The Simplest Steal of them All

Stealing an object from the same pocket that you put something into is a well known strategy, but seldom done well. It’s very common to see the magician in deep trouble when he attempts this. And the simple task of putting the lighter in a pocket usually takes several seconds because he searches for the object he wants to palm. And I have seen otherwise very adept pros shaking the pocket off their supposedly empty hand (fig.1). Here is the antidote!


Have an egg in your pocket, and hold the lighter in your hand. Just before you put the lighter in the pocket, adjust your grip to the position shown in fig.2. It is held by thumb and forefinger only, and is almost parallel with the forefinger. This frees your other fingers to scoop up the egg from the pocket, and that is exactly what happens in the pocket. You scoop up the egg with the fingers and leave the lighter with thumb and forefinger (fig.3). This makes the putting of the lighter in the pocket a swift operation, and prevents "talking" because the objects never touch.


The Thumb Clip

Well, you’ve got the egg in your hand, and now is the time to get it out of the pocket. If you curl your fingers around it, you’ll have trouble getting your hand out of the pocket. This is when most magicians start shaking the pocket off the hand (fig.1). All you have to do is straighten the fingers a little and press the thumb against the egg (fig.4). This is what I call the Thumb Clip. It makes your hand more streamlined and the hand can easily be extracted from the pocket with the egg. As soon as the hand is out of the pocket you curl your fingers around the egg, and it is in standard finger palm position.

Straightening the jacket

The egg is out of the pocket and in finger palm. Normally you would let the hand drop casually. But this is very hard to do in a natural way! It’s much easier to move the hand towards the lapel, grab it and straighten the jacket (fig.5), and then let the hand drop (fig.6). The arm swings in a much more comfortable arch, and the fact that you use the hand takes the heat off it. I learned this from Toreno, the Norwegian master of misdirection.


If you combine the Scooping, the Thumb Clip and the Straightening of the Jacket you will never get caught stealing again... If, of course, your left hand is doing something interesting, and your attention is focused there.

The main reason I wrote the book Pocket Power was that I wanted all magicians to learn to steal from their pockets. The single most important move to master is this one, The Simplest Steal of them All. If you can do this properly, you’re light-years ahead of most magicians when it comes to stealing from your pockets.

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And here is the Spanish version on Blog de Magia


If you liked this technique, you might want to take a look at the Pocket Power book and video.

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©2009 Jarle Leirpoll

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