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Self-Working or Sleightless in Cards

Self-working is not the best term but it is the one used most often to describe tricks that do not require any sleight-of-hand. The better description is 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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Biagio Fasano
Isolation of Royal Families by Biagio Fasano

An automatic and practically impromptu card magic effect that requires an unusual deck of poker cards whose simple preparation is done in front of the audience, if not by entrusting it to a spectator.

For each of the four suits, figures (Jack, Queen, King) and Aces are drawn, stacking them neatly in four different bundles, to represent the aristocratic members of the city's four important houses, who would like to return to being well-liked by their citizenry.

For this purpose, the two Jokers are hired as "image consultants," and their first piece of advice is that each of the members...

$8.99 $5.99
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Biagio Fasano
CoinDICEnce ACAAN by Biagio Fasano

An amazing self-working "Any Card At Any Number" effect, which uses two simple decks of cards, two dice and two chips to let fate play with dice.

This is an incredibly automatic card magic and mentalism effect, of the "Any Card At Any Number" genre, which uses two simple poker decks of 52 cards, two common six-sided number dice, and two casino chips bearing the words "SUIT" and "VALUE" on them.

The illusionist will call on a female spectator to help him as he explains how often throughout history both playing cards and dice may have influenced the fates of many men.

He will then present...

$14.99 $9.99
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Dustin Marks
Automatic Placement: a deep dive by Dustin Marks

The Automatic Placement Principle, named and popularized by Ed Marlo, is a mathematical marvel that places the spectator's card into a known position in the deck, without sleights. I've created two amazing enhancements: First, the spectator shuffles the majority of the deck after looking at his card. Unbelievably, you still know the card's position without touching the deck! Second, you're now privy to the card's identity as well as its location. Both methods are presented as a glimpse into gambling strategies. These enhancements have many potentials for your card magic.

1st edition 2024, PDF 19...

$15
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Biagio Fasano & Marco di Biase
Hyper-Sensitive Mentalism by Biagio Fasano & Marco di Biase

A new Mentalism effect, as impromptu as it is inexplicable!

This is a simple Mentalism effect, incomprehensible to the audience and executable on virtually any occasion, as it uses eight simple cards that can be drawn from any deck. The Mentalist, with his back turned or blindfolded without any make-up, asks a spectator to think of any card and draw it from the deck, together with any seven other cards with which it will be shuffled by herself. She will divide the pack between her own hands, holding in each four face down cards.

At her pleasure, she will turn face up of the two bundles...

$7.99
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Davide Rubat Remond
Undercover Jokers by Davide Rubat Remond

Undercover Jokers is a totally improvised and self-working card-magic effect that can be performed with a borrowed and freely shuffled deck, with the addition of the two Jokers. It tells the action of two investigative jokers acting undercover in search of a particular pair of cards, two figures representing two dangerous fugitives. The last sighting takes place inside a small, mysterious, and crowded club, the Card Club, popular with magicians and gamblers. After identifying and capturing the first criminal among the many people in the club, the two jokers, thanks to their intuition gained...

$5.99
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Biagio Fasano
Capturing Bonnie and Clyde by Biagio Fasano

An intriguing and fooler card effect, completely impromptu and self-working.

This is a new self-working, impromptu, card effect, always performable, even with a borrowed deck: the illusionist briefly tells the story of the very famous criminal couple Bonnie & Clyde, who operated in the 1930s in the United States with their own gang. The deck of cards, shuffled by the spectator, will represent the inhabitants of the state of Louisiana, among whom hid the men and women who were part of the gang of gangsters most hunted by the police. The magician will thus form three piles of cards to represent...

$5.99
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Biagio Fasano
The 7th Card Mystery by Biagio Fasano

An impromptu and self-working Card Magic trick, always ready to perform with any deck.

This is an incredible impromptu and automatic card magic effect, which uses seven cards, taken at random from the deck. A spectator chooses only one of these and, by mentally answering questions posed by the magician, will shuffle the deck according to his own thoughts and will. The illusionist will then announce that, one by one, all the cards that end up at the top of the pack, returned to him by the spectator, will be eliminated at the end of each series of further shuffles that he will personally...

$5.99
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Stewart James
Remembering the Future by Stewart James

An award-winning, impromptu, self-working card miracle.

EFFECT: A borrowed deck of cards may be used. A member of the audience predicts something that two other spectators will do before they know what they will do.

Anyone in the audience calls "stop" at any time as you deal off the cards, one by one. This card is not shown but held by anyone, back to the audience, so there can be no switch. Two other persons each take a portion of the remainder of the deck, a free choice. These cards are counted. When the stopped at card is turned around, it is found that it had predicted the totals...

★★★★★ $7
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Richard Southall
Binary Bucket List by Richard Southall

A binary method with a twist that makes it incomprehensible.

EFFECT: Three spectators select an item off your Bucket List. You show them four short lists and for each list, they are asked if they see their chosen item. Spectator one is asked to answer truthfully and spectator two is told they can either lie or tell the truth but they are not to tell you which they choose. Spectator three is told to only answer silently in their mind. Despite these increasingly more difficult conditions you are able to reveal all three selections.

I have been creating binary effects for a couple of years...

★★★★★ $8
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Biagio Fasano
Twist and Shout Ritual by Biagio Fasano

An amazing magic ritual that, performed with the audience, will invariably lead to success. Actually, a self-working, impromptu card magic effect, which uses four simple cards taken at random from the deck and results in an amazing "ritual," which can also be performed in close-up or on a stage, or remotely, even over the phone, and which will never fail to amaze the entire audience involved!

Four very common playing cards are used, taken at random from a deck of cards, and with which the illusionist, at the same time as one, dozens, or hundreds of spectators (each supplied with four different...

$9.90
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PDF & MP4

Unnamed Magician
Double Miracle by Unnamed Magician

An impromptu, gimmick-free, borrowed deck miracle. A location and divination of a selected card under test conditions. Read on.

Imagine:

The magician introduces a deck of cards. The spectator can thoroughly examine it, after which they can freely shuffle it for as long as they want in any way that they want.

Once they're done shuffling, the magician invites them to look through the deck (faces towards themself, backs towards the magician) and select any two cards that they like. Let's suppose they select the two black A's. They turn these face-up and leave them on the table.

Next,...

$20 $10
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Biagio Fasano & Laura Chips
Blackbeard's Treasure by Biagio Fasano & Laura Chips

It is an amazing automatic card magic effect that uses an ordinary deck of 54 cards (complete with the two jokers) and a pair of dice (which can also just be imagined by the spectators).

It tells the story of a pirate, the map of his island, and the magic dice he used to find his legendary treasure, in a crescendo of suspense, until the unexpected final surprise.

Completely self-working but with a surprising ending that will fool magicians too!

1st edition 2024, PDF 7 pages.

$9.90
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Mark Leveridge
Impromptu Lie Detector by Mark Leveridge

This is a straightforward version of the classic Lie Detector routine that can be performed with any deck (even a borrowed one) and with no advance setup.

A deck is shuffled by a spectator to put the cards into a genuinely random order, and the performer then extracts one card which he leaves sight unseen in view on the table. The magician then asks a spectator three questions about the tabled card, and the helper is invited to make up his answers (since he doesn't know at this stage what the tabled card actually is). Whatever answers the participant gives, the performer spells the word...

$10
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MP4 (video)

Raphaël Czaja
Emergency Prediction by Raphaël Czaja

The magician can't find the spectator's card but his prediction can.

In short:

The spectator cuts to a card, removes it from the deck and remembers it. Then, the magician shuffles the deck and divides it into two halves. The spectator shuffles both parts, loses his selection between them, and shuffles even more. At the end, the magician runs through the deck and removes a card, but it is not the spectator's. Fortunately, the magician has an "emergency out", a message on a piece of paper inside a red envelope, in full view from the start. The spectator reads it out loud:

"If I was...

$5
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PDF

Unnamed Magician
Move a Card: the 'Holy Grail' method for a classic plot by Unnamed Magician

"Pretty sure Moe would have been fooled by this." - Ryan Schlutz

"A clever method for a memory demonstration." - Christian Grace

Note: The effect described below makes up less than half of the entire e-book. The rest of the e-book contains several other methods for the "Move a Card" plot.

Imagine:

The magician asks the spectator for their own deck of cards as he wishes to use a borrowed deck for the routine. He invites them to thoroughly shuffle the cards in any way of their choosing. The spectator does that. (The magician also promises never to touch the cards at any point in...

★★★★ $40 $20
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Steve Pellegrino
Your Last Card by Steve Pellegrino

A lost Michael Skinner mystery, updated by Steve Pellegrino. Included is Michael Skinner's original handling and Steve Pellegrino's additions. Your Last Card is a triple revelation with two different predictions. You can reset it during performance and no sleight-of-hand is required.

You ask a spectator to cut off a small packet of cards, less than half of the deck. You turn away as they do this, so you don't know how much they cut, even an approximate amount. They pocket their cards. You also cut off a small packet of cards for yourself.

Before the presentation with the cards begins, you write a...

$4.95
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Ray Grismer
Foxiest by Ray Grismer

For many years, Ray has worked on the problem of developing an impromptu version of the Paul Fox Miracle Gimmick. After testing and discarding several earlier handlings, he has come up with a stunning version that is a reputation-building demonstration of mass mentalism.

It can be done anytime, anywhere, totally impromptu, with a borrowed deck of cards which is first thoroughly shuffled by a spectator. The cards are handed out to several spectators - between five and twenty if you wish - and they are each asked to just think of a card. The cards are gathered and once again shuffled. You...

★★★★ $10
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Brick Tilley
Clockwork Magician by Brick Tilley

Three named playing cards are located aided by a wind-up toy. Self-working, foolproof, a real crowd pleaser. From the lecture notes of Jimmy Haviland, London's last street conjuror.

You will have to supply a wind-up toy yourself. It is ungimmicked. Anything that walks, hops, or drives a few inches will work.

1st edition 2024, PDF 4 pages + video.

★★★★★ $10
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PDF & MP4

Biagio Fasano & Davide Rubat Remond
Double ACAAN by Biagio Fasano & Davide Rubat Remond

With Double A.C.A.A.N. you will perform exactly the miracle the title promises: using a simple deck of 52 cards that is unmarked and not gimmicked in any way, you will find first one and then another card, both random, after generating a number in an equally unusual and random way.

A special "pad" to be printed in A3+ size, made available as PDF, will be the ideal mat for performing the effect. The various boxes will be completed, first with the choice of a mystery card kept face down and then two uncovered cards, the union of whose suit and value attributes will form a new card absolutely...

$9.90
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PDF

Rufus Steele
Card Tricks You Will Do by Rufus Steele

This is a collection of self-working and very easy card effects. Rufus Steele has released several other publications along this line. Check them out.

Excerpt from the foreword:

Tricks with a pack of cards afford one of the easiest and most interesting forms of entertainment in existence. They are amazing and mysterious to those who witness them, yet they are within the ability of everyone.

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...

★★★★ $7
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Toni Koynini
Derby by Toni Koynini

A "Horse Race" in which you always win under impossible conditions.

The aces represent horses and the performer and three spectators run an exciting race, moving their horses on the “course” as indicated by a fourth spectator dealing the cards. The performer always wins and the effect can be repeated as many times as desired, with the same result every time.

  • An ordinary pack of cards
  • No sleight of hand
  • The spectators shuffle the cards before the race is run
  • Spectators freely select their own “horses” the performer taking the one that is left
  • No switching – no special cards...
★★★★★ $8
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Ian Baxter
Courtskill by Ian Baxter

A new approach to the Stewart James classic Miraskill.

Theo Annemann's journal The Jinx, September 1936, was where Miraskill was first published. Subsequently reprinted in various books and magazines over the years, this Stewart James creation still baffles one and all. The years have not dulled the remarkable impact it can have on today's audiences.

Courtskill is a brand-new version of Miraskill. Australian card man Ian Baxter has concocted a totally new version, with some very distinct advantages.

Barely half the deck is used, trimming the performance time considerably, not to mention a surprise approach involving court...

$8
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Liam Montier
Henry Sugar by Liam Montier

"Henry Sugar is an incredibly clever effect and one that I will actually perform. I don't say that for many effects. As far as I'm concerned, Liam Montier is one of the most original magicians I've ever met and he is my main inspiration to create new magic. Pretty much everything he touches has a big hint of creativity and an even bigger hint of "I'll kick you where it hurts!" - Andi Gladwin

Liam Montier presents a stunning easy to do mentalist card trick based on a well-known short story by Roald Dahl, called "The Wonderful World of Henry Sugar".

The basic plot of the story is that...

★★★★ $12
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John Hamilton
Eyes of the Gods by John Hamilton

An exceedingly clever location of two cards using the Free Cut Principle by the inventor of this beautiful principle.

Effect: The performer hands a deck of cards to one of two spectators with the request that he shuffle it, and then divide it equally with a second spectator. While this is being done, the performer turns his back.

Now each spectator is instructed to select a card from his respective half. Next they each exchange a number of cards so that the performer doesn't know how many cards each man holds, or which cards were selected (and he doesn't). Now the performer tells them...

★★★★★ $6
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Bob Farmer
Bammo Queen Monte by Bob Farmer

For those who wish to fool those who know all the other gaffed montes (Skinner's, Deland's "Pickitout," the British "Chase the Ace"), the "Bammo Queen Monte" is here and ready to serve.

Those other versions use two gaffed cards, the Bammo Queen Monte does not - which means that there are deceptive displays possible that the others cannot match.

There is no sleight of hand: the special cards do all the work.

The entire routine happens on the table just like the real monte. Alternately, for maximum visibility, larger cards can be used with some card holders.

Three cards are shown,...

★★★★★ $10
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Bob Farmer
Bammo Ten Card Poker Slam by Bob Farmer

The magician displays a random mix of ten cards, all spot cards and a single Ace of Spades. He explains these cards are used in a game called, "Ten Card Poker Slam" - with just ten cards cheating is impossible. The cards are mixed face down and dealt in a row. The magician and the spectator take turns selecting cards until each has five cards.

The magician reveals his hand: four 2s and an Ace of Spades - Four of a Kind - BUT - - - The spectator's hand is a Straight Flush in diamonds, 6D, 7D, 8D, 9D and 10D - and a Straight Flush beats Four of a Kind, so the magician has the losing hand....

★★★ $10
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Aldo Colombini
The Punchline by Aldo Colombini

A revelation of a freely selected card.

EFFECT: The performer places an envelope containing a prediction on the table. He shows a deck of cards, and he begins to deal cards onto the table. A spectator says 'stop' at any moment he likes. The stopped-at card is placed aside and kept by the spectator who chose it. Several cards before and after the selection are clearly shown to be all different, while the performer states that the spectator could have stopped him on any of them. The spectator reveals the chosen card, for example, the King of Spades, and the prediction is seen to be a Jumbo...

★★★★★ $4.50
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Graham Hey
Beyonce and Elton ... and more by Graham Hey

Beyonce & Elton is a new ebook featuring several excellent self-working card tricks for close-up. Also included are a few excellent visual gags and one-liners to help you add a bit of humor to the presentations. So, what's in this ebook?

Beyonce & Elton: Two cards are freely placed into the deck (no forcing) - and they end up right next to the only other two matching cards. When the deck is shown, all the other cards are Rolling Stones cards. An updated version of an old classic.

An Invisible Card Trick: A prediction is placed on the table in advance. The spectator is asked to select...

$10
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PDF

Mark Leveridge
Pure Cards Across by Mark Leveridge

Two sets of 10 cards are counted out fairly and openly onto a spectator's hand before being dropped into two glass tumblers where they can be clearly seen. One at a time three cards are invisibly moved from one glass to the other, and when the piles are counted back onto the spectator's hand again, the first glass only contains 7 cards and the other 13.

This is the classic cards across effect using a method that is completely move and sleight free. Everything happens at fingertips and there is no palming required, nor any special counts. Designed for a close-up or intimate parlour show,...

★★★★ $14
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PDF & MP4

Biagio Fasano & Davide Rubat Remond
Wanted Twins by Biagio Fasano & Davide Rubat Remond

This is a new self-working card trick: the viewer will choose two cards, to represent the law and by means of which he will get two more cards, lost in the deck, which he will then divide into four bundles. Over the course of two separate stages, the spectator himself will insert the "sheriffs" within the deck, as arbitrarily as possible. The decks will be shuffled, cut and completed but, despite a thousand adversities, the two "sheriff" cards will succeed in tracking down and capturing the two "outlaws," generated by the combination of the first two cards, chosen at random.

The legend...

$8
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PDF & MP4

Biagio Fasano
Selfworking Contactless ACAAN by Biagio Fasano

A.C.A.A.N. effects are a genre of effects now considered classics in card magic and mentalism, ever since David Berglas, who precisely first proposed a legendary version of it, called it "Any card At Any Number."

The idea of trying to write this special eBook came about while I was preparing my Contactless Automatic Card At Number series of Volumes (now at 6 Volumes) and experimenting in particular with the possibility of creating new automatic effects by making use of various stacks, including Si Stebbins and my VR Stack Pro (see Vol. 2 & 3):

From here to examining the Si Stebbins Pro, devised by Dr. Hans Christian Solka, was a short step, and with pleasure...

★★★★★ $15
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Biagio Fasano
Contactless Automatic Card At Number Bundle: Volumes 1-6 by Biagio Fasano

18 different completely self-working ACAAN type of effects.

$50
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Biagio Fasano
SHIELD 3 by Biagio Fasano

S.H.I.EL.D. 3 (SelfWorking Honestly Impromptu Effect: card Location in the Deck - Vol. 3) is the third part of a collection of new, never-before-published card magic effects, designed by me and characterized by the fact that they can be performed with extreme ease, requiring no technique or manipulation by the magician, and being completely extemporaneous, performable even with a deck borrowed and shuffled by the audience (self-working and impromptu).

In addition, even the latter two effects can be performed entirely in "contactless mode" (or hands-off, as others would say): the magician,...

$10
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Biagio Fasano
SHIELD 2 by Biagio Fasano

S.H.I.EL.D. 2 (SelfWorking Honestly Impromptu Effect: card Location in the Deck - Vol. 2) is the second part of a collection of new Cardmagic effects, never before published, designed by me and characterized by the fact that they can be performed with extreme ease, requiring no technique or manipulation on the part of the magician, and that they are completely impromptu, performable even with a deck borrowed and shuffled by the audience.

In addition, both of these effects can be performed entirely in "contactless mode," so even at a distance (by videoconference on Zoom, for example): the...

$10
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Biagio Fasano
Contactless Automatic Card At Number: Ebook #6 by Biagio Fasano

This sixth part of my card project (each volume is, in any case, totally independent of the others) includes 3 new original A.C.A.A.N. effects requiring no sleight of hands:

  • B.F. (Back & Front) ACAAN
  • Impromptu Countdown ACAAN
  • ACAAN For Tea Time

It's a new series of hands-off self-working card magic effects, that will all happen in your viewer's hands. No particular skill is required, just the ability to instruct and pay attention to what the viewer is doing... In this third eBook you will find a colour Pdf that will allow you to perform amazing automatic "Any Card At Any Number"...

$15
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PDF

Davide Rubat Remond
The Third Eye by Davide Rubat Remond

I started from Karl Fulves' idea called "Voodoo Cards", published on pp. 588-589 of The Pallbearers Review, Vol. 5-8 (November 1969 - October 1973), where a series of five effects proposed as bets are described, with the use of only three cards or tickets written on the spot. Always winning bets and of immediate revelation at first glance, also considering the fact that there are very few elements at stake and the (perceived) probability of success is 50%.

I propose an evolution of Fulves' work with three effects based on the same kind of principle, characterized by an apparent increasing difficulty,...

$10
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Ian Baxter
Chased Marriages by Ian Baxter

Australian card man Ian Baxter presents a brand-new, revamped handling of that timeless classic, Royal Marriages.

Totally impromptu and free of sleights, fakes, stranger cards, accessories and the like. You won't find so much as a camouflaged in-jog here in this modernised gem where the Kings and Queens of the pack magically pair up in their correct suits. Just eight cards are used, the four Kings and four Queens from any deck.

Reviewer David Jones sums it up: "A simple and effective little mystery. Short, stunning and entirely sleight free. Another winner from Ian Baxter."

And the...

★★★★★ $6
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Joseph B.
Esoteric ACAAN by Joseph B.

Esoteric ACAAN is an effect with two completely normal decks of cards. No gimmick. An original method to perform the famous Any Card At Any Number effect. The spectator will be able to name any card. Instant reset. It's really easy to do. No sleight of hand.

1st edition 2022, video 18:21

★★★★★ $7
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MP4 (video)

Biagio Fasano
SHIELD by Biagio Fasano

S.H.I.EL.D. (SelfWorking Honestly Impromptu Effect: card Location in the Deck) is a collection of four of my latest automatic card magic effects, never previously published, characterized by the fact that they can be performed with extreme ease, requiring no technique or manipulation by the magician, and being completely impromptu, performable even with a deck borrowed and shuffled by the audience.

The first and last effects, "Say My Name!" and "The Final Countdown", in addition to being fully automatic, can be performed entirely in "contactless mode": the magician, after handing the deck...

★★★★★ $20
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Renzo Grosso
Remote Close Up 18: Abbott's Ten Principle by Renzo Grosso

THE ABBOTT'S TEN PRINCIPLE: The principle, generally called Abbott's Ten by the Americans, actually dates back to an Italian manuscript about five hundred years ago (Mariano Tomatis - Messmer in pills - La Lollins and the magic of the sixteenth century - Episode 206).

This publication first describes the standard 10-card routine; I then analyzed the possibility of doing it with a different number of cards, even with tarot cards, and I studied the possibility of doing it in all conditions: in close up, on stage (two versions, one with billets and the other with the Tarot) and even on the...

$12
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Renzo Grosso
Spelling: Letters or Numbers? by Renzo Grosso

I saw the first spelling effects a long time ago, studying Aldo Colombini's DVDs; they were in English and I gave up almost immediately, due to the great difference in seed letters and numbers: from diamonds to diamonds there was an ocean. I saw, I appreciated them ... and then I gave up. Some time later, trying and trying again, a light bulb came on: I thought I had invented my spelling in Italian; beautiful exceptional. Later I discovered that I had not really invented anything, there were dozens and hundreds of similar and ... almost the same. Then, continuing to study the great masters, I began to collect...

$12
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