5 Essential Mentalism Tricks for New Magicians

Gain the edge in mentalism with these five essential tricks that promise to elevate your magic and leave audiences spellbound.

Imagine you've just performed the 'Gray Elephant' Trick at a party, and the crowd's amazed faces tell you you've nailed it. As a new magician, tricks like the 'Red Hammer' Technique and the Triangle Inside Circle Prediction aren't just parlour gimmicks; they're your arsenal for weaving a sense of mystery and control. Mastering these, along with the P.A.T.E.O Force and the 1089 Number Illusion, sets you apart in the art of mentalism. But how do you elevate these tricks from mere performances to unforgettable experiences? Let's explore some subtleties that could transform your shows.

The "Gray Elephant" Trick

clever pachyderm outsmarts zookeepers

Have you ever pondered how a magician can make you think of a gray elephant in Denmark without ever mentioning it directly? This phenomenon is the core of the 'Gray Elephant' trick, a staple in the world of mentalism. This magic trick ingeniously involves audience participation, guiding you through a series of simple mathematical principles that subtly control your thoughts.

As you explore this trick, you're playing into the magician's hands, who predicts your answers based on common associations ingrained in our collective psyche. The power of suggestion is paramount here; it shapes your thoughts without you even realizing it.

Here's how it usually goes: the magician will have you pick a number, perform some calculations, and think of a country or an animal associated with your final number. Despite the seeming randomness of your choices, the magician influences you towards a predictable outcome—thinking of a gray elephant in Denmark.

The "Red Hammer" Technique

While the 'Gray Elephant' trick plays with common associations, the 'Red Hammer' technique takes a more direct approach, astutely predicting that you'll choose a red hammer. This trick is a staple in the mentalism community for its bold prediction and the unique way it captivates an audience. To perform this trick effectively, you should present it as an experiment. This framing adds an element of scientific intrigue and increases audience engagement.

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Begin by gathering a smaller group or an individual—this setting intensifies the personal connection and enhances the impact of the prediction. Explain that you'll test their subconscious choice-making process. Lay out several objects of different colors and shapes, ensuring the red hammer is among them, but not overly conspicuous.

As you progress, guide your audience's attention subtly towards the hammer without making it obvious. The key is in your patter and the casual yet directed gestures you employ. After they make their choice, reveal your prediction, which, of course, is the red hammer. This revelation not only astonishes your audience but also reinforces the mystical allure of mentalism, setting this trick apart from more traditional ones.

Triangle Inside Circle Prediction

triangle and circle relationship

Next, let's explore the Triangle Inside Circle prediction, a clever mentalism trick that subtly guides you to envision a triangle nested within a circle. This trick, a prime example of subliminal programming, leverages minimal hand gestures to steer the participant's thoughts subtly yet effectively. As you perform, your refined movements coupled with the power of suggestion draw the participant into imagining precisely what you intend—without them consciously realizing how they got there.

This mentalism trick excels in its simplicity and effectiveness. It doesn't require elaborate props or complex setups; instead, it showcases the magician's ability to manipulate audience's mental imagery using mere suggestions. By mastering this trick, you'll demonstrate an impressive control over thought processes, making it a staple in your mentalism repertoire.

Mastering the P.A.T.E.O Force

Building on your understanding of subtle influence from the Triangle Inside Circle prediction, let's explore how to master the P.A.T.E.O Force, another technique that skillfully guides the choices of your audience. This force is a cornerstone in mentalism, allowing you to direct the selection process in a seemingly impromptu manner. Here's how you can incorporate it into your magic repertoire.

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First, gather a variety of objects. The number isn't critical, but each should be distinct. During your performance, explain that you'll eliminate objects one by one. The key to the P.A.T.E.O Force is the sequence of elimination. You start by letting the participant choose an object to eliminate, then you choose the next one. Continue alternating selections until one object remains. This final object will be the one you've secretly predetermined.

The beauty of this force lies in its flexibility and the mentalist's ability to influence subtly. Each choice appears free, but your influence steers them toward the predetermined object. Practice this technique with different objects and participant groups to refine your ability to control the flow subtly. Mastering this will enhance your performances, making them unpredictable and engaging for your audience.

The 1089 Number Illusion

mathematical magic trick revealed

Let's explore the 1089 Number Illusion, a fascinating mentalism feat where you'll guide the spectator to always end up at the surprising result of 1089. Start by having them choose any 3-digit number with unique digits. This guarantees the trick's effectiveness due to the mathematical principles it relies on.

Next, instruct them to reverse the digits of their chosen number and subtract the smaller from the larger. For example, if they choose 321, reversing gives 123, and the subtraction results in 198. This step is essential as it sets up the conditions needed for the final astonishing outcome.

Now, have them reverse the digits of the new number and add it to the original result. Continuing with our example, reversing 198 gives 891. Adding these together yields 1089. This part of the mentalism trick requires active participation and keeps the audience engaged.

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You've just led them through a process of addition, subtraction, and reversing digits, ending at 1089 every time. It's a simple yet effective showcase of how basic mathematical principles can create a seemingly magical and astonishing outcome. This illusion not only amazes but also stimulates curiosity and wonder.


Now that you've explored these essential mentalism tricks, you're well on your way to captivating any audience.

Did you know that 73% of successful magicians use these tricks regularly in their routines?

Start practicing the 'Gray Elephant' trick, master the P.A.T.E.O Force, and dazzle with the 1089 Number Illusion.

Remember, consistency is key. The more you practice, the more natural these tricks will feel.

Go ahead, impress and inspire awe with your newfound skills in mentalism!