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Topic: Which 3 cards?
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 8, 2013 06:21AM)
I'm working on a monte routine, a traditional ungaffed one utilizing a hype and double hype. My question is this--with my own cards, I use two identical jokers and a red Queen for the money card; with a borrowed deck, what do you think is the best way to go? I'm thinking the two black threes, but also wondering if a higher-valued black spot card would be more deceptive, such as the sixes or nines.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 10, 2013 02:02PM)
I'd love to hear the opinions of anyone that performs monte about the above.
Message: Posted by: cage (Dec 12, 2013 01:32PM)
I've thought about this issue a lot. In roughly chronological order, some of my notes:

Canada Bill Jones seems to have preferred the picture "ticket" cards that were used in early American 3CM--often a baby, an old man and a lady. A modern equivalent with a borrowed deck of playing cards might be a queen, a king and a joker. CBJ was performing for money, not entertainment, so making the cards visible beyond one person wasn't a priority.

Western artist Charlie Russell drew a set of monte cards that uses the two black aces and the ace of hearts as the money card. His ace of spades had a single small spot in the middle--quite different from today's large ace of spades designs. The main contrast between the cards was in the color of the money card, making the game more intimate. Russell was depicting actual history, so it's again notable that this set is most effective for a single person.

Erdnase notes that any three cards can be used, but depicts an ace of clubs and a two of clubs. I've always employed the two of spades for the remaining card when using this grouping. It presents a very clean visual contrast, with spectators in a small theatre able to distinguish the deuces from the ace.

Vernon used a same-suit black eight and seven, along with the queen of hearts, which gave the set a color contrast and also facilitated the double hype.

Max Maven convinced Eugene Burger that two aces of clubs and the queen of clubs provided the greatest visible contrast from a distance.

In his treatise on 3CM for The School for Scoundrels, Whit Haydn notes that he personally prefers two jokers and the ace of spades from a Bee deck, citing the patter opportunities presented by the pictures and the old-fashioned look of the cards. I've found this set to be easily distinguishable across a parlor, and it also presents an outstanding double-hype.

I prefer to use the two red jacks and the ace of spades. I like how it incorporates three pictures like CBJ's set, as well as the color contrast of Russell's historical set. I like letting the player turn the jack of diamonds over for a loss. The cards can be distinguished across a parlor.
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Dec 12, 2013 04:31PM)
I don't know if a higher valued black card is "more deceptive" than a lower valued one, but I tend to use 7's,8's,9's and 10's (usually clubs but suit doesn't really make a difference). Basically for the same reasons Cage lists above as Vernons reason for using the cards he preferred. Its the most black you can get on a non-paint card. When you are flashing the cards around the large amount of black shows very well even at a glimpse.

But honestly, I think any contrating color cards work. I don't think it really matters much at all. I'm going to feel like a total schmuck for even replying to this if this thread is one of those "blue deck/red deck?" threads people make when they get mad at he moderators.
Message: Posted by: landmark (Dec 12, 2013 04:49PM)
Thanks for the thoughts all. No worries Marlin, this is a legit question. :)
Message: Posted by: Marlin1894 (Dec 12, 2013 04:53PM)
Oh good. lol Well good luck with the routine. 3cm is one of my favorite things.
Message: Posted by: NicholasD (Dec 13, 2013 08:40PM)
For ungaffed 3 Card Monte, I use 2 aces of diamonds ( or hearts ) and the Queen of spades. I use a variation of the Roy Walton Routine from The Devil's Playthings,( updated with some of Darwin Ortiz' ideas ). I like the stark color and card contrast for a couple of the phases. At the beginning of the routine, when three black queens become three red aces, it gets gasps.

With a borrowed deck, the red aces and queen of spades.