Magic Tricks with Coins

with Peter Planchet

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Scotch and Soda

Scotch and Soda is a silly name for one of my favorite coin tricks. The basic trick is to take two coins: say an English Penny and a Kennedy half dollar and place them in someone's hand. Ask the person to, without looking, place one coin in each hand. Then challenge the person to guess which had contains the Kennedy half dollar (which is the heavier of the two coins). Your victim generally gets the question correct. Then, as the trick is supposed to run, you say that you can't tell me which hand contains the English Penny. Well, the English Penny is obviously in the other hand. But when the other hand is opened, it does not contain the English Penny, but instead contains an American quarter. This is one of my favorite tricks because the quarter and half can be examined, and the magic appears to take place in the volunteer's hands. In fact, the magician never touches the coins!

Many tricks with scotch and soda

There are a large number of tricks that can be done witha scotch and soda set. Many of the routines appear in the short book, Scotch and Soda by Ken Simmons. 25 Amazing Magic Tricks with Scotch and Soda or Dime and Penny DVD


Origin of the name Scotch and Soda

The origin of the name scotch and soda is that the half dollar represents scotch and the English Penny represents soda. I omit the metaphor and let the coins represent themselves. Part of the schtick is often to say "I'll bet you a scotch and soda that you can't tell me which hand has the English Penny."  I leave out the alcohol and gambling references.

coin combinations for scotch and soda

Different coin combinations can be used. One uses the fifty euro cent and five euro cent coins. Sometimes the trick is performed with small coins and is called Gin and Tonic . My personal preference is for the larger coins. There are many tricks that can be performed with a scotch and soda set, including making a coin go through a table or a drinking glass. It is useful to buy a book on these tricks to accompany your scotch and soda set (which will often include instructions for the basic trick only).

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