Billiard Ball Color Change

Great trick for to do when it's your turn to rack.


A sheet of stiff paper, about 10 by 8 inches which has been rolled into a tube and then unrolled so that it will take shape easily, a small rubber band, two billiard balls, one red and the other white, and a red shell.

Prep Work :

Place the sheet of paper and the rubber band on your table, the white ball with the red shell on it under the vest on the right hand side.


After various moves with the red ball, apparently take it in the right hand, really palming it in the left. and pretend to put it in your mouth. Push out one check with your tongue to simulate the presence of the ball, then push out the other cheek as if you rolled the ball across in your mouth and finally pretend to swallow it.

billiard ballPlace both hands flat on your chest and slide them down to the bottom of the vest, lift the vest with both hands, take the white hall and red shell with the right hand, keeping the red shell squarely to the front, and in turning down the vest slip the red hall under it with the left fingers. Hold the ball and shell encircled by the right thumb and forefinger so that the red shell only is visible.

Pick up the sheet of paper with the left hand, show both sides of it and roll it into a tube large enough for the ball to pass through easily. Place the rubber hand around it.

Stand the tube upright on the palm of your left hand, bring your right hand to the top and apparently drop the red ball into it, in reality finger palm the red shell and let the white ball drop. Immediately grasp the middle of the tube with the right hand and press the shell against it. Lift the tube and show the white ball lying on the left palm. Toss it in the air and catch it in the same hand.

Unroll the paper, hold it in the right hand, the thumb in front, fingers behind concealing the shell, and show it on both sides. Drop the paper and take the white ball in the right hand, inserting it in the red shell and turning to the right as you do so. Hold the ball and shell between the right thumb and forefinger with the red shell squarely to the rear and therefore invisible.

Lift the shell upwards with the right second finger, apparently bringing a red ball into view between the first and second fingers, at the same moment steal the red ball from the vest with the left hand. Take the red shell from the right hand inserting the red ball in the action. Knock the two bulls together and continue with your routine.

originally published by Jean Hugard in Annual of Magic 1938

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