Reference Guide to the

Endless Chain, or

Chain of Chance Effect


by Doug A. (e-mail magicref (at); replace (at) with @).

Last Update 7 Jan 2011 Added Braham's & Porstmann's Karl Norman Forty Years at the Forks; Harold Denhard's How to Do Rope Tricks; Bruce Elliot's Magic as a Hobby, Henry Hay's Amateur Magician's Handbook; Ian Keable's Big Book of Magic Fun; Derek Lever's Ken Brooke & Friends; Harry Lorayne Apocalypse Vol 6-10, Vol 11-15, and Vol 16-20; Phil Matlin's Endless Chain; Jimmy Ray's A Ray of Magic; Claude Rix Presents Original Close Up Routines; The Complete Mike Rogers; Scarne's Magic Tricks; Jim Sisti's Magic Menu The First Five Years, and years Six Thru Ten; Paul Zenon's Street Magic;

The following is a short list of reference to books, videos/DVDs and products dealing with the effect known by several names, such as The Endless Chain, Fast and Loose, The Figure Eight, On the Barrelhead, and so forth.

For a short article on the Endless Chain, see

Please note that none of these items are for sale from this web site, this is provided for informational purposes only. Prices are estimates and are not current. Some items may no longer be available.

Click on a book title to see a full contents listing (where available). Click on a Dealer's name to go to the web links page.


Acer, David: Natural Selections 2. Includes: Intangibill finger thru billl, Card warp get ready, subtlety for Endless Chain, visual coin change, essays, tips on marketed effects, and more with post cards, bottle caps, business cards, credit cards, watches, cards, and coins. Hardcover, 201 pages. $35.00

Anderson, George: Magic Digest. Includes The Australian Belt: Loopy Loop, Chain of Chance - spectator can't pick the side that "catches"

Ayling, Will (with Lewis Ganson, Fred Lowe, and Rex Taylor): The Endless Chain. Moves, ideas, patter presentations and routines. Photographed by Will Ayling; in the Supreme 'Know-How'series, Bideford, The Supreme Company, 1983 , 44 pg.

Blake, George: Loopy Loop: A Treatise on the Endless Chain.1949/1972 Micky Hades Ent., 23 pg 8.5x11". Includes: Introduction, Production of the Chain, Figure 8, Which is Pulled?, Easy Figure 8, Ring and Chain, Chain of Life, 1 Finger only, Double 8, Ring Off, Flower, Extra Choice, Pouring Chain, Creeping Chain, Falling Knot, Pricking the Garter. Available from Denny & Lee's.

Brahams, Anthony & M. Porstmann: Karl Norman Forty Years at the Forks. 1995, 80 pages. A hardcover and updated version of Karl's Here's How, includes Carnival Loop Routine.

Brooke, Ken: The Endless Chain. Instructions by Lewis Ganson.Copyright by Harry Stanley "Unique Magic Studio" London W.1.4 pg. A4

Cairy, Clyde F.: Rice Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks. Includes Double-barreled barrel head, vol 3.

Denhard, Harold: How to Do Rope Tricks. Includes On the Barrelhead (L. Vosburgh Lyons, M.D.; from Phoenix Magazine): shows the basic throw for the "chain of chance" or "loopy loop" sucker bet

Elliot, Bruce: Magic As A Hobby. Includes Three Loop Monte (L. Vosburgh Lyons), a version of the Chain of Chance, Loopy Loop, Fast & Loose. Spectator can't insert finger into loop of rope

Fedko, John: Magic Treasures (edited by Tom Clifford). 1996. 54 effects iincluding coins, cards, sponge balls, rope, chop cup, cups & balls, and "Chain of No Return" endless chain routine.

Ganson, Lewis: The Art of Close Up Magic Volume 1. Hardcover. Contains lots of close up magic, including chapter 4 on gambling routines. Endless Chain routines are: The Figure 8 by George Blake, Two Novel Moves by George Blake, and Triple Circle Routine by Fred Lowe with long chain and triple loops.

Hay, Henry: The Amateur Magician's Handbook. Includes The Spiral, which is an Endless Chain or Chain of Chance move.

Haydn, Whit (with Chef Anton): Notes on Fast and Loose. The School for Scoundrels. 44pg, spiral bound. Full coverage of the endless chain routine. Describes the throw, convincing moves, and so forth. Designed from the point of view of the real street con. $30. Chef Anton's Site, Denny & Lee's.

Keable, Ian: The Big Book of Magic Fun. This children's magic book includes an Endless Chain routine.

Kerr, Larin R.: Endless Chain and Endless Ring. Chain, ring and methods sold by Fantastic Magic Co. of Pennsylvania,1971, 5 pg. A4.

Lever, Derek: Ken Brooke & Friends. 1986, 298 pages. Includes The Endless Chain routine.

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 6-10. Includes All In Air Endless Loop (Robert L. Brooks), and Can't Lose Belt Loop (Bobby Bernard)

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 11-15. Includes What's the Catch? (Gene Maze), which is Loopy Loop or The Endless Chain with a peg stand variation.

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 16-20. Includes The Mouse Trap (Harold Cataquet), which is an in the hands Fast & Loose, Endless chain routine done in the hands. This is a 4 loop Mouse String Figure.

Matlin, Phil: Tips, Tricks and Routines. Perfect Magic. Includes Endless Chain.

Norman, Karl: Here's How. 51pg. 1985 Collector's Workshop. Card on the Ceiling, Change for A Quarter (torn & restored card transposition), Coin in the Bottle, My Coin Collection (CSB & Okito box), Symphathetic Matchboxes (commercial props), Multiplying Rabbits (using 3 adults & 6 babies), Polish Rocket gag, Impromptu torn/restored Cigarette, Bill in Cigarette, Color Changing Knives (uses 4 knives, adapted from Schulien's routine), Ring Flight (commercial prop), Linking Pins with handkerchief, Karl Norman's Three Shell Game Routine (uses brass cups, can use regular shells as well), Carnival Loop Routine (Chain of Chance; with comedy, fake knot, etc.).

Ray, Jimmy: A Ray of Magic. 1980 Morrisey Magic, 48 pages spiral bound. Includes The Magic Figure 8.

Rix, Claude: Presents Original Close Up Routines. Does not have a routine, but provides an idea for a gambling routine using a cigarette vanish, Fast & Loose, and the 3 Card Monte (3 Card Monte and Fast & Loose not explained)

Rogers, Mike: The Complete Mike Rogers. Contains a Table Time article from the May 70 MUM, which discusses in part the Endless Chain con in Morocco. Not a routine, but may be useful for historical purposes.

Scarne, John: Scarne's Magic Tricks. Includes a variation of the chain effect, but with a belt, The Famous Belt Trick.

Sisti, Jim: The Magic Menu The First Five Years. Includes At the Bar by Ray Mertz, which explains Karl Norman's Carnival Loop Routine (Endless Chain) from his book Here's How

Sisti, Jim: The Magic Menu Years Six Thru Ten. Amongst tons of additional material, the Issue 37 September/October 1996 All-Trick Issue contains Viscious Circle by Phil Matlin, which uses a rope, and The Finger Ring Subtlely by David Acer (is this the same as in Natural Selections 2?)

Smith, Chuck: The Ultimate Endless Chain Routine. $25. H&R Magic Books

Trost, Nick: Expert Gambling Tricks. contains "On the Barrelhead", a routine by Dennie Flynn

Zenon, Paul: Street Magic. 2005, 192 pages. Chapter 8 on Street Scams includes an endless chain routine.


DeSouza, Marc: The Chain Gang. Lecture video with Chain. Interactive routine, highly commercial, 7-8 minutes. Presented as history of the game, and includes audience management techniques. Includes Ken Schwabe's "Double Throw / Double Catch" variations. Supplied with velvet carrying pouch and a gold anodized chain similar in length, size and style as used by Marc DeSouza. Seems to be well liked on the various Magic forums. $30

DeSouza, Marc: DeSouza’s DeCeptions Companion Video. Performance only video covers effects from DeSouza's DeCeptions: The Magic of Marc DeSouza (written by David Acer). Performed in real world environment. Includes a bonus performance of Chain Gang, the endless chain routine.£14.00/$19.60 

Eldridge, David: Fundamentalism, Basic Mentalism Routines. Includes: ESP Routine, ESP Trick, Flip Flop, ESP With Playing Cards, Hoy Book test, Pick-A-Date, Jumbo 8 Card Brainwave, The Grey Elephant in Denmark, and a non-mentalism routing: The Endless Chain Game. 

Haydn, Whit & Chef Anton: Fast and Loose DVD. Complete instruction and performance in full details. Moves, the type of chain to use, the lay down of the chain, the "selling of the lie," the come-ons, the proofs, and the hooks $35

Thompson, Johnny: Commercial Classics of Magic V2. Contains The Travelers - Card in Envelope, Triumph, The Endless Chain, Vernon Poker Deal, Chink A Chink, The Cap & Pence, Mental Card Miracle $29.95 L&L Publishing


Hank Lee: Hank Lee's Endless Chain. Includes flat chain as well as a routine. $6.50. From Hank Lee.

Haydn, Whit & Chef Anton: School for Scoundrels Chain. As featured in "Notes on Fast and Loose" by Whit Haydn. Five foot steel chain in heavy gold or nickel plate features French Rope design and includes suede carrying bag. $30 in nickel, $70 gold. Chef Anton's, Denny & Lee's.

Lowe, Fred: Super Chain. Produced by Fredlo Developments, England, in 1968. (Info from Whit Haydn's Fast & Loose)

Manos, Christopher: The Great Chain Con. Two versions are available. Standard chain and routine is $8.00, Deluxe Golden Chain version is $14.00. I have the Deluxe Chain and it is very well suited to the effect as it is flat on both sides and has a good weight and feel to it. Recommended. Chris Manos Home Page. (click for close up image: Chain Con)

Wayne, Doc: Chump Chain. Comedy gambling routine based on Endless Chain, or Chain of Chance. Includes chain, carrying bag, script, and audio tape of the routine. Includes comedy kicker, "Knot so Fast!". $20 Hank Lee and others.