Book of Magic/Prop Magic
Beyond the arena of close up magic, magicians often performed 'Stand Up' magic (sometimes referred to as 'Parlor' magic) and 'Stage' magic for large audiences.
Linking Rings are a standard effect within the magician's repertroire. Modern sets of rings are available from nearly every magic dealer throughout the world. Commonly, the set utilize a "key ring" which is a gimmicked ring allowing the various rings to link together.
Cups and Balls
Within magic literature (and well before it's genesis), Cups and Balls were a hallmark of a magician.
Knowing the Ropes
Rope tricks come in many varieties some using normal rope, some using gimmicked or gaffed rope. If you plan to do rope tricks, you must choose the right rope for the trick. Cotton rope works best for most tricks, especially those that require the rope to be cut in any way, or for tricks where the ends need to be tight and not unraveled. Nylon works well if the rope is not going to be cut, as the ends can be heated to prevent them from raveling. Avoid stiff ropes such as ski ropes and hemp ropes.
Cut and Restored Rope
This version of the cut and restored rope uses a non gimicked rope. Hold both ends of the rope in the left hand between the thumb and fore finger, the middle of the rope dangling down below the hand. Bring the bottom, middle of the rope up into the hand holding the two ends, to hold the middle loop steady to cut. A magic pass and the rope is restored, well, except for the knot in the middle. Just a pull on the knot and it comes off, and wa la, the rope is restored.
It is a trick you have seen many times on television. How is it accomplished? For this we need to understand misdirection and sleight of hand. The misdirection is the patter, that is to say the words you use to describe what you are doing. The patter for this is simply "I bring the center of the rope up to form a loop, take the scissors and cut the center of the rope making two pieces." Which is the truth, you actually do cut the rope into two pieces. The hard part is to make it look like the two pieces are the same or nearly the same length. In actuality, the pieces are very different in length, one is very short and the other is very long.
To do this, when you pick up the center of the rope at the bottom, you pick it up with the first finger of the right hand. As you are lifting the center to the left hand, your middle finger goes through the rope and grabs the far side while the first finger drops the rope that it held. When done at speed, it looks as if you just lifted the center of the rope to the other hand forming a loop to cut. What actually happens is that you form a second loop around the first one, a much shorter loop it is this loop that is cut. When the ends are dropped the short piece of rope is close to the center of the long piece of rope and your hand is covering the point where the two loops come together. Tie a knot with the short loop around the rope. Now all you do is slide the knot off the rope as you wind the rope up in your hand. You can also try to tie the knot around a loop of the rope, so you can pull the knot directly off the center of the rope.