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Dave Le Fevre
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A few years ago, I wrote this article on Classic Palming a coin for a beginners’ board on another (UK) site.

Someone on The Magic Café asked for help with the Classic Palm, and I sent him a copy of it. He suggested that I post it on this board, so here it is.

It is aimed solely at beginners, so my apologies if you find it rather basic. And I would also stress that I’m not in way an expert on the Classic Palm, nor indeed on any aspect of conjuring.

Classic Palming a coin

Questions are often asked about the Classic Palm. Hopefully, most of the answers are here.

What's the correct position for the coin in my hand?

A picture is better than a thousand words. So take a look at this excellent illustrated lesson by Dan Watkins -

When I've got the coin palmed, I can't hold my hand flat

So what? Most hands aren't held flat most of the time.

The object of palming a coin is not to demonstrate that your hand is empty. It is to behave in such a way that the concept of your hand not being empty simply doesn't occur to the spectators.

Let your hand relax, and see what shape it takes. Using the other hand, push a coin into the palm. There, that was easier than trying to do it with a flat hand, wasn't it?

Which coin should I use?

A difficult question. There is no “right” answer.

Some people find that sharp-edged coins (2p and 50p) are easiest, while others prefer an edge like the 10p.

With time, it will becomes easier, and you will be able to Classic Palm different sizes of coins with different edges. But you may as well start with coins that are easier for you.

1 By experiment, find which coin is easiest for you

2 Practise a lot

3 Move on to the more difficult coins

How do you get the coin into the correct position?

Firstly, learn to retain the coin in the correct position. Then, and only then, learn how to get it into that position surreptitiously. One step at a time, eh?

However, when you do eventually learn how to get a coin into Classic Palm surreptitiously, opinions vary slightly.

Some people recommend balancing it on the tip of the second finger, and then pushing it into the palm.

Others recommend the tip of the third finger.

Yet others recommend the tips of the second and third fingers.

Find out what works best for your hand, your fingers, and your chosen coin.

A method that should work for everybody is to hold the coin between the tips of the second and third fingers and the thumb, and then slide the coin down the thumb into your palm until you can't move it any further. That should be the optimal position for your hand. Try it, it works.

My hand is too dry

Two sure-fire ways of ensuring that you can't Classic Palm a coin – firstly, soak your hand in olive oil; secondly, dry your hand thoroughly, then dust it with talcum powder.

The usual problem is the hand being too dry. It may be an uncouth solution, but saliva usually remedies that.

Various hand creams have been suggested, but they seem to be too greasy.

Corn Huskers' Lotion is reputedly good, but it's not available in the UK.

Coca Cola has been recommended. I haven't tried it, but its inherent stickiness makes me think that it's a good idea.

How long will it take me to learn the Classic Palm?

The Classic Palm is easy to practise. Just put a coin in Classic Palm, and then eat breakfast, read the newspaper, or whatever. It will get easier, believe me.

It has also been suggested that if you wear gloves as a matter of course, keep a coin Classic Palmed inside a glove. Then, should you accidentally drop it, you won't lose it and it won't make a noise.

If you practise it whenever is convenient (while watching TV, etc), it'll probably become fairly easy within a few weeks.

Perhaps others could comment more accurately?

Some people find some sleights easy and others hard. A sleight that you find easy, another guy may have a real problem with. But it may be a doddle for him to do sleights that you find challenging.

But my thumb sticks out unnaturally

Some people find that their thumb adopts a strange angle when they start to learn the Classic Palm. The suggested remedy is to touch the tip of your thumb with the tip of your first finger when you're trying to Classic Palm. That should keep your thumb from adopting an unnatural-looking angle.

© David Le Fèvre and others
The Ozzy Osbourne of the 34x27
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Profile of Symmatrix
This is one of the best articles about Classic Palm. Great work. I love it.

Thanks for sharing the material with us, Dave Le Fevre.

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Only Those Who Can See The Invisible Can Do The Impossible.

Symmatrix Magic
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Profile of Socrates
Excellent advice Dave and a great addition to this site.


'He who is ashamed of asking is ashamed of learning' - Danish Proverb Smile
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Profile of Seth
Have any of you guys had the problem that your hand is too moist?
John Long
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I second the recommendation on Dan Watkin's site; I didn't realize I was doing it wrong till I saw his site. My problem was that I was gripping the coin at the front (end closest to my finger tips) and back (meaning the end closest to the heel of my hand), instead of side to side (again, relative to the sides of my hand.) When I grab the coin front to back, my hand would be arched, front to back. When I grab it side to side, my hand can even be flat, or even arched slightly upwards.

It took some time before I could do the CP even with the help of my other hand to place it. A key revelation for me was when I realized that the orientation of the plane of the coin, relative to the plane of my palm, mattered a great deal. The wrong orientation, and I tend to grab it front to back, instead of side to side. I've learned to orient the coin properly before I squeeze in on it.

I also ditto the sliding of the coin along the base of the thumb, it helps alot. I am still working on just slapping that coin direcly in place. Sometimes I do, but I keep practicing (mainly while I'm driving.) Holding the coin in CP, once there also seems to build the muscle memory, and reinforces the feel of the right position.

As far as being able to just turn you hand over to achieve a CP, place the coin in CP by whatever method works, then turn your palm up. Now, rotate you hand slowly as you move your thumb in a little. Wow, a floating coin! It is harder to do this after just placing the coin in an upward palm, but that's a matter of knowing the spot, and the feel.

As far as a Loonie, the new American silver/gold dollars are the same size as the Loonie.

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Is it normal to have 1 hand develop faster than the other?
I can cp coins from 2p down to 1p in size in my left but my right struggles to hold a 10p (im using the 10p because of the milled edges).
I'm sure the answer here is just to keep on practicing, so I guess that's what I'll have to do!
I was put on this earth to do a great many things..... I'm now so far behind that I don't think I'm ever going to die!
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Good Website! Sorry Seth, but I don't have that problem. My hands are usually too dry, so I just run them under some hot water and dry them. GOOD LUCK!
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Profile of Tabasco
Great website and explanation. It was very useful for me.
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John - I've looked at Dan's site half a dozen times and never noticed what you've pointed out; that it's a side to side grip, not a back to front. Thanks!
Jolyon Jenkins
Rob Elliott
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Good information, Dave! Nicely done.
Dan Watkins
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Just an FYI - my essay that Dave links to was a first draft that I originally submitted to The Coin Purse. The current version of this essay resides in the "Foundations" section of

rjenkins, how do you think I could be more clear about not gripping top to bottom, but side to side in my essay? I have highlighted yellow areas where the coin contacts with arrows saying where not to hold the coin. Is there something you think should be added to make it more clear?
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Dan - your pictures are perfectly clear, but somehow, the direction of squeeze eluded me. I mean, I can see which muscles are highlighted in yellow, but that didn't translate (in my mind) into what that would mean in terms of pressures and how it would feel. I think I was primarily looking at the pictures in terms of where the coin was (i.e. between the two yellow lines, not at the base of the fingers) and that blinded me to the nature of the grip. My fault of course. But maybe if the phrase "side to side" had been there, I'd have got it. My tendency has been to grip the coin sort of diagonally (i.e. both side to side and front to back) and that for me obscured the fact that there are in fact two dimensions of grip to be considered.
Jolyon Jenkins
Dan Watkins
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Gotcha, I added some text to make this issue clear in the essay.

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Great incites guys!

Makeing your hand look natural, and empty at the same time is the key to palming anything.
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