To begin, prepare the “burnt” matchstick you will need for the trick. Since a burnt match stick tends to be thinner underneath the head, you will need to use a knife (a small paring knife will work perfectly for this purpose) to shave some wood off of that section. Scrape the wood off around a quarter to halfway down, taking extra care not to damage the head of the match.
Once the match is thin enough to pass as a burnt match, use a black marker to colour the head and the shaved area completely black. This should give it the appearance of a match that has already been burnt.
Now, in preparation for performing the trick, hide the “burnt” match in the joint of your thumb – it helps if you are wearing a long-sleeved t-shirt for this purpose. Make sure the match is not visible from the back of your hand, as this is the area you will be exposing to your audience.
Once you have hidden the match securely in the joint of your thumb, proceed to hold a regular match in the fingers of the same hand which is hiding the “burnt” match.
Now, once you are ready to perform the trick, and are sure that your friends are watching, casually strike the regular match, and let it burn up to the point where you have coloured the fake burnt match stick. The point is to make it resemble the fake burnt match you are hiding.
After it has burnt to that point, blow it out. Shake it around a bit, but make sure everyone notices that you are still holding it. Look for an opportune moment, and when no one is looking, dispose of the burnt match, and drop it in a place where no one can see it. Meanwhile, make sure you keep your friends/audience engaged in conversation, so they do not notice anything.
Once you have secretly disposed of the burnt match, start working the fake burnt match up into your hands, until it is in between your fingers, exactly where the previous match was. Make sure no one notices you doing this. Finally, light the “burnt” match, and enjoy the reactions of your friends/audience, as they watch you light up a match that appears to already have been burnt.