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The Double Lift: Mastering the Magician's MOST Powerful Secret Weapon to AMAZING Card Magic

If you ask any magician the best card move for a beginner to learn, it would be the double lift.

Mastering the double lift is crucial for card magic. Let's learn it!

A close-up of a magician holding a deck of cards with his pinky finger secretly under two cards
Every magician's secret weapon: the double lift.

One Card Move is the Secret Behind 1,000s of Mind-Blowing Card Tricks!!!

Every magician must learn the two-card or double lift because it is an essential card-handling technique and a fundamental move that is the basis of thousands of card tricks.

What You'll Learn

  • This article focuses on ALL the essential wisdom you need to learn the double lift.

  • From the nitty-gritty of technique, get ready, and execution, we cover all the skills that make your performance strong enough for your audience not to notice how it's done.

After 30+ years of performing magic, the double lift remains one of my earliest yet most versatile card sleights. It's been invaluable to me, and I'm confident you'll find it just as useful in your magical journey.

However, there are some tips and wisdom only professional magicians can share.

In this post, we'll explore the double lift, providing step-by-step instructions, expert tips, and FAQs to help you perfect this essential card magic technique.

So, let's not waste any time learning the double card lift!


Table of Contents

We'll cover the steps in this beginner's guide on mastering the double lift.


Introduction to Double Lift Cards

The card sleight you will learn is fundamental in your journey to becoming a great magician.

What is the double lift?

The double lift is a sleight-of-hand maneuver that allows magicians to secretly pick up two cards as if they were one, creating the illusion of a single card.

With this card move, you can perform incredible magic.


A magician making a glass float on top of a playing card

Master the Move That Fools Even the Most Observant Eyes

What makes a double lift truly effective is the smooth execution of the move and the magician's ability to distract the audience's attention while performing "the move."

The MOST critical secret is the preparation before performing the secret move.

It's NO surprise that magicians call these steps the "get ready," the secret actions you take before the sleight.

A close-up of a magician holding playing cards and their pinky finger secretly under two cards
Secret prep before the sleight: the REAL magic behind a flawless double lift.


To be a great magician, you must learn proper technique and showmanship to perform truly mind-blowing magic tricks. You also need to perform as often as possible to polish your presentation.


Why It's Essential in Card Magic

The double lift is a fundamental technique used in countless card tricks and is an important skill for every aspiring magician.

It's also one of the easiest card sleights to learn.

A magician holding what looks like one playing card but is secret two cards
Undetectable, two cards lifted as one unlock incredible magic.

By mastering the double lift, you can perform various card tricks to impress your audience and leave them in awe.

The number of tricks is endless.

But-- like all skills, it does take time, energy, and effort to master.

The power of the double lift can't be understated. With this simple move, you can seemingly perform powerful and impossible magic.


Step-by-Step Guide

In this tutorial, we'll use a "pinky break" to perform the double lift, which means your pinky finger creates a space between the deck and the cards you want to turn over.

Grab a fresh deck of cards and learn the double lift.

Step 1: Getting into Position

  1. Hold the deck of cards in your non-dominant hand using a comfortable grip. (Magician Term: Mechanic Grip)

  2. Position your thumb at the deck's lower edge and index and middle fingers at the upper edge of the deck.

Magician holding a deck of cards
Hold the deck of cards in what magicians call Mechanics Grip

Step 2: Get a "Pinky Break"

To perform the double lift, you'll execute what magicians call a "break."

A break is when your finger or thumb creates a separation.

  1. With the thumb of the hand holding the deck, push the top few cards slightly over so your non-dominant hand thumb lifts two cards.

  2. Locate the top card and insert your pinky finger underneath.

NOTE: Magicians often refer to this step as the "Get Ready."

A magician holding a break with his pinky finger below two cards
The size of the pinky break doesn't matter as long as NO ONE sees it.

Step 3: Executing the Lift

  1. Use your thumb and fingers to grip the two cards as one. Be careful that the cards don't slide. Apply gentle pressure on the edge of the deck.

  2. Slide the two cards away from the deck, ensuring they remain aligned.

  3. Maintain a firm, steady grip on the cards so they stay together and appear as one.

Step 4: Displaying the Card

  1. With the double lift completed, show the face of the top card to your audience.

  2. Keep the two cards together to maintain the illusion of a single card.

Step 5: Returning the Cards

  1. Bring the double lift cards back to the deck, aligning them with the rest of the cards.

  2. Release your grip on the double lift cards, allowing them to blend back into the deck.

Practice these steps every day until the actions become second nature.



Watch the double lift tutorial:

We recommend beginners learn the lessons from the video above. Master these steps and perform them until they become automatic.

Alternative methods and difficulty levels exist, and I've shared some links to advanced, in-depth double-lift tutorials here.


Tips and Suggestions

Here are some very important tips for performing the best double lift:

  1. Practice turning over one card. Notice how natural and smooth the action looks. Get a good understanding of what the action feels like.

  2. Keep an even pressure. Practice maintaining an even pressure on the cards to ensure they stay together during the lift. You don't want to tense up suddenly when you do "the move."

  3. Don't rush the action. Work on your speed and fluidity to make the double lift appear effortless and natural. Keep a confident, constant speed when turning the cards over.

  4. Find what works best for you. Experiment with different grips and hand positions to find what works best for you.

  5. Cards matter. Use a fresh, clean deck of cards with a high-quality plastic coating.

I highly recommend reading this article for more tips and suggestions on learning the art of magic.


Practice Makes Perfect

As with any skill, practice is key to mastering the double lift.

Dedicate daily time to practicing the technique, focusing on precision and fluidity.

With consistent practice, you'll soon be able to perform a flawless double lift that will amaze your audience.

How to practice better:

Remember that every expert was once a beginner when learning any new skill, like the double lift.

The road may seem tough at first, but if it were easy, everyone would do it. How can you get the most out of your practice?

Here are some important practice tips:

  • Commit to two weeks of precise, slow, and deliberate practice.

  • Research shows that patience in perfecting the basics pays off, as it's easier to learn it right the first time than to unlearn bad habits later.

  • Focus on accuracy and intentionality in your actions; mastery is a path, not a destination.

Let's review the most frequently asked questions. Did I miss one? Share your question in the comments below.


Frequently Asked Questions

Let's examine some of the most commonly asked questions about learning the double lift. Did we miss one? Share your question in the comments section below.

Q: What is a double lift?

A: A double lift card trick is a sleight-of-hand technique used in card magic. In this trick, the magician secretly picks up two cards as if they were one, creating the illusion of a single card.

This technique is often used in various card tricks to deceive the audience and perform seemingly impossible feats.

Q: Where did it come from?

A: The exact origin of the double lift is unknown, as it is unclear who performed the first double lift. However, the move was first named by magician Theodore Annemann, who significantly contributed to the development of card magic.

Despite its naming by Annemann, the double lift technique had been executed long before it was given its name.

The double lift dates back to 1776 and was first mentioned in Richard Neve's book The Merry Companion. This historical reference indicates that the technique has been integral to card magic for centuries.

Over time, the double lift has been refined and adapted by various magicians, becoming an essential card magic technique today.

Q: Is the double lift hard?

A: The double lift can be challenging for beginners, but it becomes easier with consistent practice and dedication.

It's essential to focus on maintaining even pressure on the cards and working on fluidity to make the double lift appear effortless and natural.

Q: How do you do a pinky break?

A: A pinky break is a technique magicians use to mark a specific card or position in the deck secretly.

Here's how to do it:

  1. Hold the deck of cards in your non-dominant hand using a comfortable grip.

  2. Use your dominant hand to riffle through the cards until you reach the desired card or position.

  3. As you release the cards, insert the tip of your pinky finger (on your non-dominant hand) into the gap created at the desired position.

  4. Maintain light pressure with your pinky to hold the break while keeping the rest of your hand relaxed and natural.

Q: What alternative can a magician learn?

A: There are many variations of the double lift that magicians have published over the years. The concept remains the same-- turning over multiple cards as one.

Do you need to learn multiple versions? You probably do not.

Here are two videos that dive deep:

Mentioned in the tutorial are:

These are just a few examples of forcing techniques.

The key to successfully forcing a card is to make the choice appear completely random and free to the audience member.



The double lift is an essential skill for any aspiring card magician.

By following this guide and practicing regularly, you'll be well on your way to mastering the art of the double lift and impressing your audience with a wide range of card tricks.

Remember, practice makes perfect, and soon, you'll perform seamless double lifts like a pro.


That's It!

Did this article help you? Hit the ♥️ button below and leave your questions and comments!

Don't forget to check out these magic lessons, I think you'll enjoy them.


What To Read Next:

Ryan Joyce - Magician, Illusionist, Hypnotist & Speaker

​Ryan Joyce is a professional magician, entertainer, and speaker who has performed over 6,000 shows worldwide. He has appeared on Penn & Teller's Fool Us, Canada's Got Talent, and every Canadian national television network. He has over 10 million views on YouTube, Facebook, and social media and is trusted by Fortune 500 companies to deliver world-class performances.


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