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in: Just For Fun, Manly Skills, Uncle, Visual Guides

July 25, 2018 Last updated: December 30, 2019

Cool Uncle Tricks: How to Detach Your Thumb

detach your thumb magic trick

An essential part of being an awesome uncle is having a repertoire of tricks and jokes that will amaze your nieces and nephews, and crack them up. So from time to time we’ll be offering you current and future uncles out there a tutorial on some gags that’ll have them thinking you’re the coolest dude in the world. Check out all our Cool Uncle Tricks. 

Detaching your thumb is a great trick because it doesn’t require any cards or gear. Before your first performance, take some time to practice in the mirror. Make sure to get your setup down smooth, so you’re not awkwardly positioning your hands while the audience waits for the trick. Keep in mind that it might be easier to pull off the trick using your dominant hand as the hand that pulls the thumb away. Once you’re comfortable, try adding extra flair, like asking the audience to wave a wand over your hand or saying “Abracadabra!” right before you execute the amputation. 

1: Hold your right hand in the front of you horizontally, with the palm facing toward you.

2: Bend your right thumb down so that the tip is hidden in your palm, but the knuckle is still exposed.

3: Bend your left thumb and place it along your right pointer finger, against the knuckle of your right thumb.

4: Cover the joint between your bent thumbs with the pointer and middle fingers of your left hand.

5: Slowly pull your left hand away from your right, creating the illusion that you’re pulling your right thumb off.

6: Practice until you can set up the trick smoothly and reattach the thumb without giving anything away.

Illustrated by Ted Slampyak

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