This is one of the most brilliant pieces of conjuring (stage magic) ever devised. The brilliance lies in its simplicity, lack of complex preparations, and the fact that it involves no "secret" -- just technique and guile.

The effect

The magician presents a roll of toilet paper to the victim/subject. He pulls off one piece and places it in one of his hands. The magician passes the toilet paper from hand to hand, challenging the subject to guess which hand it is in. The subject guesses wrong. The magician gets another, larger piece of toilet paper, and repeats the procedure -- passing it from hand to hand, then stopping and asking which hand the paper is in. Again, the subject gets it wrong. This continues for as long as the effect is entertaining, until finally the magician takes the entire roll of toilet paper, and blatantly throws it over the subject's head, where it lands on the ground behind the subject, next to all the pieces of toilet paper that had so mysteriously "disapperared."

The technique

To pull this off, you need to release the paper at exactly the right moment, so that it flies over the subject's head, but is just out of view. The trick is to know how the human eye moves -- if you quickly move your hand up, it will take a split second for the eye to track and adjust. During this split second, the subject will be able to see your hand at the top of his visual field (thus obviating any suspicion) but not the flying toilet paper, which is just a bit too high. It takes practice to learn the exact distances to use, and to be able to do it quickly enough. Slydini himself could stand dozens of feet away from his subject, and throw the toilet paper in a long, lazy parabola so that it landed just behind the subject.

If you want to learn this trick, practice on drunk people first -- among other things, their eyes will react more slowly.

Of course, the genius of the trick is that anyone observing sees again and again the paper sailing over the subjects head, and again and again the subject choosing a hand after careful consideration. So long as the audience keeps their mouth shut, you can repeat this many, many times.

Editor note:
a new user, DE2 added....
I was attracted to your site via a google search for Slydini. I saw a write up for the Slydini Toliet Paper Trick. I hope you will understand what I am about to say is not intended to be anything other than informative. I studied with Slydini for many years. What you are referring to is 'The Paper Balls Over The Head'. Slydini used paper napkins. He never used toilet paper. I truly believe he would feel hurt by this reference. I believe there is a magician who does a routine based upon Slydini's and uses toliet paper, perhaps that is where this came from.I believe that is something you would like to be aware of. Respectfully, D

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