Magic Trick: Changing Dice

It is also useful, on such occasions, to have in the pocket a pair of dice, rather smaller than those in general use, for the performance of the following trick. Place the dice, side by side, between the finger and thumb. This will leave two sides, back and front, open to view. Ask the spectators to note the numbers at the front, and then those at the back. Show each side two or three times, turning the hand over each time, and then give a slight twist with the finger and thumb, just sufficient to cause the dice to revolve the extent of one square only. This will bring different numbers to the back, whilst the front ones have apparently remained unaltered, as you will show, taking care to twist the dice back again to their original positions. The twist must be given as the hand is turned over, when it will be quite imperceptible to anyone. This is the first and simple phase of the trick; the second is more convincing still. It very frequently happens that someone says, "Ah! of course you turn them over." This you stoutly deny, and proceed at once to prove the fallacy of the idea that the dice move in your fingers. To do this, give the twist backward and forward each time the hand is turned over in what the spectators consider to be merely the preliminary to the actual trick. Then say, "Now, I will turn my hand over as slowly as possible, and ask some one to hold my fingers firmly so as to render it utterly impossible for me to move them." Of course, as the positions of the dice have been changed each time you turned your hand over, you have now only to keep them still to effect an alteration. This ruse invariably silences sceptics.

The trick is also capable of further development if the dice be properly arranged. By placing the two fives face to face, the numbers will read one-three, three-one, six-four, four-six. Hold the dice in the fingers so as to cover one three-one and one six-four. The visible numbers will then be six-four and three-one. Suppose the six-four is on the top, the twist of the fingers will expose the hidden six-four at the bottom, and the hidden three-one at the top. The two numbers will then appear to have completely changed places. The fact that, in one instance, the four and the one are where the six and the three were previously will not be noticed if the performer is careful to always call the numbers the same, viz., "Here we have six-four on the top and three-one at the bottom; six- four" (turn over), "three-one" (turn back), "change" (turn over), "three-one on the top, six-four on the bottom." A fresh combination can at once be obtained by placing any other numbers face to face, so that they be the same unit. This variation will be found very effective and dumbfounding.