The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Linking rings or cups and balls? (5 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
New user
81 Posts

Profile of rboyd
I've so far mainly focused my magic education in cards. I enjoy card tricks and will keep growing in this area however I fancy some variety.

I'm planning on spending a month learning/improving something new. My thoughts are to focus on with the linking rings or cups and balls.

I would be grateful for peoples views. I suck at sleights but want to improve. What do you think would be better for a beginner to focus on and why?

Thanks in advance.
View Profile
Regular user
Milano area, Italy
102 Posts

Profile of andrea.corelli
My 5 cents, having approached both way ahead of the moment I was ready to:

- Cups and balls can give you instant satisfaction as there are some routines you can instantly perform and with very little practice
- The linking rings to me were exactly the opposite. They required so much practice that I watched the instructional video, got the principle, practiced a few times just to understand it would take too long just to get close to something acceptable, and now they are lying in my "not so funny magic" box.

I am sure it is not the same for everybody, but this is my personal experience.
Hope it helps!

In the avatar... I am the one falling Smile
View Profile
New user
81 Posts

Profile of rboyd
Interesting. I can do a very basic cups and balls, i.e. The routine the magic set teaches kids and was inclined to focus on this until I say Joshua Jays Complete Magician Kit and though oh why not.

I think we may have a similar tolerance to not getting results fast, I can see me putting them in a box if I don't get anywhere after a week or two.

Impatience is my fatal flaw.
Mr. Woolery
View Profile
Inner circle
Fairbanks, AK
1554 Posts

Profile of Mr. Woolery
Cups and balls is a valuable one on several levels. You can do an entertaining routine with very simple moves, as long as you are an entertaining person. Watch videos on YouTube. Especially the bad ones. What is it that makes a routine dreadful to watch for 3 minutes? What makes Master Payne's routine fun to watch for 15 minutes?

With cups and balls, you can use a lot of sleights, many of which also work with other small items. So the skills are applicable outside the one trick. This is a vote in favor of the cups.

You can do impromptu C&B performances by just grabbing 3 coffee cups and making balls of aluminum foil. You don't need expensive apparatus.

But really, what would you see yourself doing in a performance? Would you see yourself linking big metal rings together? If so, do that. Learn it and rock it. If not, cups might be your answer. If not that, then there are enough card tricks to keep anyone busy for a lifetime or more.

Mike Gilbert
View Profile
Veteran user
Las Vegas, Nevada
377 Posts

Profile of Mike Gilbert
I love both routines, but if you're looking for something you can do anywhere on the go, I would go for something like the Messado Rings. Same great linking rings, but more compact while still hitting hard. Messado's DVD breaks down the full routine into easy to swallow steps, and your initial presentation can be mastered almost immediately. The fancier sleights will obviously take a bit more time, but it's a great jumping off point.

If you think you'd be interested in the Messado Rings, I actually still have a brand new set with DVD available. Retail is $75. I'll give you mine for $60 plus free shipping. NOT A SALES PITCH. Just want to help out any way I can. The choice is yours my friend! Let us know what you decide to go with! Smile
-Mike Gilbert Smile

"Most of us have two lives. The life we live, and the unlived life within us. Between the two stands Resistance."- Steven Pressfield
View Profile
Loyal user
Washington, DC
244 Posts

Profile of kShepher
I am studying cards only now but way back as a teenager I had cups and balls and the rings. I got so much more enjoyment from the cups. If you get a set that includes a chop cup also you'll then have two classic effects. Both are great.
Dick Oslund
View Profile
Inner circle
7853 Posts

Profile of Dick Oslund
Well, actually the cups & balls, and the Al Wheatley cup (Wheatley is the guy who "invented" the chop cup.) produce, basically, the SAME EFFECT. (The EFFECT(S), are what the spectator(s) perceive.)

I've sold chop cups, and cups & balls, "over the counter" in three different magic shops, but, I don't PERFORM either one! --For close up, I have more than enough tricks, for my needs. I have more than enough material for stage/platform, too.

I have sold linking rings over the counter, too. I avoided PERFORMING them, until, my friend Jay Marshall, sold me a 10" set of Merv Taylor rings for $40. almost 50 years ago. I decided that, "it was time" to perform the rings. I spent a few months putting together a 5 ring routine, which I did in my high school program. Within a MONTH, the rings were strong enough to CLOSE the high school program! And, they did!

A year later, I saw another friend, Karrell Fox, do his 3 ring routine! Karrell's routine was strong, it ran about the same time as my 5 ring routine, AND, there was 2 less rings to carry! Karrell gave me his routine. I've used it, for 40+ years.

The rings are, for me, more versatile. They don't need a table, so the EFFECT is performable and, VISIBLE, without a "working surface"!!!

An ARTIST can "produce" great music, whether he/she plays a piano, or a violin!
View Profile
Inner circle
old things in new ways - new things in old ways
8024 Posts

Profile of funsway
I can agree with MR. Woolery's "With cups and balls, you can use a lot of sleights, many of which also work with other small items. So the skills are applicable outside the one trick."

but, also Dick's view of the power of Linking Rings. I extend that to being able to segue into/from ring on rope, ring as a Portal, etc.

In each case, the key to success is the amount of work one is willing to put in to make it interesting, powerful, entertaining and occasionally "must be magic."

A lot has to do with the expectations of the audience -- and the ability to educate them "on the fly" as to what good magic is.
Doing acrd tricks will always be looked on by many observers as "tricks" and skill demonstrations.

Both C&B and LInking Rings have the potential of shifting audience appreciation to a different level (whether better or worse is relative)
So, the answer may lie in asking self what you are attempting to accomplish with you magic routine (that could even be a mixture of rings, cards and cups)
Whatisi your planned venue? Who will you audience be?

As suggested by several above, there is a difference between studying these approaches and actually performing them in public.
Both can help with timing, directed focus/misdirection, angles, audience participation and "presence" as well as moves/sleights usable in other presentations (did I mention confidence?)

If I take the OP question is two which to study/master first? The I opt for C&B because that can also lead to coin magic, which may be the final answer.
"the more one pretends at magic, the more awe and wonder will be found in real life." Arnold Furst

ShareBooks at * questions at
View Profile
New user
81 Posts

Profile of rboyd
Thanks for your thoughts. I've decided cups and balls will be the best option for me at the moment.

The main reason being that it is both simple and skilful depending on the chosen trick. I also like the way you can create a quick improvised cups and balls if required.

To answer funsways question, I honestly don't know what type of magic I intent to be performing and to who. I want my answer to be EVERYTHING to EVERYONE but this obviously is unrealistic.

I love in a tourist area and ideally I would like to be doing close up/table magic by next summer (2019). Until then I plan on practicing for friends, family and maybe one of the old peoples day centres when I've got more confidence and ability.
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » New to magic? » » Linking rings or cups and balls? (5 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2019 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.17 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL