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Arts & Entertainment

Coin Magic

Penn & Teller

Lesson time 18:52 min

Coin magic involves the principles of sound misdirection, sleight of hand, and palming. In this chapter, Penn & Teller teach various coin magic tricks that delight audiences of all ages.

Penn & Teller
Teach the Art of Magic
In their first-ever MasterClass, Teller breaks his silence as he and Penn teach their approach to creating moments of wonder and astonishment.
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- We're going to teach you a little bit of coin magic. Now coin magic, Teller used to do the miser's dream on the street all the time. It's called the miser's dream, because a miser might dream of having a lot of money. And they did this on the streets for years. And there's a version in our show he does right now with the miser's his dream. It's the best work that we do. Coin magic often uses sound as misdirection. You hear the sound of the coins going into the bucket. We'll teach you how to use a little bit of sound misdirection while we talk about coin magic. - The basic method behind this is very, very clever. It uses sound misdirection. What you know as a human being is that if I take a coin and toss it into the bucket, It's. Going to make a sound. But I didn't really toss it into the bucket. I only pretended to toss it into the bucket, while I have a whole bunch of other coins waiting. So each time I pretend to toss it in-- let's do this, like that-- I have a coin hidden here in my hand. And now I can pretend to pull it from some other place, bang. Or from some other place, bang. Or I can take Penn's glasses and go click, click. And in that way, you believe that I have an unlimited supply of wealth, but I don't really. [MUSIC PLAYING] - With the French Drop, you're not just stuck with using balls, you can also use coins. A lot of coin tricks use the French Drop. It slightly different on the French Drop, because you're not, of course, rolling it down. You're just kind of dropping it flat in your hand. But you can do a the whole routine, like this. Once you get used to using the coin, is you take the coin like this, and then put this coin on the table. And then-- hear it? Went right through there, just like that. You just keep doing that. Now, there's two coins underneath the table. Same thing again. Take it like that, underneath the table, and you can hear it right away. Now the hard thing is-- and you can't use the French Drop for this, this is a whole different move, to do both of them at once and to keep them isolated with a glass. There's no French Drop, because you can't use your hands here. But you can see them right there. You want to make it so that it's all but invisibly. Now, watch this carefully. He's going to try to make both coins go through the table at once. You'll hear them hit the floor, listen. OK, they didn't go through. You're supposed to get them to go through. Maybe you have to hit it harder. There right there. Now, the glass went through the table. And we can teach you that. - I didn't see that coming. . - We can teach you that. The first part the routine uses your French Drop. And remember, your French Drop, first do it for real. Put the coin from one hand to the other. - So you got one on the-- - Same thing, same feel-- do it for real first. - Yeah. - Yeah. Now, this time-- - I like the coin better. - The same way you dropped it before, except it will...

Open your mind with magic

With more than 40 years performing together, Penn & Teller have sold out shows around the world, earned a star on Hollywood’s Walk of Fame, and created the longest-running headline act in Las Vegas. Now the legendary magicians are taking you behind the curtain. Learn fundamental magic tricks and the psychological tools that create amazement, at home or on stage. Expand your perception of the possible.


Students give MasterClass an average rating of 4.7 out of 5 stars.

the masterclass has taught me how to do magic to my fullest

The class was great. It assumes you don't know much as a basic class should do but also delves deeper into the philosophy and psychology of magic which I enjoyed. The tricks taught are simple, but timeless. I hope they may take the time in the future to do another class.

As a result of this MasterClass, I have an insight into the techniques necessary to produce good magic. I have also learned a few simple to perform but very impressive magic tricks.

Great introductory information on simple magic tricks, but also insightful thoughts on entertaining audiences in a morally responsible way. Good stuff!


Scott F.

I learned the hard way that you can't do this trick with a wedding ring on.... when you french drop the coin in your left hand it can hit the ring and make a sound, giving away the french drop.

A fellow student

what's a good way to make a coin appear? When I do it, it's not very smooth.

Clark M.

So far, my favorite part of this course is the way Teller patiently dissected the technique for the French Drop. And I like the way both Penn & Teller discuss theory.


I have done this one when I was younger but used a plastic cup and when the hand smashes the paper down I spread my legs and the cup hits the floor making a loud noise as if it did just go through the table. Very good instructional video on how to these tricks.

Eli S.

I absolutely loved this, i got so happy learning how to do this I can't wait to try it (after some practice). With the glass trick, what do you do after you drop the glass in your lap, how do you get it out with anyone knowing how you did it. Especially at the diner table.

Brett G.

Jay Sankey demonstrates this better! Why did I spend $100 for this benign coin trick? I suppose it was because I expected these famous Pro's to actually provide some serious coin tricks, like vanishes via sleight of hand. YouTube has far superior demonstrations, so just save your money and time on this series.... just an incredible disappointment!

Daryl B.

Does anyone know what kind of coins they were using in this lesson? They look larger, and easier to manipulate than normal coins.


PENN AND TELLER CONTEST!! Win two tickets to see P&T live. Enter a video of you performing a Penn and Teller-inspired magic trick into the Community thread:

A fellow student

I didn't know Teller thought that Silver fish was his best. I think Shadows is, while actually an old and quite simple trick it is more emotional and beautiful in my mind. Maybe because of its simplicity that it truly accentuates how good Teller is at the Art.

Richard H.

Excellent information, but the sleight labeled "French Drop - Variation 2" on the video (8:15) is more properly described in the Lesson pdf (page 25) as "a revolve vanish" (a credit to Slydini might be appropriate there).