The ‘Cups Up’ challenge is something of a classic. And it’s one of those bar bets you’re just not going to lose. The only problem you may encounter is that a lot of people will be familiar with this trick already. But that doesn’t mean it’s not fun, and impressive too!
You’ll need three cups to complete this trick, though empty pint glasses would be fine as well. Basically with this trick you are performing three simple moves that end up with all three cups mouth up. Then you offer the spectator a turn, but each time they do it the cups always end up mouth down. How? Well, you will subtly change the starting position. Let’s look closer…
You’ll want to make sure you memorise this sequence as you’ll need to know it inside out. Set the cups up three in a line as follows: Cup 1 (left) face down, Cup 2 (centre) face up, Cup 3 (right) face down. Got it so far? Okay, so now you turn over Cup 1 and Cup 2. Then Cup 1 and Cup 3, and finally Cup 1 and Cup 2 again, and you’ve succeeded in doing it.
Now, the rule is that you have to do it in three turns, and you have to move two cups each time. So, here’s where you get a little devious. You offer your friend a turn, and, as you’re talking to them you put the cups back, but in the wrong order! You’re setting them up the opposite way around. So, before you had two cups down and one cup (centre) facing up. Now, you’re going to set up with the centre cup facing down and the end cups facing up. In this sequence, it will be impossible for the spectator to accomplish the trick!
They won’t manage it, and you can say “Have another look at me”. Then you set up in the correct position again to accomplish it. Offer them another go, and then set the opposite sequence again. And once more they won’t be able to do it. The trouble with this trick is that if the spectator tries it enough times, they will probably get wise to it!
This is such a simple trick, and you can play it at parties, at home, or at the bar. The trick is sleight of hand and misdirection. As stated, it probably won’t work if you do it too much as people will cotton on. But for a few turns, you’ll seem amazing. There’s a video below that walks you through how to do this trick.