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Topic: Cups And Balls
Message: Posted by: sethbek (Jan 19, 2003 09:14AM)
I'm looking for a good Cups and Balls routine if anyone can help me out please.
:pepper: :spinningcoin: :pepper:
Message: Posted by: iSawThat (Jan 20, 2003 03:58AM)
What kind of routine are you looking for? The easiest way out would be to master Dai Vernon's routine using Paul Fox-style cups, or Ammar's version which is based on Dai Vernon's. Both are very straightforward, with plenty of economy of motion and a logical flow of effects. Best part is they're not too technically demanding, though the wand spin vanish (Helicopter spin?) might take some time to accomplish.

Carl Andrews has a great new DVD out on Table Hopping Cups and Balls, and though I doubt you'll actually be able to use this to table hop in restaurants, it does only use two cups instead of the traditional three, and a pen as a wand. Magicsmith has a full demo of the routine.
Message: Posted by: Michael Dustman (Jan 20, 2003 01:02PM)
As mentioned on some other posts, I would strongly recommend Michael Ammar's Complete Cups and Balls Book. It is detailed (with photos) of every sleight, vanish, wand maneuver, etc. that would ever be used for a Cups and Balls effect. Many interviews with the top Cups and Balls experts about why they do their routine, difference in final loads, etc. And a great chapter on how to structure a routine to your liking.
Message: Posted by: ixnay66 (Jan 21, 2003 10:50AM)
Why don't you think you can table hop with Carl Andrew's Cups and Balls routine?
Message: Posted by: phranQ (Jan 22, 2003 02:47AM)
I'll second Michael's advice.

However, if all you need is one strong Cups & Balls routine, consider buying The Michael Ammar Book of Magic. It contains his popular stand-up C&B routine, an explanation of the Dai Vernon Wand Spin and lots of other great magic effects. Great value for your money!

Message: Posted by: saturnin (Feb 1, 2003 03:11PM)

A good cups & balls routine is "The Two Goblets" by Gary Ouellet. (it uses only 2 cups)

You can buy this booklet from the publisher

Like all other booklets by Gary Ouellet, they are very well explained and have a lot of pictures.

Ronnie Lemieux


I forgot to mention that one of the cups in "Two Goblets" by Gary Ouellet is a Chop Cup.

Ronnie Lemieux
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Feb 1, 2003 04:40PM)
My own routine (inspired by Ouellet's) is now available. It is 11pages of instruction with 59 photos. For Café members in the US and Canada, it's $7 postpaid (non-domestic orders pay shipping). It was especially designed for table-hopping, but I use it in formal close up and standup shows as well. Contact me if interested.
Message: Posted by: shanla (Feb 2, 2003 03:07AM)
I agree with all who've recommend Michael Ammar's book. His Analysis of that effect is fantastic.
In addition, one of the best performances of cups and ball I think is Gazzo's routine.
It is basically Dai Vernon's routine, with a great climax. Both the video and manuscript are available from School for Scoundrels.
Another one I recommend is David Williamson's "Gold Cup". It uses two cups and rather short, therefore I find it very practical. You can read this routine in his "Williamson's Wonders", and can see the performance in "Sleight of Dave" video.
Tommy Wonder's routine is also worth looking into. The climax is unique and different from any other cups and balls routine. It's described in "The Books of Wonder".

Message: Posted by: Elwood (Feb 2, 2003 06:18AM)
Dan Fleshman has a great kicker ending to Cups and Balls, but I can't remember which video it's on!
Message: Posted by: Welshwizard (Feb 2, 2003 01:32PM)
Hi Elwood,

What is the kicker ending? I'm just starting in cups and balls.
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Feb 2, 2003 06:37PM)
The Fleshman Flash is a wonderful load sequence that allows you to produce FIVE final loads, rapid fire, under scrutiny. The misdirection and construction is teriffic. Dan is one of the underrated workers--truly in the upper echelon of performers and a super guy.
Message: Posted by: korttihai_82 (Feb 3, 2003 01:32AM)
David Reagle's cups and balls is the best I have ever seen, and I have seen many. It's the only production where the final loads make sense.
Also Tommy wonder has very good ideas on his book vol.2. Otherwise I don't care for the routine.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 4, 2003 04:23PM)
If you want to be really different... contact Stevensmagic.com and get the cups and balls video... then go for Johnny Paul's routine. Hardly anyone is doing it, and it is great. Special cups are also available from Stevens (blatant plug)!!! :cups:
Message: Posted by: Scott F. Guinn (Feb 4, 2003 06:30PM)
Speaking of which, Pete, do you still make those great big cups (the name of which currently escapes me--Galli-Galli or something like that maybe)?
Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Feb 6, 2003 11:01AM)
Seth: There are many great routines out there. First, and this is very important, you need to decide what environment you are going to perform in. If you are only going to sit when you do the cups, then the John Mendoza C&B routine is great, has a lot of theatre, but you do need a combo set. Mendoza has another routine called Flash Cups, which is in his Book of John, that uses regular cups.

For walk-around, I do the Johnny Ace Palmer routine from his Trilogy tapes (I actually had the pleasure of being taught this by Johnny). This is done standing, has the spectators involved, and ends strongly.

While the Ammar book is good, it is better for someone who has a bit of experience (I think) with the cups. I do not recommend the Ammar routine, since the loads are done on the wrong beat. You can't miss with the classic Vernon routine (which I think is taught in the Ammar book).

The C&Bs are a reputation making routine that I recommend to any magician. There is a certain rhythm and cadence that is acquired with the cups, as well as confidence in the vanishes (which, to be honest, is the most difficult part of the trick). Before you are distracted by a flashy variation of the C&Bs, I recommend learning and performing a basic routine so to build confidence (perhaps even a Chop Cup routine). Good Luck!
Message: Posted by: richgerb86 (Feb 6, 2003 11:52AM)
I like Mr. Brewer's advice. I was never confident with my cups & until I started doing his chop routine from his book the Unexpected Visitor(which is a great book!)
I also got the dvd of Carl Andrews table hopping cups & balls. I now finally have a cups & balls & chop cup routine I am happy with. I also just ordered a micro chop cup & am ready to move on. Does any one know where I may find the Johhny Ace Palmer Routine, I am verry interested in seeing/learning it. Thanks!
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 6, 2003 01:10PM)
Scott: Yessireeee, you can still get the Galli Galli cups. Stevensmagic.com has them. Also the Johnny Paul cups.

I have a few "used" sets still available direct from me. :cups:
Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Feb 6, 2003 03:53PM)
I think you can still get the Palmer video from Magicsmith.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 7, 2003 04:16PM)
Mr. Korttihai-82,
I assume you have never seen Tommy Wonder perform his cups and balls in real life?
Reading the routine is one thing...experiencing is something really different!
I know his routine by heart (as a study not as a part of my working repertoire) and I have seen him do it many times. Still I always miss parts. His routining and control of direction is unbelievable!
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Feb 8, 2003 08:16AM)
I whole heartedly agree with Dan about the Wonder routine. See it live and you'll love it. I've been studying it and working on it since the 80's. I actually flew from Texas to Ohio just to see it performed,
I consider it money well spent.

I doubt too many people would actually be able to perform it as well as Tommy can. It is alot like a Slydini routine, rely's heavily on his personality and natural misdirection. Although there is a tremendous amount that can be learned fromn it. I learned it as taught, and performed it his way for years, it evolved into the routine I do now. I use two of his Phases in my current routine.

Message: Posted by: doug brewer (Feb 8, 2003 12:52PM)
I think the Wonder routine is good, but it is NOT for a beginner. Also, I used to do the Wonder routine right out of the book and quickly learned that it is not suitable for walk-around. Since the cups have to periodically be layed on their side (while concealing a ball) nearby tables got a free lesson in this trick. I was forced to use it only on special occasions, and for a routine that required so much practice, this was a little disappointing. The Wonder loads, while exceedingly clever, are not that strong for a lay audience (magician audiences, however, go wild). A load coming out of nowhere has a much stronger impact on a lay audience.
Message: Posted by: Ronnie Ramin (Feb 8, 2003 02:58PM)
Doug I agree with you there, I also performed it as described and came across these same limitations. I now end it with the production of three pieces of Fruit. I also did away with the laying of the cups on there sides. I still use the loading of the Pom Pom though, when I reveal it I load the second Lemon... etc.

Although I don't perform the routine as he taught it, I learned a great deal working towards the routine I now do. I feel my current routine will also continue to evolve who knows where it'll go.

Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 11, 2003 12:50AM)
Independently I came up with a load of the bag the cups (or chop cup) comes in. You wad it up, and with a bit of misdirection, get hold of it and load it into the cup. :carrot:
Message: Posted by: shane_delon (Feb 11, 2003 07:33AM)
I've been watching a lot of cups and balls videos and performances lately. Here are the one's I like in the order I like them:

Michael Ammar - The Complete Cups and Balls 1 and 2

David Williamson - Sleight of Dave 1

Rafael Benatar - Volume 3 - cups and balls

Stevens Cups and Balls with 4 routines.

My advise is watch as many as you can then develop your own routine to fit your persona. Some actions may be more natural for you as well as some attitudes.

I like to use a wand, but I know some people don't use a wand at all.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 13, 2003 09:36PM)
I like a wand so I can HIT the spectator's with it... :carrot:
Message: Posted by: atkinsod (Feb 14, 2003 08:07AM)
I recently got a copy of Dennis Loomis' Cups & Balls routine. It is based on the Vernon routine, with some Don Alan style thrown in. It is a nice booklet.

Also, I feature an extensive reference guide to the cups and balls, listing many of the books, videos, and props available at my non-commercial website: http://magicref.tripod.com

Doug A.
Message: Posted by: chrismatt (Feb 14, 2003 06:40PM)
My all-time favorite trick is Dai Vernon's Cups & Balls. You can even do it impromptu, as long as you have the proper loads (balls or fruit), and this is the way it's taught in Stars of Magic. For the small balls in impromptu settings, I've used rolled up bills, olives, grapes, cherries, etc.
There are umpteen variations of the Professor's routine (by Ammar, Mendoza, etc.), and many highly original versions of the trick (by Tommy Wonder, David Regal, etc.). It can be a daunting challenge for someone wanting to learn the trick to choose or design the best one (for him) from the hundreds of twists, variations and moves. (This is a typical problem these days in almost all areas of magic.)

Although this advice may sound pedestrian and uninspired, learn the Vernon routine and learn it well. You will have a solid routine that will entertain (your audiences) and gratify (you). Later, if motivated, you can introduce variations, other moves, etc., but be careful not to lengthen the routine much beyond Vernon's original. Get to the denouement (the final loads) without too much delay and treat the rest of the routine as entertaining preliminaries.

For a one (Chop) cup version, you can't do much better than the routine by Vernon's student, Larry Jennings.

Good luck!
Message: Posted by: Jeff Dial (Feb 19, 2003 11:06PM)
My first routine was John Carney's "Fruit Cup" found in Carneycopia. I learned all my basic sleights there.

For someone getting started you might try Charlie Miller's routine found on the Stevens Cups and Balls video. The final loads require less misdirection and are, therefore, a bit less stressful for the beginner. It is in Michael Ammar's Complete Cups and Balls (book) as the "Classic Ending Sequence"
Message: Posted by: TheAmbitiousCard (Feb 20, 2003 05:35PM)
I like "Of Cups and Fuzzballs" by John Bannon.

I also like his "Chop 2" chop cup routine.

Something about his routining and patter fit just right with my style.

The only thing to watch out for is that since the patter is quite nice, if have to make sure you still respond to the audience and not just blah, blah, blah or it could seem very contrived and stiff.

I've noticed this (in general) about several routines that I like that have descent out-of-the-box patter. They seem perfect until you realize that if you do them as indicated, the speckys just stand/sit there and listen to you. That's no good.

A little more back-and-forth is always a good thing!!!
Message: Posted by: EvanAndrews (Feb 20, 2003 08:49PM)
David Regal's is great! I liked the ending and his patter and story behind the effect. The stuff before the end of the routine you can make up yourself or do whatever you want with. You can find it in his DVD's/Videos The Magic of David Regal Volume 2 or his books Constant Fooling. Other than that..I think all those other routines with the cups and balls are boring and overrated.
Message: Posted by: sethbek (Feb 22, 2003 06:48PM)
I recall seeing Harry Anderson do a cup and balls routins on television, once, a while back. Although I never saw this in print, I do remember likeing the routine. It was based on showing the audeince how easy it is to be taken by a gambler.
Message: Posted by: iSawThat (Feb 24, 2003 07:17AM)
Go and see Tim Ellis' FISM winning routine!! you'll pay your respects immediately...Nothing I have seen is more novel, more interesting, and more motivated than his routine...Check it out at http://www.seemagic.co.uk IMO it's even better than Regal's and I quite liked Regal's when I saw it...
Message: Posted by: dillib (Feb 24, 2003 07:22AM)
I'll have to second iSawThat in this. Ellis' cups and balls is the best and most original I've ever seen!
Message: Posted by: Welshwizard (Feb 24, 2003 07:53AM)
I agree Tim Ellis's rock and roll cups and balls is great. Very original and funny. All the moves flew straight past me the first time I saw it. I like the idea of using sunglasses as well.
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Feb 28, 2003 04:10AM)
So is "most novel" the same as "the best"?

(I am not wanting to make anyone look bad here, but from what I read some of you seem to think that a novel routine is imeediately the best routine. Was the latest blockbuster movie also the best movie? Time will tell...)
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Feb 28, 2003 07:31PM)
Bob Read's Penultimate Cups and Balls had us on the floor when we saw him do it. :stout:
Message: Posted by: Welshwizard (Mar 1, 2003 06:53AM)
On 2003-02-28 05:10, Dan LeFay wrote:
So is "most novel" the same as "the best"?

(I am not wanting to make anyone look bad here, but from what I read some of you seem to think that a novel routine is imeediately the best routine. Was the latest blockbuster movie also the best movie? Time will tell...)


I agree. How many laymen are going to turn around and say 'hey! That's the same old boring Vernon routine.' :lol:

I don't agree with original for the sake of original but you can always pick up or add a little something from other routines.
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 1, 2003 01:01PM)
When those final loads hit... laymen are knocked dead.

That's what matters! :cups:
Message: Posted by: Glenn Godsey (Mar 19, 2003 11:52PM)
My very favorite cups and balls routine is Ricky Jay's. It is a fooler, a witty history lecture, and a lesson in sleight-of-hand all rolled into one.

My second favorite is Jim Cellini's. It is a street spiel routine that takes the audience right back to the street hustlers of older times.
Message: Posted by: Eric Grossman (Mar 20, 2003 08:49AM)
I saw Gazzo perform his cups and balls, in Boston. I had read about the routine, and knew about the ending. I was looking for it, and I still missed it. For those who aren't familiar, his final, final load is like a dozen oranges, and a honeydew melon. Yep! It fooled the heck out of me. :cups:
Message: Posted by: Jonathan Townsend (Mar 20, 2003 08:25PM)
Anyone doing the trick with the cups mouth up? Dropping the ball in... Pouring a ball or nothing out... Maybe live mice as final loads?
Message: Posted by: Pete Biro (Mar 21, 2003 11:45AM)
FRED KAPS published a routine loading the cups mouth up, based on Senator Crandall's moves in Tarbell.

Alex Elmsley has a killer routine on his tapes where your final load is SALT... more than you can believe.

Some years ago I made a load gimmick out of a "Phantom Tube" load (a metal device with a piece of paper over the end--ala drum head).

I had flash paper over the salt in the load chamber and with a small candle burning on the table, I passed the cup over the flame and the flashpaper burned and the salt came out to extinguish the flame.

Another gaffe I made was a plug made of paper tape, wrapped around a tube that held coins. The load jammed into the cup, and when cup lifted a stack of coins was on the table.

I have been fiddling with a foo can type load so I could pour water out of a cup after a load sequence.

Tim Starr makes a killer gimmick to load a glass into a cup that fills itself with liquid.

Message: Posted by: hkmagic (Mar 21, 2003 04:33PM)
One of the best if not the better is Frank Garcia´s, also you can find interesting a booklet that Tommy Wonder wrote a while the name of the book is "Tommy Wonder Entertains"
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Mar 22, 2003 12:03PM)
Yea, I've seen Fred Kaps on video and both Ger Copper and Tony van Rhee live, do the loading sequences with the cups mouth upwards. Very disarming moves. All of them did it with spongeballs. It is however useless in a close-up situation. People should not be able to see inside the cups.

Wouldn't it be a great effect for those who know, to apply this technique with Gertner-style ballbearings...wow!
Message: Posted by: afknight (Mar 22, 2003 01:22PM)
To JonTown: John Bannon's c&b routine uses the cups mouthside up with the rationale that that's the way cups are intended to be used - to put things into as opposed to putting things under them. However, his initial producation of the balls occurs from a mouthside down stack of cups.