Once you’ve learned how to do The Double Lift, you’ll be able to perform countless card miracles with ease!
It’s an essential sleight in card magic—but it’s not easy. It can be tough to figure out how to do this sleight by yourself, which is why we created this resource.
In today’s post we’re going to give you a full guide to mastering this tricky, but vital, move.
First of all, what is a ‘double lift?’
A double lift is a move in card magic where the magician makes it appear he is turning over ONE card, when in reality he is turning over TWO cards.
On the surface, that might not sound very impressive—but once you start learning a few card tricks, you realize just how important (and versatile) it is. Of every card trick you learn, there’s a good chance you’ll use a double lift in a solid 50% of them.
So if you want to create some incredible magic… you NEED this sleight.
Luckily for you, we’ve used the double lift hundreds (more like thousands) of times and so have a pretty good idea of what you need to do to make your double lift go smoothly and look good. You’re about to learn tips and tricks we discovered over years of performing—so get ready. You’re about to discover the secret behind the most valuable sleight you’ll ever learn.
Let’s get into it…
How to Do the Double Lift Step 1: Practice Turning Over ONE Card
We talked about this principle in our post about The Elmsley Count (which you should definitely read if you haven’t yet), and it comes into play with the double lift too.
The double lift works by making it LOOK exactly like you’re turning over one card, so before you get into the technical bits of this move, you need to know what that should look like.
The easiest way to do this is by simply practicing turning over single cards until you build up a muscle memory of how that looks and (more importantly) feels to do. When you dive into the actual ‘how to’ of the double lift, you’ll be better able to make sure it mimics this natural-looking movement.
Because remember, when we’re performing card magic, we don’t want to draw suspicion to our hands by making things look ‘unnatural’. We might do the sleight perfectly, with zero flashes, but if it just doesn’t look ‘right’ then the audience will know that something is up.
How To Do the Double Lift Step 2: Getting ready for the move
This is an often overlooked stage in learning the double lift. Before you can actually go ahead and turn the two cards over as one, you need to make sure you’ve set yourself up correctly.
To get ready to do the double lift, you’ll need to have a ‘break’. A break is simply a way of getting your finger (or at least, a part of it) beneath the two cards without the audience noticing. If you have that finger beneath the two cards, it allows you to then turn over the two cards as one. If you’re having trouble visualizing a break, don’t worry. You can see one in action in the video that’s about to come up.
There are a few different types of breaks you could use for the double lift. Some magicians prefer to use a pinky break. Others use a thumb break. We are big fans of using the Robert Houdin break to get ready for the double lift. Here’s a video that explains exactly how that’s done…
How To Do the Double Lift Step 3: The Move Itself
Once you’ve got your break ready, the next step is the actual ‘turnover’ of the card. Just like with the break, there are LOADS of different ways you can perform this part.
If you’re just starting out and want to go for a safe option, you might want to try turning over the card by gripping it at the top and bottom with your thumb and index finger. But be warned—although it is easier, this method will look much less natural.
Once you have more experience and are more comfortable with the double lift, you should aim to turn it over much like you would a normal card—instead of gripping it at top and bottom, grip it in the middle of the card. It should look exactly like how you would normally turn a card over.
But that method can be hard to learn at first, so why not check out this video training by Aaron Fisher (co-founder of Conjuror Community) on making the first ‘turnover’ method we discussed look much more natural. Watch closely how he tackles this sleight!
How To Do The Double Lift Step 4: Practice!
Once you’ve learned the basics of this move, there’s only one thing left to do. You need to get out there and practice!
The more you practice, the more natural this move is going to become. You’ll naturally improve the way you prepare and accomplish this sleight over the course of your performances.
Don’t worry about it if people occasionally call you out on your double lift; it’s all a part of the learning process. We all go through that stage! The important thing is to carry on practicing and perfecting the move.
A good tip is to make sure you revisit these training videos every now and then to refresh your knowledge of the sleights. All these videos and more like them can be found at our YouTube channel here.
Alternatively, you could join the Conjuror Community club to get access to a community full of magicians more than willing to help you master sleights like the double lift and beyond. The Conjuror Community Club is the perfect place to learn the ropes of card magic, and add some real power to your effects.
Try it out here!
Thanks for reading this guide to how to do the double lift. If you have any questions, feel free to reach out!