From Penn & Teller's MasterClass

Coin Magic

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.

Topics include: Trick: The Disappearing Glass


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.

Topics include: Trick: The Disappearing Glass

Penn & Teller

Teach the Art of Magic

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[MUSIC PLAYING] - 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 he did this on the streets for years. And there's a version in our show he does right now with the Miser's Dream. It's the best work 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 when 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 and toss it into the bucket, where 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. [COINS CLANKING] And in that way, you believe that I have an unlimited supply of wealth, [COUGHING] but I don't, really. [MUSIC PLAYING] - You know, 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. And it's 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 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 on the table. Same thing again. Take it like that, underneath the table, and [BANGS TABLE] [COINS CLINKING]. You can hear it right like that. Now, the hard thing is-- and you can't use a French drop for this-- it's 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, but you can see them right there. You want to make it so that it's all done 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. [BANGING] All right. OK, they didn't go through. You're supposed to get them to go through. Maybe you have to hit it harder. [GASPING AND LAUGHTER] All right, right there. Now, the glass went through the table. And we can teach you that. - I didn't see that coming. [LAUGHTER] I don't think we-- - We teach you that with-- first part the routine uses your French drop. I remember your French drop. First, do it for real. Put the coin from one hand to the other. Same thing. Same feel. Do it for real first. - Yeah. Yeah...

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.

I'm a skeptic that routinely investigates ghost hunters and other paranormal "believers"... understanding how magic tricks are done is an important skill for me.

Penn and Teller are really good teachers. I've really enjoyed their lessons. And they have taught me some pretty cool magic tricks

As a performing magician,, I have come to respect Penn and Teller is great. They teach from years of doing it themselves. 5 stars.

Loved this class. Never would have thought to take a magic class but I watched the preview of it and couldn't resist. I loved not only learning the magic tricks but also Penn and Teller's discussions of magic, particularly on the ethics of magic. Wonderful.


A fellow student

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).

Magic I.

When lapping objects I usually get on my tippy toes to create a flatter surface for the object’s landing.