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Self-Working

Self-working is not the best term but it is the one used most often to describe tricks which do not require any sleight-of-hand. The better description is be sleightless. Although these tricks are typically much easier to learn because they do not require any proficiency in moves, they still need practice in presentation, timing and spectator handling.
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Jack Carpenter
Steve Mayhew's Angels May Shuffle But The Devil Still Deals by Jack Carpenter

Steve Mayhew has come up, with what must be the most clever application of the Gilbreath principle, or strictly speaking a principle closely related to Gilbreath's. He achieves with this idea extremely strong poker deal effects. If you are only remotely interested in poker deals, mathematical principles, or in particular the Gilbreath principle, you must read this ebook. This ebook is a reprint of his notes with the same title plus the effect "Freedom" from his lecture notes.

1st edition, 1999, Me and the Other Guy Productions.

  1. Acknowledgments
  2. Introduction
  3. The Principle
  4. Getting Ready ...
2005 / 9 / 9
$20

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Chris Wasshuber
The Ultimate Magic Square (King of Hearts) by Chris Wasshuber
"I've been doing magic 40 years, and this may be one of my five favorite tricks. Excellent thinking. Hard to top." - Clyde Hayre, US.

A spectator is asked to throw three fair dice (this is an absolute fair throw, or even just a mental throw - no force here). From the number fairly thrown you construct a perfect magic square. For a kicker the cards are put together and the face of a King of Hearts appears.

There is no palming of cards or exchanging of decks or anything like it. You work with 16 cards and 16 cards only without any sleight-of-hand.

You get 16 specially printed cards...

2005 / 9 / 23
$15

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printed cards

Chris Wasshuber
The Ultimate Magic Square (That's Magic) by Chris Wasshuber
"I've been doing magic 40 years, and this may be one of my five favorite tricks. Excellent thinking. Hard to top." - Clyde Hayre, US.

LOVE IT! I've been looking for a trick to help promote my business and this is perfect as I trade under the name "That's Magic" - Barry Harvey, UK.

A spectator is asked to throw three fair dice (this is an absolute fair throw, or even just a mental throw - no force here). From the number fairly thrown you construct a perfect magic square. For a kicker the cards are put together and a message appears written on the cards: "That's Magic!".

You get 16 specially...

2005 / 9 / 23
$10

more than one
type to choose
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PDF

printed cards

Peter Duffie
Effortless Card Magic by Peter Duffie

Effortless is probably just as apropriate or misleading as self-working. It doesn't mean that these tricks don't require any effort on your side. You have to read the descriptions, remember the sequence of actions and perform the act - entertain, which in my book is neither self-working nor effortless. But what these terms try to convey is that you will not need to master difficult moves or finger breaking sleights to perform these effects. And they are very good effects. Often an 'effortless' trick can be performed to greater effect because the performer can pay more attention to audience managment,...

2006 / 5 / 21
$24.95

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Roberto Giobbi
Card College Light by Roberto Giobbi

This is by far the best ebook on self-working card tricks. (For the second volume in this series see Card College Lighter. For the third volume see Card College Lightest.)

From the author of Card College, the world's most acclaimed course on sleight-of-hand card magic, comes Card College Light, Roberto Giobbi's first text focused entirely on professional caliber card tricks requiring no manipulative skill.

For whom is this ebook intended? It is for beginners, of course - but by no means in total. This ebook is intended for everyone who has always wanted to perform card tricks, but who didn't have the time necessary to learn complex routines,...

2007 / 3 / 1
$26

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John Scarne
Scarne on Card Tricks by John Scarne

Scarne describes 155 easy to do tricks with cards. No sleight of hand skill whatsoever is required in these tricks. But don't assume that this makes them weak effects.

For this book Scarne obtained from Dunninger, Cardini, Dai Vernon, Francis Carlyle, Cliff Green, Russel Swan, Nate Leipzig, Thurston, Houdini and other famous magicians and card experts the secrets of some of their most notable tricks and effects. Together with these he has included many entirely new creations of his own. The demonstrations and explanations of the tricks are accompanied by illustrations. In addition, Scarne has included full instructions on...

2007 / 6 / 21
$8

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Rufus Steele
The Last Word on Cards by Rufus Steele

This is certainly not 'the last word on cards'. There never will be a last word on cards. But it is a delightful collection of self-working card effects. Some of the brightest minds contributed: Ed Marlo, Eddie Joseph, Al Leech, Bill Simon, Eddie Fields, Oscar Weigle, Audley Walsh and of course Rufus Steele himself.

You will find the original "Sam and Moe" card story on which Bill Malone's "Sam the Bellhop" is based. I also found a very interesting magic card square routine that I was not aware of.

For anyone who likes clever card tricks which are based on subtleties, math and other clever ruses, this is a must read.

  • Introduction ...
2007 / 7 / 23
$7

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Rufus Steele
52 Amazing Card Tricks by Rufus Steele

This ebook is a compilation of self-working card tricks with contributions by legends like Paul Rosini, Eddie Joseph, Edward Marlo, Martin Gardner, Ken Krenzel, Al Baker, Carmen Da Mico, H. Adrian Smith, Sid Lorraine, John Scarne, Dai Vernon, Audley Walsh and of course Rufus Steele.

  • Contents
  • Introduction
  • Psychic Spell
  • "Let's See What You've Done"
  • Mystic Fifteen
  • Hiding The Principle
  • Double Thought
  • Five Nine King
  • A Bridge Trick
  • Under The Table Coincidence
  • Mental Discernment Improved
  • The Reluctant Card
  • Betting On A Sure Thing
  • The Ten Of Diamonds
  • Trick Of The Year
  • Double Deuce
  • A Set Of Surprises
  • Rapid Revelation
  • Two Souls With But A Single Thought
  • The Missing Card
  • A Beginner's...
2007 / 7 / 24
$7

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Rufus Steele
50 Tricks You Can Do You Will Do Easy To Do by Rufus Steele

This ebook is a compilation of three booklets Rufus Steele released:

  • Card Tricks You Will Do
  • Card Tricks You Can Do
  • Card Tricks Easy to Do
It is a collection of card tricks that require no sleight-of-hand, or what is often called self-working card tricks. (Check out the other Rufus Steele ebooks for a lot more self-working tricks.)

You will encounter contributions from people like Bert Allerton, Arthur Buckley, Paul Rosini, Ed Marlo, Dai Vernon, Dorny, Harry Blackstone and many more.

  • Introduction
  • Community Do As I Do
  • A "Chic" Trick
  • Colors Will Tell
  • Mix - Cut And Look
  • Location From New Deck
  • Your Number - Your Card
  • This Is Your Card
  • Money...
2007 / 7 / 25
$7

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softcover

Rufus Steele
Card Tricks That Are Easy To Learn Easy To Do by Rufus Steele

This is another fantastic compilation of card tricks that require no sleight-of-hand. Rufus Steele writes "The simplicity of a card trick adds much to its mystery!" - I couldn't agree more. In total there are 51 tricks explained.

  • CONTENTS
  • FOREWORD
  • 1 - Riffle Trick
  • 2 - Frank Lane's Three Pellet Card Trick
  • 3 - Appleton's Fooler
  • 4 - Hull's "Joker" Spelling Trick
  • 5 - Pearce's Triple Card Mystery
  • 6 - The Master Card Location
  • 7 - The Lady and Man Card Prediction
  • 8 - Simple Addition
  • 9 - A Brain Teaser
  • 10 - Mephisto's Message
  • 11 - Improved Guesser
  • 12 - Sequel
  • 13 - A Prediction Effect ...
2007 / 7 / 26
$7

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Peter Duffie
Dark Angel by Peter Duffie

This stunning two-part routine has no sleights and nothing to remember except the simple handling, and it leaves the deck ready for a repeat performance. What can you wish more?

After explaining that - not unlike humans - each playing card has a guardian angel that watches over it, you show a 6" x 4" card (can be laminated) that has a full deck of 52 cards printed on it - blacks on one side - reds on the other. These, you claim are the guardians. Against each card is another random card - these are the cards over which the guardians watch. This card is called "the card of the guardians" and...

2008 / 3 / 13
$10.50

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Mystic Alexandre
Aeon Reading by Mystic Alexandre

The Aeon Reading is a mysterious Tarot card reading/experiment that will leave your participant wondering about the mystical powers of the Tarot. It will also leave them with an important message. If you perform at all with Tarot cards, you’ll surely be using this routine which has been in Alexandre's repertoire for years.

Written for the Thoth tarot deck (where the Aeon card is the 20th card) it can be automatically adapted to any tarot deck you might already own. This is based on a self working principle - no sleight of hand required.

1st edition 2005; 3 pages.

2008 / 5 / 22
$3

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Stephen Tucker
Paradox by Stephen Tucker

This is an incredible topological curiosity with a playing card and a third!

Four odd shaped pieces, cut from Bicycle playing cards, are tabled. You explain that three of the pieces marry together to form the shape of a complete playing card. The extra piece is only supplied in case of emergencies (i.e. if you lose a piece!) The extra 'emergency' piece is shown to be the same shape as one of the other pieces and is then set aside.

Strangely, although you easily solved the 'apparently' simple jig-saw puzzle, no one else can!

Comes with a bonus routine: Bomb$hell Deluxe.

1st edition...

2008 / 6 / 7
$12

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Stephen Tucker
ACAAN by Stephen Tucker

Any Card At Any Number - You table a cased deck, then remove a small, thin note-pad from your shirt pocket and ask one person to name any card. Let's assume he says, "The Queen of Spades." You record this on the pad. You next ask a second person to name any number from 1 to 52. Let's assume this person says, "22". You record this too, then pick up the cased deck. You remove the cards and show that they are all different. You hand the deck to one of them, and ask that he deals down to the 22nd card... it's the Queen of Spades!

If you would like to inject a little comedy, once the card and...

2008 / 6 / 8
$17

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Roberto Giobbi
A Gambler's Dream by Roberto Giobbi

This is pure Giobbi, a great card routine including Poker, Stud Poker, BlackJack, and Bridge demonstrations where the gambler always wins. However, the real value are the lessons Giobbi teaches you in terms of constructing a routine, timing and psychology. He explains why he says a certain word or sentence at that particular time and not earlier or later and why not anything different. You get the reason and thus you can apply these lessons to many other effects. These insights transcend the routine at hand and will make you a much better, more effective and more knowledgeable magician.

As...

2008 / 9 / 2
$9

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Ulysses Frederick Grant
Nu Way Out Of This World by Ulysses Frederick Grant

A wonderful self-working rendition of the classic "Out Of This World" effect. This was the first real card trick I saw - and I was baffled.

A borrowed deck is shuffled. A red and a black card are placed face up on the table. The performer then removes cards, one at a time from the deck. Without the spectator seeing the faces of these cards, he indicates whether he thinks a card is a red or a black. If he thinks it is a red card, the performer places it, face down, on the face up red card. If the spectator thinks it is a black card, the performer places it face down on the face up black card....

2008 / 10 / 28
$3

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Roberto Giobbi
Card College Lighter by Roberto Giobbi

Roberto Giobbi's newest survey of sleightless card magic, Card College Lighter, gives the famous Giobbi treatment to 21 baffling card tricks by some of the craft's greatest masters, including Vernon, Annemann, Leech, Maven, Fulves, Hummer, Vollmer and Krenzel. These tricks do not require sleights, but they all show the cunning perspective of a professional performer, guaranteeing astonishing and entertaining results.

Following in the footsteps of his Card College Light, Roberto Giobbi teaches the secrets of professional-caliber card magic, providing insights into the presentation, psychology and routining that make these simple tricks into...

2009 / 3 / 4
$26

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Paul Curry
Out of this World by Paul Curry

Paul Curry invented this effect when he was just 25 years old. It is one of the most well known and probably most often performed card effects today. A classic through and through. An incredibly strong effect paired with a most simple method. You can't find much better card tricks.

The effect as Curry describes it:

The performer shuffles a pack of cards and starts to deal them into two piles - the red cards in one pile, the blacks in the other. After a few cards have been dealt into each pile the deal is stopped and the performer explains that were he to continue to deal in this manner...

2009 / 3 / 19
$4

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Cameron Francis
18: A Powerhouse Prediction Effect by Cameron Francis

A beautiful piece of mentalism! Completely self working! Completely practical! Completely mind-blowing!

Effect:

A deck of cards is removed from its case and shuffled. The magician spreads the deck face up and asks a spectator to touch any card. All of the cards are different and this is truly a free choice. Let's say the spectator touches the Five of Diamonds. This card is placed face up on the table. The magician then states that the spectator is to use the value of his selection to find another card. The deck is turned face down and the spectator is asked to deal 5 cards off the top of the...

2009 / 5 / 3
$10

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Allan Ackerman
Spread Change Revelation by Allan Ackerman

This is a pretty color change that is self-working. It can also be used for a change out. The underlying principle was first discovered by Alex Elmsley. Ed Marlo turned it into a self working color change.

runtime: 1min 11s

2009 / 5 / 12
$2.50

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MP4 (video)

Allan Ackerman
Ose Fake Cut by Allan Ackerman

This triple tabled false cut is a thing of simplistic beauty, developed by Jay Ose. Calling this a move is an overstatement.

runtime: 50s

2009 / 5 / 13
$2

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David Gemmell
51 for Two by David Gemmell

This is David Gemmell's solution to the classic Paul Curry/Stewart James card problem "51 Faces North".

History of the card problem:

  • Paul Curry conceived the idea for this effect sometime in the 1940's. At the time he had no workable method for achieving the effect.
  • Ed Marlo got wind of this sometime in 1949 and published a method in the Cardician 1953.
  • Stewart James and Howard Lyons corresponded on this subject in 1953.
  • Stewart James contributed several methods to Ibidem in the early years of its run. This is where Stewart James first laid down the (almost) impossible conditions for the effect dubbing his idea as "51 Faces North".
  • Jon Racherbaumer launched the Hierophant...
2009 / 8 / 18
$12

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Michael Maxwell
A New Game by Michael Maxwell

This trick was developed by Allan and Debbie Ackerman. Debbie is Allan's daughter.

A spectator chooses a card and the value of the card decides how many hands are dealt in this game. Let's say the spectator chooses the 3 of Hearts. A random number of cards is taken from the deck and then dealt into 3 hands. Then the performer announces that the spectator should pick one pile. If that pile does not have a 3 on its top the spectator wins, otherwise the magician wins. Of course, the odds are vastly in favor of the spectator. Nevertheless, the top cards on all three piles turn out to be 3s and as...

2009 / 10 / 28
$6

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MP4 (video)

Michael Maxwell
The Lazy Man's Interlocking Setup II by Michael Maxwell

One spectator receives a prediction for safe keeping. Another spectator receives a portion of the deck, shuffles it thoroughly, deals cards one at a time on the table, and stops whenever he likes. He may stop at the first card, the last card, or anywhere in between. The value of the randomly chosen card is used to count to a card in the remaining portion of the deck. And that card matches the prediction.

runtime: 4min 34s

2009 / 10 / 28
$6

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MP4 (video)

Werner Miller
Enigmaths 1 by Werner Miller

Here you will find 20 self-working effects all based on mathematical principles. Most of them are card tricks. This is the first volume in a series of ebooks.

Max Maven: "I am a fan of Werner Miller."

Scott Cram: "Werner Miller has a great knack for taking simple mathematical principles to highly entertaining levels."

Walt Lees: "[Werner originates] card and mental magic based on subtlety and well-hidden mathematical principles. Unlike so much of that kind of thing, Werner's ideas are distinguished by their clean-cut methods and easy-to-understand effects."

R. Shane: "Werner [...] is a frightening man. Not 'Norman Bates' frightening....

2009 / 11 / 3
$12

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Werner Miller
Enigmaths 2 by Werner Miller

Werner Miller continues with the second volume in his series of self-working and semi-automatic effects all based on mathematical principles. Most of them are card tricks.

Aldo Colombini: "This material is both compelling and provocative. I like it very much. My compliments! My personal favorite so far: A SERIES OF SURPRISES and POLE POSITION. But of course, I am sure I'll find more..."

Peter Duffie (in Magic Magazine, Feb 2010): Enigmaths 1, 2 & 3. Warm up the slide rule; Werner Miller has written three new e-books on math magic.

I first became aware of the work of Werner Miller through his 2006 book Ear Marked, published by Shane of Leaping...

2009 / 11 / 17
$12

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Werner Miller
Enigmaths 3 by Werner Miller

Werner Miller continues with his third volume in this series of self-working and semi-automatic effects all based on mathematical principles. Most of them are card tricks. A total of twenty effects for the magician looking for subtle math to enable stunning miracles. Everything is clearly explained with drawings, diagrams and tables.

Peter Duffie (review from Magic Magazine), Feb 2010: "Miller knows how to work with strange and wonderful arithmetical principles, and he comes up with some brilliant ideas. ... If mathematical magic scares you or you find it dull, Enigmaths could well change your mind and pull you over...

2009 / 11 / 25
$12

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George Blake
Dream Poker by George Blake

This is a great routine using just a regular deck of cards - totally impromptu and no sleight-of-hand; in three entertaining phases. You have in your possession a great routine by the late George Blake (written originally in Magigram magazine). George is also giving you here the patter that he used. Just perform the routine as written and the whole thing works itself. The effect needs no set-up and can be done with a borrowed deck of cards.

1st edition 2007; 14 pages.

2010 / 4 / 17
$10

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Aldo Colombini
Impromptu Card Magic by Aldo Colombini

90 amazing card tricks by some of the most recognized magicians (including three past FISM winners), with stringent conditions: no set-ups and no sleights. organized into the following sections:

  • Selected Cards
  • Aces and Gambling
  • Mental Discoveries
  • Spelling Effects
  • Amazing Coincidences
  • Lie Detectors
The routines use subtle moves and principles rather than difficult sleight of hand to produce entertaining card effects that anyone can do. And more important, no gimmicks, and no set-ups whatsoever. Grab an ordinary, even borrowed, deck of cards and amaze your spectators with incredible...
2010 / 5 / 24
$10

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Aldo Colombini
Simply Impromp2 by Aldo Colombini

This is Aldo's second volume of impromptu card tricks. Once again the rules that he required were simple: That the tricks be based on subtle moves and principles only rather than difficult sleights. Most importantly, the tricks had to be totally impromptu with no set-ups. Eventually he did, however, allow a few easy moves such as a card control, a force or a simple sleight; moves that still are very easy to master and perform.

Tricks are organized into the following categories. The last one is a section on simple sleights and procedures:

  • The Four Aces
  • Amazing Coincidences
  • Baffling Revelations ...
2010 / 5 / 24
$10

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Paul Voodini
Hypno-Mental Self-Working Card Tricks by Paul Voodini

From the disturbed mind of Paul Voodini comes this latest ebook - Hypno-Mental Self-Working Card Tricks. Simple and classic self-working card tricks are taken and thoroughly shaken up in a way and manner that only Paul Voodini could conceive of.

While on a trip to Bermuda, séance host and mind-reader Paul Voodini is forced to while away the hours by entertaining his fellow travellers with his favourite self-working card tricks. However, as you can imagine, the card tricks soon become demonstrations of the untapped power of the mind. Spectators are placed into light trances which allows them...

2010 / 6 / 18
$15

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Roberto Giobbi
Card College Lightest by Roberto Giobbi

Card College Lightest is the final volume of Roberto Giobbi's acclaimed 'Light' trilogy. In it are taught 18 thoroughly astonishing tricks of professional quality, complete with performing psychology, presentations, valuable tips and insights, all of which contribute to making these sleightless effects into near miracles.

The tricks Giobbi has selected this time range from time-tested classics to little-known wonders by masters of the craft, including Larry Becker, Henry Christ, Aldo Colombini, Paul Curry, Alex Elmsley, Karl Fulves, Martin Gardner, Stewart James, Howard Adams, Richard Vollmer and more.

Also explained are simple methods for achieving false shuffles,...

2010 / 7 / 19
$26

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Aldo Colombini
Can You Hear Me Now? by Aldo Colombini

Ten amazing effects with cards that you can do over the phone. Several of the effects are so strong that you can even do them for live audiences.

Contents and contributors:

  • PHONE ZONE (Peter Duffie)
  • TELEMENTAL (Bob King)
  • HOCUS POCUS (Eddie Joseph)
  • LINEAR BLACKJACK (Karl Fulves)
  • TWO CARDS (Stewart Judah)
  • LIE DETECTOR (Al Thatcher)
  • BREAKING POINT (Aldo Colombini)
  • TAMAX (Dougie Gibbard)
  • WIZARD (Peter Duffie)
  • HALF AS GREAT (Max Maven)
You, of course, do not touch the cards, yet you will amaze your friends.

1st edition 2009

2010 / 8 / 20
$10

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