Freehand yo-yoing is similar to traditional yo-yoing in all but one way. Instead of tying the string to your finger in the usual fashion, you attach the string to a weighted die or other object, called a counterweight, and then hold this in your hand. This gives you the ability to release the counterweight during yo-yo play and opens up an entire new realm of yo-yo trick possibilities which are simply impossible when the yo-yo is tied to your hand.
Mastering freehand play is an accomplishment few yo-yo players ever achieve
With the string attached to the counterweight, the yo-yo player holds the weight in their hand, and then throws the yo-yo, holding the counterweight by a short length of string all the while. With the yo-yo spinning and in play, the yo-yo player may perform maneuvers which utilize the “free hand” granted by the counterweight: namely, to release the counterweight from one’s hand.