The Magic Café
[ Lost Password ]
  [ Forgot Username ]
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Patter for 3 card monte (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
3393 Posts

Profile of JamesinLA
I'm writing up my patter for 3 card monte. Just wondering if anyone can recommend sources for the "traditional" patter that is used. Or if anyone has any pet lines they would like to share.

Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
View Profile
Eternal Order
Northern California
13185 Posts

Profile of TheAmbitiousCard
The Daryl DVD has some lines that perhaps Vernon thought up?

Not too many though. I need to re-watch that DVD. Hand Crafted Magic
Trophy Husband, Father of the Year Candidate,
Chippendale's Dancer applicant, Unofficial World Record Holder.
Whit Haydn
View Profile
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
"The School for Scoundrels Notes on Three-Card Monte" has several full pages of both rhyming and prose patter from the 1830's to the present.

It took years of research to gather it all together from books, hustlers, magicians, movies, and other sources.

The patter comes both from written and oral sources and directly from street performers who actually called the crowd and ran the hustle.

There is enough material there to keep a monte game going for hours.

Some of the patter is from contemporary big city workers, from black workers, from old hustlers throughout the nineteenth century, from the thirties, from London mobs, etc. Most of it can easily be re-worked to suit the style of any operator.

"Sometimes it creeps, sometimes it crawls. Sometimes it's just like a cannon ball..."

--Frank Garcia's "Phantom"--a young black monte worker who appeared with him on Dick Cavett's show in the seventies.


“Here you are, gentlemen, this Ace of Hearts is the winning card. Watch it closely.
“Follow it with your eye as I shuffle. Here it is, and now here, now here, and now—where?
“If you point it out the first time, you win; but if you miss, you lose.
“Here it is, you see; now watch it again. This Ace of Hearts, gentlemen, is the winning card.
“I take no bets from paupers, cripples or orphan children. The Ace of Hearts.
“It is my regular trade, gentlemen, to move my hands quicker than your eyes. I always have two chances
to your one. The Ace of Hearts.
“If your sight is quick enough, you beat me and I pay; if not, I beat you and take your money.
“The Ace of Hearts; who will go me twenty? It is very plain and simple, but you can’t always tell. Here
you are, gentlemen; the Ace, and the Ace. Who will go me twenty dollars?”

— Albert D.Richardson, Beyond the Mississippi, 1869.


“Up today, down tomorrow;
Rich man’s luck and poor man’s sorrow…
Maybe you win, maybe you lose—
It all depends on what you choose.
If you pick the queen, then you win…
If you pick a black card—you play again…
Find the Lady! Find the Lady!
Cherchez la femme!”

—Black monte-tosser who worked Sportsman’s Park and Race Track
on the outskirts of Chicago as related by Johnny Thompson, Jan 98


“Chase the Ace, don’t ride the Bee. Only a little fool would ride a bee like that.
He’s gonna get stung.
The Ace—that’s where the hive is. That’s where the honey is, that’s where the money is…”


“This is the sugar, this is the honey.
This is the one that gets you the money.
Sometimes it creeps, sometimes it crawls;
Sometimes it’s not where you think at all…”

—Gary Norsigian, Las Vegas, 1999.

This is just a small sample of the invaluable chants, riffs, calls, asides, and doggerel from the monte that we have put into the book.

I highly recommend that anyone who is even vaguely thinking about creating a monte routine get this book and study both the info on the patter, on the peculiar manner of talking and chanting (the conman's stilted and hyper-correct speech), on the many different scripts of open and closed monte, and on the entertaining stories and characters involved in the swindle from history.

My book was written to provide all the resources needed in methodology, and in all the history, stories and patter, to enable performers to create many different and original and entertaining routines. The book is 160 8 1/2" x 10" pages with 180 photos and illustrations. It is the only work of its kind on the monte, and with the accompanying video, is a complete reference on the game unlike anything else ever produced.
View Profile
New user
Longview, WA
35 Posts

Profile of tgcramer38
Some of those same great lines could easly be adapted for the 3 shell game! Just thinking out loud.
Whit Haydn
View Profile
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
Yes. Most of the lines are interchangeable between the Shell Game and Three-Card Monte. My book contains lots of doggerel and funny one-liners that can be used for either game.
View Profile
Inner circle
Los Angeles
3393 Posts

Profile of JamesinLA
Thanks, Whit. I guess I'll have to spring for your book and video. When is the dvd going to be available? Do you have a release date for it? If I could only get one, which would you suggest first? I also heard from another authority that your stuff is the best on the monte.

I already have Daryl's dvd on the monte.

Oh, my friend we're older but no wiser, for in our hearts the dreams are still the same...
Whit Haydn
View Profile
5449 Posts

Profile of Whit Haydn
The DVD on Three-Card Monte will be out in a couple of months. We are planning for it to have an ebook (pdf) version of the Notes on Three-Card Monte included. The printed book, is of course, always good to have.
Ron Giesecke
View Profile
Special user
Redding, Ca.
911 Posts

Profile of Ron Giesecke
The play Top Dog/Underdog contains some three card monte patter, although not a ton. It is written by Suzan Lori-Parks.
My story-deck routine, Apologies to Dickens.:
Rupert Bair
View Profile
Inner circle
2060 Posts

Profile of Rupert Bair
Just a thought on color monte, I changed the cards to this that and the other

1. I saw a man with 3 cards
2. He showed the first to be this
3. The second card was also this
4. He said to keep my on the last card, that
5. He put this on the bottom and asked where that was
6. I said that is on the bottom he said wrong
7. I knew this must be on the top or in the middle
8. I said its on top he said wrong that’s this
9. I said if its not on the top nor the bottom it must be on in the middle he said wrong that’s this
10. I said you haven’t got a this he said wrong its here
11. I said if this is on the bottom I cant be on the top he said wrong
12. I said if this is on the bottom and this is on the top it cant be in the middle he said wrong
13. I said you have more than 3 cards he said wrong
14. So is said how’s that done and he said well its a little bit of this a little bit of that and bit of the other
Just a nice little variation of the trick
View Profile
Veteran user
South England
333 Posts

Profile of artwo
I think this is one of those rare tricks that doesn't need patter. It is a game for your spectators. You don't need to make up a story, whats the point? A few one-liners can make it fun, but really it needs no patter.

Remember, even if your not taking money (which I don't) it doesn't mean it isn't a game.

Richard Allen
View Profile
New user
66 Posts

Profile of Richard Allen
I heard of one performer who handed a few spectators Monopoly money to bet with.
View Profile
New user
Wisconsin USA
56 Posts

Profile of Poindexter
I just walked in and "The Simpsons" was on the television. 'Snake' was dealing a three card monte on the street, and his patter proceeded thusly:

"Just pick the red card, it's *totally* not hard."

View Profile
Regular user
136 Posts

Profile of cosermann

Loved the "this" and "that" idea for color monte. How about adding an "other thing" card for the ending? The spectator has to guess what the last card you deal down is, "this" or "that", sorry, it's the "other thing" (which they haven't seen until that point)!

Love it.

View Profile
New user
67 Posts

Profile of Sordini
This is a fabulous thread. I hope that this post bumps it so more people read it!
View Profile
Special user
Manchester, England
952 Posts

Profile of TheGreatRaymondo
I need some help...
I'm a hobbyist magician and performed Garrett Thomas's 'Stand Up Monte' at a Golf Club cocktail / charity evening over the weekend - 14 tables with 8-10 people on each table. I opened with the Stand Up Monte on each table and for the majority of tables it went down really well. However, on 3 tables I had some spectators who were being deliberatley awkward. On the first Monte Move when I asked the question 'where's the Queen?' they pointed at the card in my hand and not the one in their hand. I know I executed the move almost perfectly so there is now way they could have seen anything untowards. Does any one have a clever come back line or bit of patter for this type of situation? I don't want to be smart or clever or insult anyone but just have a quick response ready if needed in the future. Just something that would allow me to raise a laugh and then carry on with the routine. Any help on this would be appreciated.
Thanks. TGR
We are inclined to believe those whom we do not know because they have not yet deceived us...
The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » The words we use » » Patter for 3 card monte (0 Likes)
[ Top of Page ]
All content & postings Copyright © 2001-2018 Steve Brooks. All Rights Reserved.
This page was created in 0.21 seconds requiring 5 database queries.
The views and comments expressed on The Magic Café
are not necessarily those of The Magic Café, Steve Brooks, or Steve Brooks Magic.
> Privacy Statement <

ROTFL Billions and billions served! ROTFL