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  • Bill Wisch

"Five Coin Variation" by Bill Wisch

Bill Wisch performs his "Five Coin Variation" at minute mark 2:14. Video is from Omaha, NE, 1978.

Original Publication Date: October 1998


This is a "Five Coin Variation" of the handling of Slydini's Coins Through the Table.

I originally came up with this to use in the Slydini routine to bridge between six and four and to just add the element of an odd number of coins. At the time (around 1974), to come up with something original that possibly had merit was certainly a goal and dream of mine. Slydini loved this variation and I'm proud to say that because he was completely fooled by the handling and when I showed him that it utilized his principles exclusively, only in a different setting, he seemed to get a big kick out of it.

I sometimes shudder when I think back about even having the gall to try to add anything original to a masterpiece routine...especially doing it for the master himself! I can only say thanks to Tony Slydini for being the kind of gracious and encouraging teacher...and person...that he was.

I have lectured and performed this variation at many lectures over the years and was honored to have it, as well as another variation, included in my issue of Genii in September, 1984.


Magician uses an odd number of coins (five) in a through the table routine and under the guise of forgetting which hand has three coins and which hand has two, two of the silver dollars are passed through the table in a very convincing manner.


Line up the five coins in front of you about an inch or two from the edge of the table, separated by only a quarter of an inch or so between each.

1) The LH begins by stacking three coins one on another from the left to right. Put them as a stack in the center of the open, flat, right palm.

2) The RH turns over and holds the coins in a loose fist. Shake them lightly and in the process it will be fairly easy to have the two silver dollars now on top to move into a Thumb Clip.The fingertips contacting the base coin keep it from moving into the clip with the other two. Try will see how easy it works with very little effort.

3) The LH picks up the remaining two coins on the table and holds them in a loose fist. Now you have two loose coins in the LH and the RH has two clipped coins and one loose. Say to the audience, "now I have some coins in the right and some coins in the left...(look confused)...wait a second...I forget how many are in which hand".

4) Raise the LH above the table about 8 or 10 inches and open it as you say, "two coins in the left". Pick the two coins up and ready them for the Han Ping Chien move by pushing them slightly through the fist using the thumb until they are at the edge of the fist. The fist rests on the table with the coins ready to be released from the bottom when the hand lifts. 5) Now follow this closely...say, "if I have two in the many do I have in the right? Three, right?" Do the Han Ping Chien move and as the RH opens up onto the two coins from the left hand, the single loose coin joins them as the Right thumb continues to clip the two others. Now the RH comes back to the edge of the table and rests with the two coins in the clip hanging off the edge.

Bill Wisch performs his Five Coin Variation in Omaha NE 1978

6) The LH, still in a fist supposedly holding two coins, lifts the three coins with the index finger and thumb up about 8 or 10 inches above the table and drops the three. At PRECISELY the instant the three coins hit the table, the two coins in the Right clip are allowed to drop into the lap. You say, "Three!" The noise is covered completely.

7) Now the RH can openly pick up the three coins and clench them into a fist. Emphasize once again by calling attention to the right fist saying, "Three in the right... and how many in the left?" Hold up Left fist. Audience will say there are two in the right.

I find it particularly gratifying to hear the audience say two at this stage to an empty left fist because I am about to fool them mega badly and it somehow doesn't seen fair...but all's well in misdirection and war so enjoy yourself.

8) Now keep the Left fist above the table and bring the Right fist underneath. Pick up the two coins on the lap as noiselessly as possible with the index finger and thumb. LH hits sharply onto the tabletop and right hand brings five coins from under the table, tossing them out onto the tabletop.


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