Skip to main content

How to Do the Olive & Glass Magic Trick

Learn how to do the olive and glass magic trick with this Howcast video.


Simon: Peter, Jillian. You're back for some more little betcha's I can tell. You just can't keep away from me can you? Well, lucky for you I've just learnt a new one. This guy down at a bar in Greenwich Village showed me fantastic little bet with matches. Jillian, let's see if you can work it out.

Jillian: Okay.

Simon: See this little half match represents an olive. I know it doesn't look much like an olive, but let's pretend.

Jillian: Okay.

Simon: We're playing fantasy, as indeed I often do. And I'm going to put a little glass around it, just like this. This is not going to very artistic. So that represents the glass around the olive.

Peter: Okay.

Simon: And here's a little bet for you. Now Peter, you do realize there'll be a drink on this.

Peter: Okay, I love a drink.

Simon: I'm happy to buy you one if you can work it out.

Peter: I'm still waiting for my drink.

Simon: I know you are and how often have I taken drinks off you, my friend?

Peter: Quite a bit.

Simon: I want you to win this one.

Peter: I want to, too.

Simon: He's not going to. Here's the bet, my friend. You get to move two matches and two matches only. You have to get the olive out of the glass, but you have to leave the glass intact. In other words it still has to look like the glass, but the olive has to be out of it.

Peter: So I can only move two matches?

Simon: Only two. And I could have been crueler, I could have said one, but I didn't. I'm giving you two matches, my friend. For just the price of a nice top shelf Scotch.

Peter: There's always a price involved.

Simon: There is with me, isn't there? You know that.

Peter: Nothing's for free.

Simon: There are two kinds of people in this world, my wee darling. Those who make money and those who take it. So away you go there, Pete. Let's see how badly you can mess this one up.

Peter: We'll see. I think I can do it.

Simon: He's got no chance at all.

Peter: All right, two matches. Here we go.

Simon: Here we go. Stand back. There may be broken glass here.

Peter: It's going to be...

Simon: Oh, this is good.

Peter: I don't know.

Simon: He's moving at the speed of the wounded ferret here, my friends.

Peter: I can't move any of them, because it'll break the glass. That will break the glass.

Simon: But I'm prepared to bet you a top shelf drink I can do it.

Peter: It can't be done, so I'll take it.

Simon: You'll take the bet?

Peter: Yes.

Simon: What do you think, Jillian?

Jillian: I don't know. Tell me.

Simon: Okay, watch very close and learn, my friend, because a lot of bar bets are all about how you word the bar bet. I said "Leave the glass intact." I didn't say which way up the glass had to be. So here's how it's done. I'm going to move that little match over there. Then I'm going to take that match and put it down there. The olive is out of the glass. I only moved two matches, but the glass is upside down. I didn't say which way up the glass had to be.

Peter: No, and it's still intact.

Jillian: Yeah, that's still intact.

Simon: And the olive, like Houdini from a locked in tank full of water has pounced out and said to the crowd, "You owe me a drink."

Popular Categories