top of page

8 Types of Magic Tricks

There are many magic tricks, but magicians' tricks fall into one of 8 types. There are also different performance styles, and magicians often specialize in just one.


Magic has been captivating audiences for centuries. It's one of the oldest forms of entertainment, stretching back to the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans.


Magicians perform eight magic tricks: appearance, levitation, penetration, prediction, restoration, transformation, and transposition. They all work in essentially the same way: by manipulating your perception. You see something happen on stage that seems impossible—like a person floating in midair or pulling a rabbit out of a hat—and it makes you question whether or not what you saw was real.

Learn about all eight types in more detail.

Types of Magic

While no type of magic is straightforward, some types are more common for beginning magicians, like card tricks or sleight of hand.

Most magicians know a core base of tricks and then develop their particular repertoire around a handful of their favourite pieces.

Magic is based on illusion and mystery. The magician's role is to create a sense of wonder in the audience. All types of magic tricks employ mystery. This is what is so alluring about magic! Secrecy is, of course, another central element of magic. Practicing magicians are very selective about who they share their secrets.

How and where magicians perform varies a great deal as well. Street magic, close-up magic, and stage magic offer impressive performances in different settings.

What exactly is sleight of hand?

Sleight of hand involves skilled hand movements and misdirection to make objects appear and disappear in the hands of the performer. Sleight of hand tricks can use a wide variety of things; most commonly used are cards, coins, balls, and other small objects. Some magicians have even used live animals.

One of the oldest sleights of hand tricks originated in Ancient Egypt, the famous cups and balls magic trick.

What types of tricks do magicians perform?

When you think about magic tricks, you might imagine a magician standing on a stage surrounded by mirrors and smoke. While this classic image creates a fantastic atmosphere, the real-life circumstances are very different.

Most magic takes place in a variety of settings. Most magic is performed closely with familiar objects, like cards and coins.

Have you ever wondered how many different types of magic tricks were used by magicians for centuries? There are also only eight basic types of magic tricks.

8 Types of Magic Tricks Performed by Magicians

  1. Appearance