enable you to create your own tricks. That’s much more useful in my opinion.
For example, here’s a basic tutorial that shows you how to make a card disappear.
And this is only the beginning. There’s so much free content that it baffles me why there aren’t more magicians out there! Penguin Magic even offers a whole section of their site to free magic trick tutorials. But for now, let’s stick to YouTube.
Chris Ramsay is a down to earth magician who not only brings out some great magic tutorials for free, but is also just pretty entertaining to watch. He’s the real deal; some of his magic blows me away.
Here’s a cool video of Chris performing magic. If you enjoy it, just think about the fact that he’s teaching you some of the same stuff for free on his channel! How good is that?
Sure, he’s not as active on YouTube as he used to be, but there’s no denying that Jarek120 (also known as How To Disturb Reality) is one of the ‘heavyweights’ of magic channels.
His content is a mix of all the channels above- some vlogs, some card trick tutorials, some card sleight tutorials, and much more.
Oh, and he’s also a wrestler.
ADVANCED MAGICIANS ONLY. You have been warned!
This guy pulls out all the stops in his card tricks; he’s one of the best sleight of hand artists in the world and he’s publishing tutorials that explain exactly how to do them.
So there are some of my favorite YouTube channels, but by all means feel free to let me know in the comments if I missed anyone out!
Even if you only stick to one of the above channels, there should be more than enough free magic to keep you practicing for months.
I would advise you to choose 1 video every day, and work at mastering whatever it is that they teach in it.
It can be all to easy to get distracted by the hundreds of magic videos, but this can be overwhelming and it is much better just to focus and take it one step at a time. Personally, if I were to advise you, my schedule would follow something like this:
Beginner (level 1):
Day 1: Watch a Mismag822 tutorial to learn a complete easy card trick. Master it by the end of the day.
Day 2: Learn ONE easy sleight by watching a 52Kards video, for example a pinky break. Master it.
Day 3: Watch a Mismag822 tutorial to continue building up your confidence in handling the cards.
Day 4: Learn TWO sleights by watching 52Kards. Master them.
Repeat the above schedule for a couple of weeks, and then…
Moving up (level 2):
Day 1: Watch a Jarek120 video with an intermediate card trick. Master it by the end of the day.
Day 2: Learn a hard sleight by watching a 52Kards video; for example, a double lift or elmsely count.
Day 3: Learn a magic trick on Chris Ramsay’s channel.
Day 4: Learn TWO hard sleights by watching 52Kards; like a false shuffle.
Repeat for a couple of weeks, and then…
Master magician (level 3):
Day 1: Watch a 52Kards advanced card trick tutorial, such as the Four Ace Production.
Day 2: Learn an advanced sleight like the pass, either using Xavier Spade or Jarek120.
Hang on, some of you may be saying. These are great resources, but I thought you said you weren’t going to just focus on cards?
The truth is, card magic is the most common and in my eyes most accessible style of magic.
PLUS, a lot of the card tricks you learn will have a ‘mind reading’ style effect or a comedic touch- as I said earlier, cards are great because the tricks work well for ALL genres of magic.
BUT if you want even more specific tutorials, there are still huge amounts of videos out there ready to teach you some incredible mind reading, comedy, coin and even stage magic!
Here are a few of my favorites.
Chris Ramsay, who I mentioned earlier, has some really cool ‘mind reading’ style tricks that you can learn. Just head over to YouTube and search ‘Chris Ramsay mind reading tricks’ and that should do the trick for you.
Other good channels with lots of brain games and mind reading tricks include Scam School and SankeyMagic (more on him soon!).
If you’re looking to up you comedy magic game, then the best advice I can give you is to follow my card magic training program. The comedy isn’t in the trick, but the way you PRESENT the trick.
A truly great comedy magician would be able to entertain an audience with the most boring card trick you could imagine.
Having said that, there is one YouTube channel that is more comedy centered than others; Jay Sankey.
Jay Sankey is actually a professional magician that does magic all over the world at the highest level, but he also has a pretty sweet channel.
His effects are usually easy but with lots of visual gags and one-liners. Just search ‘SankeyMagic’ on YouTube!
The same big channels for card magic also have some great tutorials on coin magic!
Chris Ramsay has a brilliant coin trick tutorial where you learn how to read someone’s body language to guess which hand they hold the coin in on his channel, which I would 100% recommend having a look at.
SankeyMagic also puts out a lot of good coin magic tutorials.
All this might seem like a lot of information, but the good news is that it won’t take you too long and before you know it you’ll be quite the magician.
Now, take a breather and come back when you’re ready for step number 4.
However, it will take you a while to perfect your magic to a point where you’re ready to perform it for others, which is what we will discuss now in step 4!
Step No. 4: Perfect Practice Makes Perfect.
How many of you have heard (or used) the phrase ‘practice makes perfect’?
Well, I’m sorry to say that won’t cut it in magic. The thing about magic is that you want all your tricky moves to be ‘invisible’. And to do that, you need to practice until you can do magic in your sleep!
One of the best ways to make sure your practice really is perfect is to do your tricks in front of a mirror.
You’ll see (roughly) what the audience would see, and you’ll soon notice where you’re going wrong and what does/doesn’t look good.
Get a member of your family or a close friend to watch you do your magic. They’ll be less worried about offending you and should be able to give you some good pointers on what you could do to improve your magic.
OR (MY RECOMMENDATION)
Film yourself doing magic.
You don’t need the latest and greatest camera, just a simple phone recording should be enough.
It would be ideal if you could get someone else to hold it, but it you can’t, try setting it up so it gets a clear picture of your hands and the cards.
The great thing about this technique is that you can go back and rewatch it as many times as you want, and you can even slow it down and speed it up by sliding along the video at different speeds (if you’re on iPhone).
Once you’ve watched the video and decided what needs improvement, you can go back and work on those things during your practice sessions.
Then, when you feel ready you can go back and film yourself again. You should be able to see the progress you’ve made!
Keep doing this until your moves are almost undetectable and you can do them in your sleep.
You are now very experienced and you don’t need any more advice on how to learn card tricks so let’s move on to step 5…
Step No.5: Start Performing
If you’ve made it to this stage, you’ve practiced so much that you can perform your magic without too much effort or stress.
That’s good. No more worrying about practicing, you’re ready to show them off!
Now, I want you to choose THREE tricks. They could be your favorite three, or the three that get the best reactions, or even the easiest three.
But whichever way you do it, I want you to focus on those three tricks.
Get to know them inside out, until you can do them blindfolded (if you can actually do them blindfolded that would be a pretty cool trick).
The reason I asked you to do this is because I want you to be able to concentrate on your presentation and persona rather then the trick itself.
Think of some funny lines you could say during it, and how you’ll present yourself.
The first trick you do should be a ‘hook’ trick. Short and attention grabbing- something visual like the floating card would work well here. Get your audience eager to see more.
Your second trick can be a little longer, and involve a bit of audience interaction.
Your third trick should be your best; you want to leave it on a high note. Try to pick a trick with a ‘kicker’ or ‘twist’ ending, like making the whole deck vanish. You get the idea.
You might be wondering- what are my three tricks?
I personally like to open with a Rubik’s Cube trick. I show them an ordinary Rubik’s Cube and mix it up. I ask one of the audience if I can borrow their bag; I slowly and clearly put the mixed up cube in their bag. Then, I ask them to imagine solving it in their head.
Are you done? I ask them. They usually laugh and say yes.
I say ‘Take it out’.
I don’t touch the cube once. The spectator pulls the cube out of THEIR bag, and guess what? It’s completely solved.
I even let them mix it up and play around with it themselves to reassure them that it isn’t a trick cube. This trick absolutely blows people away, I’m telling you. Highly visual and pretty fast, it’s the ideal opener.
Next I do a lie detector card routine.
Basically, I get the spectator to pick a card, and by asking them a series of ‘yes’ and ‘no’ questions, I guess their card.
THEN I get them to think of a card in their head. I ask them the same questions, and once again I guess the card (using the Invisible Deck)
To end, I use an ambitious card routine. This trick involves a signed card jumping to the top of the deck in more and more crazy conditions.
Eventually, the card ends up in my mouth and the deck disappears. A really fun trick with a kicker ending, I find it ideal to close my performances with.
Plus, they get to keep the signed card which is a nice note to leave it on.
You don’t have to do the same tricks as me, but that is the kind of act I want YOU to put together. Find those three tricks, and get out there performing!
You’ll get better and better at it the more you do it, and before you know it you’ll even be getting booked for gigs (read more about getting paid to do magic here).
So, there you have it! The ultimate step by step guide on getting going in magic and becoming a magician.
I know that was a LOT of information, so feel free to come back and reread parts here and there. Also, feel free to drop me a message if you’re struggling with anything at firstname.lastname@example.org, or leave a comment below.
And remember, if you enjoyed this guide go ahead and share it with your friends using the icon on the left!
HOW TO LEARN MAGIC TRICKS BONUS STEP: Advanced Magic
I promised that in this guide I would teach you have to begin magic for next to no cost, and I did.
But if you want to take your magic to the next level, here are some of the best ways.
I hope this guide showed you how to learn magic tricks the way I hoped it would – remember, just leave a comment if you have any questions!