The Neolift

The Neolift (Neophyte Double Lift) is the name I've given to the double lift/turnover that was inspired by asking a bunch of non-magicians to turn over the top card of a deck of cards

I've received a few questions about the technique itself, so I wanted to go over that here. 

First, let me explain what I see as the benefits of the Neolift.

1. The technique is natural and doesn't draw attention to itself. (This is true of most doubles, but not all.)
2. No get ready is needed.
3. It's easy.
4. The nature of the movement of the card helps keep the cards together, hides the edges, and covers any potential misalignment.

The technique is natural and doesn't draw attention to itself

I received a couple emails that said essentially "Okay, maybe that's the way someone with no training would turn a card over on the deck, but it doesn't look natural." 

Here's the thing, I'm not encouraging anyone who isn't interested in this technique to adopt it. I think there are some advantages to it, but nothing so dramatic that it demands you change from whatever you've done in the past. But if you think it looks "unnatural" that's only because of your understanding of what a double lift should look like. 

If you had never seen a deck of cards in your life and someone introduced one to you and said to hold it something like this:


Then they asked you to turn the top card over onto the deck, you would first slide it off to separate it from the other cards, and then you'd turn it over. And since the back end of the deck is the only "open" end (the only end without fingers in the way), it probably makes the most sense to slide it off that way. Q.E.D., it's natural.

No get ready is needed

Pick up a deck, give it a slight bevel towards yourself, and you're good to go.

It's easy

Here's my friend doing a passable single, double, triple, and quadruple turnover using the Neolift after about 30 minutes of practice (and he's no genius).


The nature of the movement of the card helps keep the cards together, hides the edges, and covers any potential misalignment.

If there's a particular strength to this double, this is it. Here's what I mean...

1. As the card (multiple cards) is drawn back, it's held fairly square on the sides by the left fingers and the heel of your palm. So the cards can't really shift from side to side.

2. At the same time, the front edge is riding along the top of the deck, which keeps things in alignment on the short edges.

3. When the card is flipped inward, that's the point where the cards could separate. But right at that moment, the back of your hand is in the way. By the time the edges are visible again, the card is back on top of the deck.

This may seem like more control than necessary for double lifts, and it probably is. But the nice thing is that it allows you to do turnovers of many more cards in a more casual way. If you're doing a quadruple-lift, for instance, you have a lot of edges exposed with a book style turnover. And you have to move at a decent clip to make sure that thickness or any potential misalignment isn't exposed. But with the Neolift, the natural movement hides that.

If you use your fingers to block the back edge (which is actually how I normally do it) you can get away with turning over large blocks. Here's a single followed by a nonuple (9 card) turnover. You probably don't have much use for a 9-card turnover (unless you have an 8 phase Ambitious Card routine) but I'm showing this more as a proof of concept. Any 9-card turnover will be a little clunky, but the edges are still hidden here, and If 9 cards can be hidden in the natural motion of the turnover, then 3 or 4 won't be a problem


The Technique

It's pretty much what you expect. You bevel the deck slightly towards you. Your thumb approaches from the back and contacts however many cards you want (2, 3, 4, etc). This is, obviously, the part that takes practice: being able to feel the right number of cards with your thumb tip. The desired number of cards are then pinched between your fingers and thumb. Everything else is very straightforward and there is really no "technique" behind it other than what you would actually do with a single card (pull it back, flip it inward, and replace it back on the deck).

Why Bother?

Well, I'm not suggesting you should. (Again, you'll enjoy this site more if you don't see it as me giving advice. I'm just talking about my path and what has worked for me. Take what you want. Leave what you don't.) If you see no benefit to it, then you shouldn't bother. I happen to like the feel of it, and the versatility of it, so it's the double I use in most circumstances now (except when I'm performing for people who play cards regularly). 

Since my style of performance is to downplay my role in what's happening, it makes sense to use the most unassuming type of handling, and for me, this is it.