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How to Do the Linking Mints Trick

Updated July 20, 2017

The classic magic illusion of linked rings can be performed as an up-close and inexpensive trick with ring-shaped breath mints, such as Life Savers or Polo candies. The trick requires one magician's gimmick, or a piece prepared in advance, and only the most basic skill, palming. The linking mints trick depends on good patter to be convincing, so it is important to practice the trick until you believe you are pulling it off. Once you are able to conceal the gimmick, you will able to do this trick with the audience just inches away.

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  1. File a gap in one mint just large enough to pass another mint through. This is your "gimmick." Keep this mint concealed until you are ready to perform the trick.

  2. Place the unopened roll of mints in your shirt or coat pocket, and place the gimmick mint in a discreet pocket where you can get to it easily. You are ready to perform the trick.

  3. Display the roll of mints to your audience. As you take the mints out of your pocket, retrieve the gimmick mint and conceal it in your right palm. Cup your hand gently to hold the gimmick in place, but keep it natural-looking.

  4. Unwrap the mints and take two for your trick. Offer a mint to an audience member to show that they are real.

  5. Pick up one mint with the thumb and first two fingers of each hand. Bring your fingers close together, twisting the mints together as if you are trying to force the mints to link. Let your fingers block the audience's view of the mints.

  6. Slide the mint in your left fingers over so it is in your left palm, and conceal it there. Move the mint from your right fingers to your lift fingers. Slip the gimmick mint into your right fingers, and thread it through the whole mint in your left fingers. Use your right fingertips to conceal the gap in the mint. The mints now appear linked.

  7. Hold up the linked mints with your right fingers, concealing the gap. Use your left hand to spin the dangling mint, showing that they are linked.

  8. Eat the mints with a grand flourish, concluding your trick and hiding the gimmick.

  9. Tip

    You may find it more comfortable to reverse the directions if you are left-handed. Practice palming until it looks natural.


    Never repeat a trick for an audience, because that will give them the chance to see how it's done and shatter the illusion.

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Things You'll Need

  • 2 packages of ring-shaped white breath mints (Life Savers or Polos)
  • Manicure file

About the Author

Laura Zerhusen has been writing professionally since 2004. Her work has appeared in Masterplots, the Coordinating Council for Women in History's newsletter and in the "Magill's Choice Guide to Holocaust Literature." Zerhusen holds a Master of Arts in history from Purdue University and teaches college history part-time in the Bloomington-Normal, Ill., area.

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