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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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Ken de Courcy

Count Down by Ken de CourcyVery easy to do, impromptu and with a big effect! What else would you ask? Count Down by Ken de Courcy is a card trick that you can present in several ways, all well explained in this little manuscript.

The basic effect is the following: A spectator shuffles his own pack (Yes! It can be his own pack of cards and he really shuffles it...), then counts ten cards in a reverse order. If a number of spots on a card happens to match the number he is counting aloud at the time, the card is thrown out face-up. If none match during the count, a card is dealt face down in front of the magician.

This...

2014 / 5 / 28
$3.00

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Moonshadow

Couples by MoonshadowUnfortunately, some of our magical effects have something of a "who cares?" stigma: pick a card, lose the card, find the card . . . and our audience is thinking, who cares? Couples gives spectators a "stake" on the effect, creating audience involvement and interest.

You're performing walk-around at a party and a couple, sitting at a small table, catches your attention. They ask to see some magic. You introduce yourself and they introduce themselves as Jim and Mary. They laugh and enjoy your magic, and are thrilled when you say, "I'm going to do something really special for you. This is a...

2018 / 5 / 11
$5.95

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Jon Racherbaumer

Criss-Crossings: Unleashing the X-Force by Jon RacherbaumerThis is an interesting study of the X-Force and variations thereof only the way Jon Racherbaumer can do it. The X-Force is the simplest force that every magician has learned to do at one point in their life. Jon dissects the X-Force or Criss-Cross Force and then puts it back together in different and new ways. This is fodder for those that want to go into the fine and nuanced details of performing this force.
  • Introduction
  • Drilling Down
  • A Little History of the X-Force
  • Layered-Cross-Cut Force
  • First Method
  • Second Method – Layered Double-Cross
  • Two Cuts Are Better Than One
  • Three Free...
2015 / 6 / 2
$8.00

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Raphaël Czaja

Cut Cat Can by Raphaël Czaja

A self-working and examinable ACAAN effect with two decks.

EFFECT: The magician thoroughly shuffles a deck of cards. Then, the spectator cuts the deck to split it into two piles. Only now is he asked to create a random number in his mind. After a very quick and simple procedure, he writes his number down on a Post-it note - let's say, "13". He sticks it onto the card he cut to - let's say, the King of Diamonds. From a second deck - on the table from the start - he deals the cards one by one. Amazingly, the 13th card is the King of Diamonds!

Self-working. No gimmick. No extra card. Both...

2020 / 9 / 3
$5.00

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Peter Duffie

Dark Angel by Peter DuffieThis 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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Gerard Zitta

Darwin by Gerard ZittaA classic mathematical principle with two piles.

This is an old mathematical principle used in many card effects. Most of the effects were done with 52 cards. But the principle works with any number of cards (or business cards). This manual explains the principle in detail and generalizes the principle. It allows you to predict the last card that will be left after dealing two piles and eliminating the same pile every time. After reading this ebook, you will be able to use any number of cards. The original pile can be any size, the discarded pile can be chosen, and the final card can be...

2014 / 9 / 1
$10.00

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Jon Racherbaumer

Debits, Credits, and other Leftovers by Jon RacherbaumerPolishing and old principle of mooted origin ...

Jon Racherbaumer explores an old but fascinating self-working trick which can be performed with any set of counters, be they cards, sticks, stones, coins, matches, business cards, bottle caps, gummi bears, ...

  • Prelude
  • Introduction
  • My Introduction To The Version With Playing Cards
  • The Quickie Card Trick
  • Beginnings
    • A Novel Card Trick (Howard L. Grant)
    • Toothpick Magic (U. F. Grant)
    • Counting Trick (Rufus Steele)
    • A Matter Of Debit And Credit (John Northern Hilliard)
  • Spin-Offs
    • Balancing Debit And Credit (Ian Baxter)
    • The Trick That Fooled Einstein (Harry Franke) ...
2017 / 7 / 2
$10.00

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Chris Congreave

Diception by Chris CongreaveShowing that your deck is mixed and ordinary, you also show a card with a prediction written on the back. The spectator chooses a card completely at random, by rolling 1, 2 or 3 dice. You deal to their number (no force). When you reveal the prediction you have not only predicted their chosen card, but also what number they rolled on the dice.

You will need a blue and a red deck (or any two decks with matching faces but different backs) to make this yourself. No arts and craft, just a sharpie and a bit of writing. The dice are optional. You can use real dice, you can use a dice app on your...

2019 / 9 / 22
$10.00

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Aldo Colombini

Dream Deal by Aldo ColombiniAn unbelievable routine in three phases with a regular deck of cards and totally impromptu. You have in your possession a great effect by the late George Blake. The routine, in three phases, starts by having you dealing four 'hands' of five cards each. A spectator selects a packet and thinks of a card and you reveal it. The card is placed back in the deck and again, with a different method, you reveal it. Once again, the card is replaced and revealed with a third way to conclude a very exciting routine. All three phases involve spelling. The effect needs no set-up, can be done with a borrowed deck of cards,...
2013 / 10 / 26
$10.00

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MP4 (video)

George Blake

Dream Poker by George BlakeThis 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
$10.00

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Eddie Joseph

Eddie's Dumbfounders with Cards by Eddie JosephNo skill - no sleights - no moves
  • Introduction
  • The "Tobba" Mystery
  • Who Knows the Card?
  • Incredulously True
  • Two Secret Thoughts
  • Memory Phenomenal
  • Over the Wire
  • The Mystic Queen
  • One-Eye Joe
  • The Expert Cuts
  • Can You See Your Card?
From the introduction:
Now comes the question — Why bring all this in here? Merely to stress a point. ANY TRICK WILL BE CONSIDERED AN APPARENT MIRACLE WHEN THE CAUSE EVADES US. Pages and pages have been written in an attempt to define Magic. I will give it to you in FIVE words, "THE ART OF CONCEALING THE CAUSE". The better you are able to conceal the...
2016 / 7 / 31
$4.00

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Peter Duffie

Effortless Card Magic by Peter DuffieEffortless 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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Ulysses Frederick Grant

Eliminators by Ulysses Frederick GrantThis is a great little booklet where U.F. Grant teaches three non-sleight replacement methods for
  • Pass
  • Force
  • Palm
  • Switch
Now all those non-finger-flingers can join in the fun.

1st edition 1943, 1st digital edition 2017, 4 pages.

2017 / 9 / 6
$5.00

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Glenn G. Gravatt

Encyclopedia of Self-Working Card Tricks by Glenn G. GravattThis is a marvelous compilation of mostly easy and sleightless, or as it is usually called self-working, card tricks. Some effects do require moves such as palming, and a good false shuffle and false cut will go a long way to make many otherwise sleightless effects much stronger. But for the most part no sleights are necessary to perform the vast majority of effects taught.

From the Introduction:

It is to be hoped that the reader will not have to go far in this book before he realizes and appreciates that this is not just another book, collection, or compilation of card tricks. It is expected...
2020 / 5 / 31
$39.50

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 1 by Werner MillerHere 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
$12.00

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 2 by Werner MillerWerner 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
$12.00

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 3 by Werner MillerWerner 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
$12.00

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 4 by Werner MillerWerner Miller continues with his fourth volume in this series of self-working and semi-automatic effects all based on mathematical principles. Many of them are card tricks.
The way that a magic trick works can be just as amazing as the trick itself. - Persi Diaconis, from CMI Annual Report 2006, p. 4.

1st edition 2010; 36 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Hands on Magic Squares
  2. Columbus Square
  3. Blind Landing
  4. Matrix Force Plus
  5. Persiste!
  6. Dubai Dab
  7. Cut of the Spade
  8. Club Swinging
  9. Diamond Couple
  10. Call to the Colors
  11. Red Stranger
  12. Anagram
  13. Diamond Puzzle
  14. Hold the Line!
  15. Diaspora
  16. Computer...
2010 / 11 / 21
$12.00

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 5 by Werner MillerWerner Miller continues with his fifth volume in this series of self-working and semi-automatic effects all based on mathematical principles. Many of them are card tricks.
Mathematical magic has its own curious charms. It combines the beauty of the mathematical structure with the entertainment value of a trick. - Martin Gardner, from the preface of Mathematics, Magic and Mystery, 1956.

1st edition 2010; 36 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Can You See Your Card?
  2. Answering to Their Names
  3. Answering to Their Names – Plus
  4. Calling a Spade a Spade
  5. Calling a Spade a Spade – Plus
  6. Ladies’ Choice
  7. Starring...
2010 / 11 / 21
$12.00

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Werner Miller

Enigmaths 6 by Werner MillerWerner Miller continues with his sixth volume in this series of self-working and semi-automatic effects all based on mathematical principles. Many of them are card tricks.
In the right circumstances mathematical tricks properly presented are more likely to be accepted as real magic than anything of a finger-flinging nature. - Karl Fulves, from the introduction of Gene Finnell's Card Magic, 1973.

1st edition 2010; 36 pages.

Table of Contents

  1. Enough!
  2. I Know
  3. All You Need Is...
  4. Reverse Faro Five
  5. Affinities
  6. Affinities - Plus
  7. Double Proof
  8. Double-Decker
  9. Meeting One's Match
  10. Numerable Clue ...
2010 / 11 / 21
$12.00

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