How to Levitate or Float a Card From Hand to Hand

  • 01 of 05

    Levitate a Card From Hand to Hand - Intro

    Levitating a Playing Card
    How to Float a Playing Card.

    Here’s a stunning where you cause a playing card to mysteriously float from one hand to the other. There’s some crafting involved and you’ll have to watch your lighting and clothing and distance, but we’ll talk you through the process. Soon, you’ll be baffling and dazzling your friends.


    You’re holding a card in one hand and it slowly floats through midair from one hand to the other. The levitation and movement are completely under your control - you can choose to perform the trick quickly or slowly. After the card reaches your other hand, you grab it.

    This requires no or difficult moves, but you will have to create a out of a playing card, which we’ll teach you how to make on the next page.

    If you’re interested in learning how to magically levitate small objects, check out our collection of levitation effects with step-by-step instructions.


    Continue to 2 of 5 below.
  • 02 of 05


    Materials to Float a Card
    Materials to Float a Playing Card.


    Here’s what you’ll need to levitate or float a playing card from one hand to another:

    • A playing card
    • A drinking straw
    • Some black thread (the thinner or finer, the better)
    • Tape
    • Scissors
    Continue to 3 of 5 below.
  • 03 of 05

    Make the Gimmick - Part One

    Part 1 of Gimmicking for Floating Card
    Floating Playing Card - Gimmicking 1.

    Using the scissors, cut a short length of straw. You may want to experiment with this, but the only real requirement is that the straw be shorter than the width of the playing card.

    Tape the short piece of straw to the playing card, as shown in the accompanying picture.

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  • 04 of 05

    Make the Gimmick: Part Two

    Gimmicking to Levitate a Playing Card
    Gimmicking for Floating Card - Part 2.

    You’ll need about a foot of thread. Start with this length and experiment with the length that works best for you. If you want to levitate the playing card a longer distance, you’ll need more thread. I t’s best to start with a shorter length and then add more thread or replace the thread with a longer length if you wish to create a levitation with more duration. The process of altering and adjusting the length won’t take long once you’ve worked with the gimmick and decided what works best for you.

    Thread the black thread through the straw. We’re going to assume that you’ll be levitating the card from your left hand to your right hand. If you want to go the other way, simply reverse the instructions. 

    Tie a loop at the end of the black thread on the left side of straw.

    Tape the other end, the right end that emerges from the opposite side of the straw, to the playing card.

    With the straw at the center, you’ll have two loops: one for each thumb of your two hands.

    Got your gimmick made? Now it’s time to perform the levitation.

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  • 05 of 05

    Levitate the Card

    Levitating a Playing Card
    Ready to Float a Playing Card.

    Here’s how to levitate the card.

    (Note that we are using a thick string for demonstration purposes and clarity.

    Loop the left left-most loop around your left thumb and loop the right-most loop around your right thumb. The picture should make this clear.

    Before you perform the levitation, slide the playing card until it’s against the left-most loop (your left thumb). This will leave a large loop on the right side and this is what you want.

    Gradually let go of playing card with your left hand and tighten the thread between your two thumbs by slowly pulling your hands apart. You’ll be able to release the card and it won’t fall.

    To levitate the playing card from one hand to the other, continue to slowly pull your thumbs apart and the card will move along the thread to the right Pull slowly and the card will move slowly. Pull quickly, and the card will move quickly.

    Practice working the gimmick and causing the card to “levitate” from left to right until the process is fairly smooth.


    To make this levitation successful, there are three key points: distance, lighting and your clothing.

    Depending on your lighting, you probably won’t want to perform this one near your spectators in close-up conditions. In fact, at a minimum, you probably don’t want to be closer than five feet. As a result, this effect is something that works better for a stand-up situation than a traditional close-up situation.

    With lighting, the less, the better. If you wear dark clothing, and preferably black, the dark thread will blend into your clothing and be harder to see. Of course, your clothing goes hand in hand with the lighting to achieve the overall effect.

    Don’t be afraid to alter the position of the straw and the taped end of the thread. By experimenting, you may be able to make the levitation smoother and minimize wobbling. The smoother the levitation, the more magical the result and effect.

    You’ll notice in our video that the levitation with the black thread was smoother than that with the white string that we used for demonstration purposes. The card tended to wobble more when levitated on the white string, and this was due to increased friction with the straw. The card and straw tended to hang up more against the string than it did the black thread.

    If you’re interested in learning how to levitate playing cards, you’ll probably like our lesson on How to Float and Spin a Playing Card. Keep out that thread and tape, you’ll need it for this trick. Also, you’ll learn more levitations in our collection of easy magic levitations. And follow this link to learn an entirely different method of levitating and spinning a playing card.

    Technically, a suspension occurs when an object is held in mid-air and released, and the object stays where it is. A levitation, on the other hand, occurs when an object appears to rise and fall or move through the air on its own. Thus, this effect can be classified as a levitation. The playing card moves on its own accord from one hand to the other with no visible means of support.