A couple of replies to the people who kindly commented on my post:
@eostresh: Actually, sandbagging would be one form of misdirection, and most of it would be done in patter, as opposed to making obvious mistakes designed to be caught by anyone half awake, like in this Gazzo performance when he vanishes the second ball by just openly putting it in his pouch:
To give an example of this kind of misdirection, I like to tell people that I can do no magic whatsoever by myself and all magic is done by a demon I conjure from the seventh dimension (credits to the Bartimaeus trilogy of Jonathan Stroud for that particular idea (those books rock, anyone interested in magic should read them)). I place a small figure of a mildly demon-like nature on the table, light up some flash cotton, spin a top that sparkles magically and try to conjure a demon into the figure. I tell people to watch if the figure moves. It won't, since it is only there for misdirection. It helps distract people from what is going on, and it helps with the general sandbagging approach.
I agree completely that performance is more important than any particular trick. I agree particularly that the story you are telling is important.
And as I said above, sandbagging actually is about the story, not about any particular trick I might have in mind. To give one example, I could announce that I magically increased the amount of money in some particular spectators' wallet by $1 and have him check (many people would not know), and then maybe apologize for my failure at actually achieving that, explaining that I only started with this magic thing a couple of days ago, or that my demon had a couple of drinks too many and didn't understand my command, he thought he should take $1 from the wallet and place it in my hat.
I disagree however about the surprise factor. If you take the surprise away, what is left of any magic trick? Rules enforced on this site and elsewhere against exposure are designed to protect the surprise for the spectator. If anybody knew how to do for example Richard Sanders' "Extreme Burn" (a trick I just happened to receive yesterday), there wouldn't be much point in performing it, even with the best story in the world.
And I think exposing the fact that you are an experienced magician also works to diminish the reaction.
Thank you for this pointer. While I do know some English, this is not my native language.
That said, a quick check at the appropriate Wikipedia page
shows that I need to hesitate to agree unconditionally. I don't intend to lure people into gambling, which seems to be one condition for talking about hustling, and magic is probably not a sport or game, which is another one. Hustling actually seems to be a criminal act (fraud). I hope no one read my post as advocating that kind of thing.
While I don't agree with your point, it raises another interesting question. What exactly is the difference between a pool match and the intellectual competition between the magician and his spectators? But that would need another thread.
I agree that there is no single best trick. I was only trying to make the point that I am new to this.
That said, I think that there is quite a difference in impact between different tricks. Many people seem to agree, since they pay vendors like PenguinMagic to learn better and more impressive ones.
I also agree that patter and performance is the key. As I said above in response to other magicians, this sandbagging concept actually is one to develop a story line.
Again, thanks to everyone who kindly replied to my initial post.