Beginner’s Guide to Sleight of Hand Card Tricks – The Double Lift Card Technique

how to do the double lift/double turnover

26 January, 2018 / By: Brandon Truman / Tags:  MagicIllusionSleight of Hand TechniqueStreet MagicCard TricksSimple Magic Tricks, Double Lift, Double Turnover, The Push-Off Double Lift

Most beginner street magicians tend to overlook a hand full of important cards techniques, one of which is a crucial part of many card tricks both new and old.  That technique is known as “The Double-Lift” but some of the more seasoned magicians out there will refer to this as “The Double Turnover”.  Even though both double lift techniques are very similar magician will still consider them to be one in the same.

Explained: The Double Lift Technique

This is what’s referred to as a “Sleight of Hand Technique”, where the street magician will pick up 2 cards at once, but to any spectator it will appear as 1 card being picked up from the top of the deck and not 2.  This is the best way of concealing a second card, which will ultimately allow you to learn and master many different card tricks.

Different Types of Double Lifts for Beginners

There’s a massive amount of different types of double lifts and making a list with each one would be pointless.  So, to help you narrow down which ones are more your style I have listed a few of my favorites for beginner magicians below.  Try each one.  I recommend choosing the one that feels fluid and natural, while complimenting your personal style as well.

1. The Basic Double Lift the basic double lift technique

The basic double lift is honestly the simplest variation to perform and master, but simple isn’t always better and in my opinion, it seems a bit too unnatural when performing compared to the other types.

So, to start hold the deck in your left hand. Four fingers on the right side of the deck, thumb on the left.

Bring your right hand over the deck, four fingers at the top of the deck, thumb at the back with the top corner of the deck right at the center of the first digit of your thumb. Do not make your thumb flush, but rather angle it towards the body at about 45 degrees.

In this position using your thumb you can lift and count cards off the top. With practice you will be able to get 2 cards just about every time, in the beginning you will likely start grabbing three or more but allowing your thumb to slowly drop cards by moving the tip of your thumb towards the body allowing cards to drop 1 at a time. The two cards be will separated by a small space at this point, reverse the movement of the thumb to allow the top card to drop flush with the bottom.

Continue that movement until your thumb is now flush with the face of the cards and slide the four fingers of the right hand along the back of the cards until they are directly on top of the thumb.

Lift both cards and flip them along the right side and place them back on the top of the deck leaving about quarter of an inch off the back edge (the edge closest to the body) so you can easily lift and repeat the turn.

2. The Double TurnoverHow to do the double turnover?

The double turnover is like the basic double lift except for the end result.  With the basic double lift, you are taking two, three or more cards from the top of the deck and showing just the bottom card to the audience or spectators and then laying it on a table or placing it in someone’s hand as part of the card trick. 

So, with the double turnover instead of picking up the card to show everyone you are simply turning over the card or cards I should say, on the top of the deck and leaving them face up until it’s time to reverse the move turning them back over face down.

3. The Push-Off Double LiftHow to do the push off double lift?

The push-off double lift is very popular among the legendary and famous magicians out there.  For someone that has witnessed this up close and is currently learning to do it himself I can honestly tell you that this double lift once mastered will be the most fluid and natural looking double lift you can perform.  Since I’m still currently in the process of mastering this double lift I’ve included a very educational tutorial video for the push-off double lift.

Which Type of Double Lift Is for You?

So, which of these different types of double lifts is for you?

I personally enjoy using the “Double Turnover”, which feels a lot more fluid and natural for my personal style, but I’m convinced that once I have mastered the “Push-Off Double Lift” that will be my new #1 double lift when performing.

A Beneficial Technique for Beginner MagiciansDouble lift card trick

For those of you that are serious about performing magic tricks with cards, this technique can greatly improve a beginner street magician’s performance along with their confidence.  So, learning and mastering the double lift or double turnover is very important for any magician that intends to perform a lot of card tricks, especially most of the older or classic card tricks that require this technique to perform them successfully.

I hope everyone enjoyed this and that you at least learned something of value.  Any comments or questions please feel free to leave them down below.

To Learn more awesome card techniques you should have a look at “Master Mentalism“.  Check out my review of this spectacular e-book here.

Last Updated: February 18, 2018

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