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How to Do the Card from Thin Air Magic Trick

Learn the card from thin air trick, aka back palm, with step-by-step instructions from magician Jason Suran in this magic tricks Howcast video.


Man: So I was going to do a card trick for you guys. You guys want to see a card trick?

Children: Yeah.

Man: But I don't, I don't have any cards. Oh! You know what? I'm a magician. So we'll just pull one right out of thin air. Do you guys like that? I'll tell you what, we'll take that card, we'll take that same card here and we are just going to make it disappear for a sec. Pretty cool, right?

Alright. We're going to teach you how to do that. You guys ready? Alright, here is how you pull a card out of thin air and make it disappear, just this quickly.

This move is actually a really cool move. It was popularized by a really, really old school magician named Howard Thurston who was like Houdini's big rival. Thurston actually learned this in New York himself and he's the one who kind of made this move popular. It is called the Back Palm. Alright. You guys have heard of palming, right? You know where magicians, we palm things. This is called the Back Palm because we're actually using the back of our hand to hide the card. Right? Just like that.

Now, you probably wondering how I got it. Right? Well, I didn't let you know that I had it from the beginning. Right? So you didn't know what to expect. But when I bring my hand up here you can't see it at all and the reason is it's pinched, right, it's pinched right here between my pinky and my ring finger and then between my index and my middle finger. Like so.

Now, the way I conjure the card, right, the way I pull it out of the air is I actually retract these fingers. These two fingers, right, they curl in and they go behind the card. So that all I have to do is, yeah, all I have to do is flick it out just like that. Right? So I do that, and I do that. And that's how you make a card appear out of nowhere.

Now, to make it disappear, it's basically the same motion but in reverse. Right? I start here, three fingers on the back, thumb right there. And what I do is as I curl these two fingers in kind of like Spiderman doing the web slinging thing. Right? As I curl these fingers in I'm actually pinching it with my pinky and my index. Maybe I can hold the card just like that. Right? So that all I am doing, right, from here it's just that. It's really just that simple.

This move requires a lot of practice. Go slow when you're starting out, you don't need to do it fast. Right? You guys know that. Practice makes perfect, you know, but practice it slow so that you can get the hang of it. All you're doing is taking you're card, you're making it disappear and you're bringing it right back. You want to add some flip, you know what's really cool. You can take a card, right, and you can just toss it into the air and you catch it as it falls. Pretty cool, right?

And that's how you do the Back Palm.

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