Clever sucker-bets

Here are ten clever sucker bets from Richard Wiseman. They're a good mix of physics, logic, low trickery, concept-shifting, misdirection, topology, and breathtaking chutzpah. Seriously, I can't believe that he ever tried #10, because he is still breathing.

10 Bets You Will Never Lose


    1.  Learned that trick in a book of sucker bets I read as a kid back in the ’70s.

  1. If I ever did any of these to a friend, I’d feel really guilty.  If I did it to a non-friend, I’d be scared of getting punched.

    1. 1) Looks reminiscent of Mountain Dew, though not quite right. But that may be due to lighting.
      2) You should experiment and report back.

    2.  It’s oven cleaner!  Which you tell your friend right after spitting back in the glass.

  2. I just did the battery one about six times, and the relationship between the length of the batteries and the size of your hands seems to be critically important.  Don’t use something too long, or your index finger won’t reach.

    1. blastit… this was originally a reply to Mr Hibiki above, but then Disqus booted me out and in again …sorry about that

      the British equivalent of standard Gatorade™ perhaps?  (possibly called ‘Badgerassist’)

  3. These are fun to watch, but if anyone ever tried to bet me on something like this, I’d just assume they had some kind of trick up their sleeve and take a pass on it.

  4. If I was the “sucker” on three of the middle tricks (move three coins to flip the triangle, add a line to make six and move five to make nine) I would’ve totally won the bet as I’ve seen variants of all of these.  I’m sure many other people have as well.  I wouldn’t call that a bet you would surely win.  The battery trick and the spit into the glass trick, now, are very clever.

  5. I can win each of these bets by screaming, “You $%@!ing monster! You ruined my evening!” and slapping the ponce in the face at the end of each act.

  6. 10 bets you will never lose as long as you don’t try them on the millions of people who have now seen or will soon see this video.

    1. That one about reversing the triangle of coins would have failed against me before I saw this.

      Surely I’m not alone; that one’s piss-easy, right?

  7. I really like the last one. Not certain how to get into that situation, though — how to get the friend to put down the money. I guess you show them how easy it is for them to balance one glass on one hand, and then bet them £20 they can’t balance a glass on each hand.

  8. The cork trick is a specialty of Antonio Mendez (superspy).
    He most notably performed it to calm the Americans caught in Iran.

    Also, for all you Borges fans,  this *might* be the Rite of the Phoenix … though the text calls for wax in some way…

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