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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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Frank La Fontaine

50 New Card Secrets by Frank La Fontaine

50 simple card tricks that anyone can do with any deck of playing cards, without sleight-of-hand.

From the Introduction:

The idea that long practice and exceptional skill are necessary in the performance of card tricks is erroneous. Some of the cleverest and most bewildering tricks are made possible by the use of subtle principles of unique methods that are easily learned, yet which are capable of deceiving the keenest and most intelligent spectator.

Such are the methods explained in this booklet. These tricks have been devised by experienced performers of card tricks, men who understand...

2020 / 5 / 24
$9.50

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Franz (Ronnay) Rosensteiner

9-2-1 Prediction by Franz (Ronnay) RosensteinerA very easy to do prediction effect with a surprising ending.

The performer introduces ten cards and deals them into a face-down packet to prove it. He hands the packet to a spectator and asks him to think of any number between one and ten. The cards are then cut by the spectator and shuffled. Then they are laid out in a face-down line. The performer asks the spectator to, for the first time, announce the number he thought of, then counts along the line to that number and pushes out the card lying at that position. (Note that this is a real count that can be done from the spectator - absolutely...

2018 / 8 / 10
$4.00

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Frederick Michael Shields & Bascom Jones

Unbelievable by Frederick Michael Shields & Bascom JonesA billion-to-1 psychic miracle using a regular deck of cards. A reputation maker, yet easy to perform.

A deck of cards is legitimately riffle shuffled and cut. A spectator selects any two suits, say Spades and Diamonds. These two suits are removed from the pack and given to the spectator. The performer takes the other two suits not chosen. The spectator deals a card face down. The performer places a card face up on this card. This is repeated. Variety is added by the performer dealing a card face down and spectator covers this card with one of his cards face-up. When all cards are dealt...

2019 / 7 / 15
$6.00

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George Armstrong

Premonition: an amazing mental card routine by George Armstrong[Eddie Joseph and George Armstrong both published this effect in 1949 under the same name: Premonition. The effects are identical and the methods are also pretty much identical except some minor details. Since George Armstrong describes his inspiration and when and where he developed it, while Eddie Joseph does not, I believe George Armstrong to be the inventor of this method. George Armstrong's inspiration was an effect from Greater Magic by Bill McCaffrey. But already Hofzinser has a similar routine Domination of Thought from his Card Conjuring.

A spectator names a card. He is asked to take a pack of cards from the table, remove them...

2015 / 5 / 6
$4.00

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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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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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Gerard Zitta

Predestination by Gerard ZittaThis effect is a variation of an effect called ACAT (Any Card At Any Time), extracted from CLUE ebook. It can be presented with playing cards, or special cards (like the Vernet PSImbol deck, or movies (like Directors's cut or Screen test), French postcards, etc.), or just with blank index cards or your own business cards (with drawings, symbols, words, numbers, etc. on the back). It is not a card trick, but rather a mystery or paradox.

It is hands-off, automatic, self-working, can be done over the phone or sight unseen, stand up, close up or stage (with jumbo cards). It is easy, practical, and...

2016 / 1 / 29
$10.00

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Gerard Zitta

Mission Impossible by Gerard ZittaEffect: A spectator looks at a card in a borrowed shuffled deck. You eliminate cards and the last card is their selection.

Key points:

  • 100% impromptu and improvised.
  • Any borrowed deck with any number of cards
  • Hands off
  • The cards are shuffled many times during the routine
  • No accomplice, no gimmick, no setup, no dual reality, no sleight of hands, no fishing, 100% surefire.
  • OK for stand-up, walk-around, parlor and why not stage.
  • You do not have to touch or see anything
  • You just need to know a couple of devious principles (some are new).
  • Baffling and cannot be reverse-engineered due...
2020 / 9 / 26
$19.99

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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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Hugh Miller & Divado

Impossible by Hugh Miller & DivadoA fantastic card routine for all kinds of audience that will please and satisfy both seasoned magicians and those fairly new to the Art.
  • No sleight of hand needed
  • No gimmicks used
  • No manipulation
  • No preparation
Just take any deck of cards, even a borrowed one, and you will immediately be ready to perform this great routine. The trick is presented in a three-part crescendo and it is designed to leave your audience in absolute awe, thinking "No way, this is... IMPOSSIBLE!"

EFFECT:

The magician takes 10 cards from the deck, 5 red and 5 black, of the same value (let's say from the...

2020 / 3 / 30
$8.00

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Ian Baxter

Three Jacks Bettered by Ian Baxter

Jon Racherbaumer steps forward with a very keen Introduction to this Baxter treatment of the classic Three Jacks Deal. “…celebrate and perform Baxter’s latest, evolutionary entry.” It has been around since 1928, but this version guides it well into the 21st century.

Ian Baxter has accomplished something remarkable. He has taken a wonderful classic self-working effect, that has been described and worked on by such luminaries as Walter Gibson, John Scarne, Rufus Steele, Harry Lorayne, Ed Marlo and made it even better, more direct, less dealing procedures while preserving the effect, the sleight-less feature as well as adding an additional climax....

2012 / 11 / 3
$6.00

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Jack Carpenter

Steve Mayhew's Angels May Shuffle But The Devil Still Deals by Jack CarpenterSteve 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
$20.00

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Jack Yates

Miracle Mix-Up by Jack YatesIt's uncanny; you don't touch the pack; you don't see the pack. Yet you are able to reveal in a novel fashion a freely selected card. Write the simple instructions in the form of a letter to the "customer". You can do it over the phone, over the radio, on television, via SMS, Zoom, or any other communication channel. Or, if you prefer, you can do it close-up with a spectator. They do it at their leisure over and over again and still it works. The card is revealed by your own name thus gaining publicity, or you can use your own phrase or a number to reveal the card!

EFFECT: (There are different...

2020 / 6 / 15
$8.50

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Jack Yates

Above Suspicion by Jack YatesA self-working principle which determined a person's thoughts . . . Listen to this bewildering effect. A pack of cards is shuffled and a spectator merely thinks of a card. The pack is then dealt once, twice and finally a third time into two piles. Before completing the last dealing the spectator may, if he so wishes, shuffle both halves. Despite all this, when the spectator deals through the pack he finds there are only 51 cards; the thought-of card has vanished! The performer produces the card from his pocket before the spectator names his chosen card. An astounding climax which completely...
2020 / 7 / 10
$6.00

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John Bannon

Timely Departure by John BannonThree spectators choose a card each. The cards vanish from the deck to later reappear face-up in a face-down spread. As long as you can count and do a double undercut you can perform this effect. Since there is counting and displaying of cards involved this effect requires a captive and moderately intelligent audience to play well.

runtime 9min 40s

2010 / 11 / 18
$5.00

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MP4 (video)

John Scarne

Scarne on Card Tricks by John ScarneScarne 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
$8.00

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Jon Racherbaumer

Big Easy Card Cunning by Jon RacherbaumerThese are all self-working or very easy to perform effects.

One item that I would like to highlight is the Klutz Force, because it is on the same skill level as the popular Criss-Cross force, which is frequently used in self-working effects. With the Klutz Force you have an alternative that has a different feel and procedure.

  • Simplex Physical & Mental
  • Telephenomenal
  • 21 And Then Some
  • Guesstimation City
  • Marked Calculation
  • What Is the Question?
  • Easy Prefiguration
  • Klutzy Forces
  • Hobson Chooses Again
  • Punch-Line Division
  • Simple Sync
  • Is Your Pants On Fire?
  • Made In the Shade
  • No-Clue ...
2011 / 3 / 23
$15.00

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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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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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Jon Racherbaumer

Processean Princess by Jon RacherbaumerHenry Hardin's plot has been around for 107 years and his initial three methods are explained in The Art of Magic (1909). Card tricks of this kind were atypical when Hardin devised his trick. During his time, spectators physically picked cards. They seldom, if ever, mentally selected them. Because only five cards are used in "The Princess Card Trick," Hardin strengthened the challenge by finding the mental selection by tactile means while the five "possibilities" were in his pocket.

This is how the his trick appeared to audiences: Five cards are shown to a spectator who is asked to think of one of them....

2018 / 3 / 25
$12.00

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