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Self-working magic is magic that works simply from following a procedure that is known to the audience. It requires no secret set-up, trickery, sleight-of-hand, or other hidden objects or moves. Some self-working magic allows the audience to have a secret that they do not reveal to the magician until the end. The audience can be told every step, and can even repeat the trick. It can be done alone, since the "magician" may be just as surprised as anybody. All the magician has to do is follow a certain procedure, and everything will be good. Optical illusions and some other science demonstrations could fall into this category. The wonder comes from unexpectedness of a natural phenomenon. Basically, self-working magic relies on some expectation or lack of knowledge in the audience about what produces the outcome. Usually, self-working card tricks revolve around some mathematical principle, such as in the trick "Magical 13", where the spectator is asked to cut the deck 13 times, then split the deck into 13 piles. Upon revealing each pile, it is found that each pile contains only cards of the same value. This is based on the principle that beforehand, the deck is set up with all the suits in order. No matter how many times you cut the deck, the same cards will always be 13 cards away from each other.

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