Trick for sitting at a table:
Show a coin and drop it on the table, pick it up, knock in on the table to show everything is legit, and presto, you suddenly push it through the table and bring it out from below the table.
How it works… you put a quarter on the table for everyone to see and then “pick it up” by sliding it towards yourself with your left hand and off the lip of the table, but instead of actually picking it up, you let it fall into your lap. Pretend you have picked up the coin with your left hand and hold it as if it were between your fingers in front and your thumb in back. Kind of like you were going to drop it into a slot. You’re going to pretend to knock the rim of that pretend coin against the top of the table so hold it appropriately.
After you “pick it up,” extend your arm and move that hand forward with the pretend coin while at the same time, you use your right hand to pick up the coin in your lap and follow your left hand forward but under the table.
Now you have your left hand holding the pretend coin over the table and your right hand is underneath the table, holding the real coin directly under the pretend coin.
Now you can use your left hand to “knock the coin” on the table but you’re really just tapping the table with your finger tips, but at the same time, you really knock the table from underneath with the coin in your right hand.
This knocking sound business is what sells the illusion. It “proves” that the coin is still in your left hand. They see the action and hear the appropriate noise and that’s how it works. No one suspects that the sound is coming from under the table.
At this point, I usually pretend that I’m pushing down on the coin and then suddenly my hand collapses flat and I slowly lift it up (still flat) to show the coin is gone and the hand is empty and now you lean back, and slowly pull your right hand out from under the table to reveal the coin laying on your open palm.
If you want to add some drama, you can have someone sign or mark the coin with a magic marker first to prove that the reveled coin is the same one used all along.
It sounds more complicated than it is and the “pretend to pick up the coin while sliding it off the table into your lap” move is extremely simple to do if you practice it a couple of times. You want to do the whole “pick it up” off the edge and then bring it back over the table for the knocking move as one fluid motion.
Of course you can play with how the coin goes through the table. Sometimes I knock it three times but when I try to knock it a fourth time, the knock is silent and my hand flies open in surprise to see that the coin is gone.
You can take it to the next level with a better vanish. I use the french drop instead of the table edge drop. It’s the most basic “sleight of hand” trick there is and is very easy to do, but it does require a couple of hours of practice to really master. The table edge drop only requires doing it a couple of times to master.
Practice the whole illusion a couple of times and you’ll have it down. It’s a surprisingly strong illusion for something so simple and will fool adults just as easily as kids.