How to Float and Spin a Playing Card in Midair

hand with a spinning playing card

The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto

Project Overview
  • Total Time: 5 mins
  • Skill Level: Beginner

In this easy magic card trick, you spin a playing card, and it mysteriously floats in mid-air underneath your hand. And as if by magic, it slowly rises up—levitates—to your hand so you can catch it. This trick is a quick one that really grabs the attention of spectators. Kids will particularly like it. It’s easy to learn and perform as there are no complicated moves or sleight of hand, but it will take some practice.


Watch Now: Learn to Float and Spin a Card in Midair

What You'll Need

Equipment / Tools

  • 1 playing card
  • Clear adhesive tape
  • 2 foot black thread


  1. Prepare the Playing Card

    Using the clear adhesive tape, attach a bit of the thread to the center back of the playing card. Run the other end of the thread over your hand, and then to a button on your shirt or to a belt buckle. You'll need to anchor the other end of the thread on your body. If you choose to use a button, you can form a loop in the thread and wrap it around the button.

    If you like, you can also tape the thread to your belt buckle. Of course, you're free to attach the end of the thread in any manner that you wish.

    You'll have to experiment a bit with the length. Basically, you'll want the thread to be fairly taut when you partially extend your arm in front of your body while leaving enough thread so the card will dangle about a foot below your hand.

    Where to put the tape on the card
    The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto
  2. Run the Thread

    Run the thread from your body over your hand—between your first finger and second finger—and then to the playing card.

    If you’re right-handed, you’ll want to run the thread over your left hand and launch the card with your right hand. If you're left-handed, simply reverse the setup.

    Run the thread
    The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto
  3. Launch the Playing Card

    To perform the effect, grab the card with your hand. Mimic the motion of launching a Frisbee by folding your hand (bending your wrist), with the card, inwards towards your arm. By quickly straightening your wrist and throwing (spinning) the card, you will cause it to spin on its axis, which is created by the thread at its center.

    The playing card will float underneath your hand.

    Launch the playing card
    The Spruce / Wayne Kawamoto
  4. Levitate the Card

    To make the playing card rise, simply move your hand away from your body. The thread will tighten, and the card will rise to your hand. As the card begins to slow its spin, time it so you can catch the card. Display the front of the card so that spectators won’t see the thread and tape attached to the back.

    Make sure that you practice this one, so you get the length of thread correct, as well as the motion of the hand to cause the card to rise.


  • Don’t allow spectators to stand too close as they’ll see the thread.
  • It helps to perform this in front of a dark background, so the thread tends to blend in with the background.
  • When making the card rise, try to move your hand slowly. Some practice and experimentation will make this clear so you can make the card rise at a nice pace.