If I had to recommend one routine to learn, this would be at the top of the heap. Talk about packs small plays big, you can carry this in your pockets and entertain 300 people with it! Conversely, it can be done close up for a couple of people. Plays well for young and old, and all you need is some cotton rope. What more could you ask for?
These rope trick routines, taught very thoroughly by Richard Sanders, are some of the most visual, eye popping illusions you can do. There are dozens of phases that he teaches, but of course you can pick and choose which ones you like. I use this in my show, and some of my favourite phases are when two ropes suddenly become one, one rope is cut into two with my ‘finger scissors’, the knot is pulled off the rope, and the knot is tossed back onto the rope (this often gets gasps).
It does take some practice to get this down right, but, as opposed to purely self-working tricks, you will derive great pleasure from learning and becoming technically adept at the moves. Nothing knuckle-busting here, but you will need to put in some hours, and it will be well worth your time and pay off in dividends.