How to Do the Threading the Loop Illusion

Learn how to do the threading the loop illusion in this dinner table magic tricks video from Howcast.

Ben Nemzer: All right. So this magic trick just uses a piece of rope or string, and I’m going to wrap it around my thumb a few times . . .

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: . . . and I’m going to make a loop, just like this. And the object is to take this end and thread it through that hole super fast. You ready? One, two, three, right through the hole.

Assisstant: Wow.

Ben Nemzer: You want to learn how to do that?

Assisstant: Yes.

Ben Nemzer: All right. So here’s how it works. For starters, you have the rope, and you hang off at least six inches off the inside of your thumb, right here, and then you wrap it around your thumb, going away from you. I guess it’s away and then toward, but you’re going this way in a motion toward you, and you wrap it once, twice, I usually do it about three times, and then I make a loop.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: Now, here’s what’s actually happening. This string, or this part of the rope, is lifted up and goes in between this hole.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: And so it just gets lifted up, and that brings it in the hole.

Assisstant: Oh.

Ben Nemzer: But you do it under the disguise of a forward motion, so you say one, two, and on three you go right next to it . . .

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: . . . and that gets lifted up, and it looks like it goes through the hole. So let me show you one more time, and then I’ll let you try it, if you like.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: So you wrap it around. You make the loop. Whoops. You want to make sure to leave enough space there, as well. So you wrap it around. You make the loop. That’s one, two, three, right through the loop.

Assisstant: Great.

Ben Nemzer: You want to give it a shot?

Assisstant: Yeah.

Ben Nemzer: Okay.

Assisstant: You have to walk me through it.

Ben Nemzer: Okay. So you start off, you leave at least six inches hanging here, and then you wrap it towards you about three times.

Assisstant: One, two, three.

Ben Nemzer: Great. And then you make a big old loop . . .

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: . . . and you pinch it there.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: Now, what’s going to happen is this end is going to be lifted up through the hole.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: So you pretend that it’s going to go through the middle. One, two, and on three you go quickly to the side.

Assisstant: Three.

Ben Nemzer: There you go. Only you have to be lifted up through the hole.

Assisstant: Great.

Ben Nemzer: You want to try that part one more time? Yeah, you got it almost.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: And then a loop, and then you take this end over here, and then you pretend you’re going to go through the middle. One . . .

Assisstant: One.

Ben Nemzer: . . . two, and on the third one, you want to make sure to lift it up through that finger.

Assisstant: Okay.

Ben Nemzer: One, two, three.

Assisstant: Three, and there it goes.

Ben Nemzer: And that’s right through the loop.

Assisstant: Great.

Ben Nemzer: And that is the threading loop trick.