Heads or Tails

Categories: Cool Magic Tricks Revealed!.

Magic Trick with Coins​​​​​

This is a simple magic trick with coins, which introduces two important concepts to mind reading and mental magic. We will be discussing these two concepts below.

The gist of the trick goes like this..

There is a sealed envelope and 3 coins with different value i.e. 10, 20 and 50 cent. The spectator chooses one of the coins and the others are put away. The spectator then flips the chosen coin so it either lands on its head or tail facing up.

Next, open the sealed envelope, turn it upside down and a folded piece of paper falls out from the envelope. The spectator unfolds the paper and sees a prediction that correctly predicts:

  1. The coin that was chosen and 
  2. Whether the coin landed on its head or tail facing up.

The secret behind...

As mentioned earlier, there are two concepts to this simple routine. The first concept is "the magician's choice" that many mentalist effects use. Although the performance makes it seem like the spectator is having a free choice - in this case, choosing a coin - they are actually choosing the coin that you want them to

For example in the case of this performance, if you want the spectator to choose the 20 cent coin, invite them to choose two of the three coins. If they choose the 10 and 50 cent coins, you tell them you have decided to discard the two coins, leaving them with the 20 cent coin. This will be the coin you will use.

But if they choose the 10 and 20 cent coins, tell them that means they do not want the 50 cent coin and so it is discarded. Next ask them to choose between the 10 and 20 cent coins.

  1. If they choose the 20 cent coin, tell them that's their choice and we'll use this coin.
  2. If they choose the 10 cent coin, tell them once again this 10 cent coin will be discarded and you will use the 20 cent coin

(So no matter how they choose, you will still eventually lead them to choose the coin that you want them to)

After they have "chosen" the coin, ask them to toss it and see if it lands on its head or tail.

This is where the envelope with the prediction comes into play. Remember that in the envelope, there is the prediction of which coin will be chosen, and whether the coin lands on its head or tail facing up.

Which leads us to the second concept of our performance, which is to cover the two possibilities of the outcome (head or tail). 

You will need to prepare two identical brown pay envelopes. Leave the first original envelope as it is.

Take the second envelope and first trim off the flap. Then trip about 1mm from the bottom and sides. So the second envelope is now a rectangle paper that is just slightly smaller than the first envelope.

See example below...

Magic Trick with Coins

Slip the trimmed envelope inside the original envelope, creating two compartments.

Next, prepare two predictions with the following messages:

  1. "You will choose the 20 cent coin and it will land with its head facing up" 
  2. "You will choose the 20 cent coin and it will land with its tail facing up"

Place one prediction into each compartment and close and seal the flap.

**You will need to remember what prediction is placed in which side of the compartment.

TIP: Use envelopes with thicker material and darker color, so it won't be obvious that there are more than one piece of paper in the envelope.

When you slit open the envelope to reveal the prediction, depending on which prediction you need to reveal, hold the inside envelope and one side of the outside envelope together with your thumb and index finger. This is to prevent the "wrong" prediction from falling out. 

Then tip the envelope upside down so the correct folded prediction will fall out. Before revealing the prediction, add some patter and nonchalantly put away the envelope (slip into your pocket or just simply put it out of sight), and place focus on the prediction that has fallen out.

Now that you've learned this simple magic trick with coins, go ahead and fool your friends!


Want to have some more tricks up your sleeves? Check out these other Cool Magic Tricks Revealed!

If you want learn more in-depth mind reading and mentalism tricks, you may be interested in this program review, on "Mastering Mentalism Effects & Magic Tricks...in Less Than 30 Days"

Read also: 14 reasons why you should learn magic tricks!


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