Bar Bets That You Just Can't Lose

Bartender playing bar game
Shoko Shimabukuro / Getty Images

Bar bets are something of a genre of magic. They are simple tricks that challenge others so they just can't win. Some of them are play on words and others, you just have to know the method or the secret. Have fun with these.

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    Cups Up

    Cups Up offers a classic bar bet/magic challenge. Using three cups, you perform three simple moves that leave all three cups with their mouths up. But each time a spectator tries to do this, the cups end up mouth down.

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    Money Count Down

    You bring out a number of coins and dump them onto the table. You challenge a spectator to take turns removing between one, two or three coins. The person who takes the last set of coins wins. This is one that you can't lose.

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    The Hat Trick

    A classic bar bet. You tell a spectator that you can consume a drink while it sits under a hat without touching the hat. You have to be fast with this one and you'll find out why.

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    How to Pass a Glass Through a Playing Card

    Here's an unusual bar bet where you bet that you can cut a hole in a playing card and somehow pass a bottle or glass through it. It's easy once you know the secret.

    Continue to 5 of 12 below.
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    The Dropping Bill Bar Bet

    In this bar bet - a wager that you can’t lose - you ask a spectator to simply grab a bill before it falls out of reach. And despite the spectator's best efforts, the bill falls to the floor, right through his fingers.

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    Jumping Paper Clips

    The Jumping Paper Clips is a simple magic trick but it also works as a bar bet. Simply produce a dollar bill and two paper clips and you can bet others that you can take the two single paper clips and place them on the dollar and without touching the paper clips, cause them to link and jump up.

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    Eleven Makes Nine

    You lay out six toothpicks or matches and hand a spectator five more. You then challenge the spectator to "make nine."

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    The Coin Pyramid

    You build a pyramid out of ten coins and then ask them to move one coin at a time, and in three moves, completely invert the pyramid. It’s a lot tougher than it looks.

    Continue to 9 of 12 below.
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    The Circus/Sucker Trick

    The Circus Trick is a well known "sucker" trick that was supposed to used at old time circuses and sideshows to scam unknowing spectators. In the trick, there's a point where a spectator can seemingly make a sure bet.

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    Folding Paper

    You challenge a spectator to fold a piece of paper more than nine times. The spectator can use any piece of paper of any thickness or size. The only rule is that he or she must fold the entire sheet of paper in half with each fold.

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    Thirty-Five Cent Solution

    You tell a spectator that you hold in your clenched hand two coins that add up to 35 US cents, however, one of the coins is not a dime. How can this be? What coins can you be holding?

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    Egg Balance

    Here's a fun stunt that you can perform anyplace you have access to an egg. You bet your friends that you can balance an egg on a table. When you’re friends give up, you balance the egg using a little help.