How to Do The Double Lift

the double liftThe double lift (also known as the Double Turnover) is an essential move for any serious magician. It is the prime move used in numerous classic card tricks.

What is the Double Lift?

It is a sleight of hand technique in which the magician lifts two cards at once, but makes it appear as only one card (the top card on the deck). To spectators, it appears that the magician is showing the top card, but it is actually the second card.

Why is it such an important move to master?

The double lift is a skill that every magician practices until they can do it with their eyes closed. It is an incredibly powerful trick that can be used in various magic tricks. In fact, some classic tricks rely solely on the use of double lifts.

For instance, if you master the double lift, doing something simple as this trick below can amaze audiences.

  1. Do a double lift showing the second card but making it look as if it were the top card.
  2. Place the hidden top card in the middle of the deck.
  3. Show the new top card (which used to be the second card), saying that it magically floated from the middle of the deck back to the top.

It’s an amazing thing to see for people who are unaware of this technique.

Here’s an example of how such a simple move can wow audiences. Here David Blaine performs a trick for the Dallas Cowboys. The entire trick basically revolves around doing a double lift twice, and totally misleading the audience. You’ll see the amazing effect the trick has, even with simple techniques.

The trick by David Blaine involves using 2 identical cards and is explained with more detail in this tutorial.

Types of Double Lifts

There are many ways to do a double lift. We’ll take a look at the 4 most commonly used ones. You’ll notice that the more natural it looks, the more difficult it is to master.

1. Push Off Double Lift

This is the double lift that David Blaine and many other professional magicians choose to use. It’s also the one you see in the video above where he does it twice right in front of the Dallas Cowboys audience and they don’t suspect a thing. The way you pick up the cards is so natural that people never suspect that it can be two cards.

This is one of the hardest double lifts to master. You may be able to learn how to do it with a little bit of practice, but it’s going to take at least a few months of practice before you are ready to do it in front of an audience.

You should be warned though. Even though it looks awesome and rarely ever draws any suspicion, it can be difficult to pull off with an older/flappy deck of cards. There is very little room for error and a high chance of the two cards misaligning.

2. Basic Double Lift

The basic double lift is by far the easiest to do. It’s the best way for beginners to get started. However, it doesn’t really look natural. Even if you pull off the move perfectly, it attracts a lot of suspicion even from people who don’t know what it is.

The basic move consists of simply lifting two cards with your hand and turning it over in the air.

As you feel more comfortable with the “feel” of picking up two cards naturally, the other techniques will be easier to master.

3. The Double Turnover

The Double Turnover is another method that is good for beginners. It is just slightly more difficult than the basic move, and looks a little bit more natural. This is because instead of lifting the cards, you simply turn them over face up on top of the deck. After the card is shown, you turn them back over again.

Take a look at what it looks like and how to do it in the video below.

Although it looks a lot more natural, it is not concealed enough to make it one that professionals or experts choose to use.

4. 2-Card Pushover

The 2-Card Pushover is by-far the most difficult to master. However, it is also the most natural and most reliable. By reliable I mean that it works well under pressure and with a variety of playing card conditions.

The 2-Card Pushover is similar to the Double Turnover, but looks an infinite times better. Take a look at the video below to learn how to do it.

Which Move is the Best One?

The 2-Card Pushover is the move I recommend for anyone who is willing to take the time to practice it.

The 2-Card Pushover and The Push Off Double Lift that David Blaine uses are the two most popular among professional illusionists. However, the 2-Card Pushover works much better under pressure. Although The Push Off is more susceptible to errors (such as the two cards misaligning) the 2-Card Pushover allows for much better control even with older decks.