Reference Guide to the

Endless Chain, or

Chain of Chance Effect


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

Last Update 31 Oct 2014: added Diaconis & Graham's Magical Mathematics book; Mark Striving's Endlessly Elevated; L&L's World's Greatest Magic Endless Chain DVD; P. Cinimod's Chain Trickery & Chain Station; Phil Matlin's Perfect Magic DVD (Videonics) and Endless Chain prop; Mental-Craft's The Endless Chain (prop); ; Magic Methods Chain of Eight; Corrected the Encyclopedia of Rope Magic entry;

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. Hardcover, 1999 Camirand Academy, 201 pages. Includes a subtlety for Endless Chain. $35.00

Anderson, George: Magic Digest. Softcover, 1972 Digest Books, 288 pages. Includes The Australian Belt: Loopy Loop, Chain of Chance - spectator can't pick the side that "catches"

Ayling, Will: The Endless Chain (with Lewis Ganson, Fred Lowe, and Rex Taylor). Softcover, 1983, Supreme Magic, 44 pages. Moves, ideas, patter presentations and routines. Part of the Supreme 'Know-How' series. Available as an e-book from

Blake, George: Loopy Loop: A Treatise on the Endless Chain. Softcover, 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. Hardcover, 1995, Anthony Brahams, 80 pages. An updated version of Karl's Here's How, includes Carnival Loop Routine.

Brooke, Ken: The Endless Chain. A4-size four page Magic Sheet Instruction, Harry Stanley's Unique Magic Studio, London. Instructions by Lewis Ganson.

Cinimod, P.: Chain Trickery and Chain Station. 1970ca, 6 pages. I've never seen this, but there is a reference at the site entry for Will Ayling's book. P. Cinimod magic was put out by Dom Paolino in the 1970s.

Denhard, Harold: How to Do Rope Tricks. Softcover, 1973, Magic, Inc., 68 pages. Includes On the Barrelhead on page 33 by L. Vosburgh Lyons, M.D.; originally from Phoenix Magazine. Shows the basic throw for the "chain of chance" or "loopy loop" sucker bet

Diaconis, Persi & Ron Graham: Magical Mathematics. Hardcover, 2012, Princeton University Press. "The Mathematical Ideas That Animate Great Magic Tricks". Includes a section by Bob Neale on the endless chain, with lots of color photos.

Elliot, Bruce: Magic As A Hobby. Hardcover, 1958, Harper & Brothers, Inc., 240 pages. Includes Three Loop Monte by 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). Hardcover, 1996, Fedko Magic Co, CA, 168 pages. 54 effects including Chain of No Return endless chain routine. With illustrations by Tony Dunn.

Ganson, Lewis: The Art of Close Up Magic Volume 1. Hardcover, 1967, 400 pages. Contains lots of close up magic, including chapter 4 on gambling routines. Endless Chain routines are: The Figure 8 (George Blake), Two Novel Moves (George Blake), and Triple Circle Routine (Fred Lowe) with long chain and triple loops.

Hay, Henry: The Amateur Magician's Handbook. Hardcover, 1950, 414 pages. Includes The Spiral, which is an Endless Chain or Chain of Chance move.

Haydn, Whit (with Chef Anton): Notes on Fast and Loose. Softcover, 2000, The School for Scoundrels, 44 pages. 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.

James, Stewart: The Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks, Volume 3. Hardcover, 1980, Abbott's Magic. Includes Double-Barreled Barrel Head by Clyde F. Cairy. This book has also been reprinted along with Volumes 1 & 2, (with Gabe Fajuri as the editor) as Stewart James' Encyclopedia of Rope Tricks, by Squash Publishing, 2005.

Keable, Ian: The Big Book of Magic Fun. Softcover, 2005, Barron's Educational Series, 192 pages. This children's magic book includes an Endless Chain routine.

Kerr, Larin R.: Endless Chain and Endless Ring. 1971 Fantastic Magic Co., PA, 5 pages, A4 size. Chain, ring and methods

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

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 6-10. Hardcover, 2000, L&L Publishing, 719 pages. Includes All In Air Endless Loop (Robert L. Brooks), and Can't Lose Belt Loop (Bobby Bernard). Also available as an e-Book from Harry Lorayne Magic and Conjuring Arts.

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 11-15. Hardcover, 2001, L&L Publishing, 719 pages. Includes What's the Catch? (Gene Maze), which is Loopy Loop or The Endless Chain with a peg stand variation. Also available as an e-Book from Harry Lorayne Magic and Conjuring Arts.

Lorayne, Harry: Apocalypse Vol 16-20. Hardcover, 2002, L&L Publishing, 719 pages. 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. Also available as an e-Book from Harry Lorayne Magic and Conjuring Arts.

Matlin, Phil: Tips, Tricks and Routines. Perfect Magic. Lecture Notes includes Endless Chain. This was originally sold by Phil's Perfect Magic company as a separate routine.

Norman, Karl: Here's How. Softcover, 1985, Collector's Workshop, 51 pages. Includes Carnival Loop Routine (Chain of Chance; with comedy, fake knot, etc.).

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

Rix, Claude: Presents Original Close Up Routines. Softcover, 1980ca, I Saw That!, 30 pages. 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. Hardcover, 1975, Magic Inc., 250 pages. 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. Hardcover, 1951, Crown Publishers, 256 pages. Includes a variation of the chain effect, but with a belt, The Famous Belt Trick.

Sisti, Jim: The Magic Menu The First Five Years. Hardcover, 1998, L&L Publishing, 400 pages. Issue 10, March/April 1992 includes At the Bar by Ray Mertz, which explains Karl Norman's Carnival Loop Routine (Endless Chain) from the book Here's How

Sisti, Jim: The Magic Menu Years Six Thru Ten. Hardcover, 2001, L&L Publishing, 400 pages. Amongst tons of additional material, the Issue 37 September/October 1996 All-Trick Issue contains Viscous Circle by Phil Matlin, which uses a rope, and The Finger Ring Subtlety by David Acer (is this the same as in Natural Selections 2?)

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

Strivings, Mark: Endlessly Elevated. Softcover, 2011, saddle-stitched, 5.5x8.5", 20 pages, B&W photo illustrated. An entirely in-the-hands Endless Chain routine.

Trost, Nick: Expert Gambling Tricks. Softcover, 1975, Trik-Kard Specialties, 26 pages. Contains On the Barrelhead 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

L&L Publishing: World's Greatest Magic - Endless Chain DVD. Includes performances (and explanations) by Johnny Thompson, Bobby Bernard, and Phil Matlin. $20 L&L Publishing

Lovell, Simon: The Party Animal DVD. Includes Pricking the Garter. L&L Publishing

Matlin, Phil: Perfect Magic DVD. From the Videonics series of the 1980's, now owned by L&L Publishing. Includes an Endless Chain routine.

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)

Magic Methods: Chain of Eight. "Complete with first-class, factory made, "ball chain" apparatus." 58" long, nickel finish. With illustrated instructions. $10

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)

Mental-Craft: The Endless Chain. Chain and routine, which presents the effect as a lighthearted psychological game and is family friendly. Chains come in Silver plated or Copper plated steel rope chain, in three sizes of 5ft, 4ft, or custom size. Chains come with velour pouch and drop-off knot, with outline of the routine.

Perfect Magic Endless Chain: Chain with routine. $10.

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.