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Topic: 3 Disk Monte & the Magican-review
Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (May 25, 2016 07:05AM)
I'm sure, most of you here have performed a version of monte. I have always found it one of the best interactive, fun, & crowd pleasing tricks out there.

A good while back, after coming across the Disk Monte, played as a con on the street...I became very interested in replacing my cards with disks.

After attempts to make my own, which were never quite right, I came across a site on the internet, MagicSwindles


I purchased a set...could not be happier. Following is a my opinion of these Disks and Disk Monte as entertainment.

First of all, there are a few problems with cards:

1. They are lite and easily blow away outside. This was a HUGE problem for me as 90% of my performances are as a festival magician or busker outside. The disks are heavy and stay put.
2. They are somewhat simpler than cards. Just 3 black disks, one with a white dot. Also much more visible for larger crowds.
3. They make a nice sound when tossed smartly onto a surface. This adds an audio element IMHO.
4. It's not a card trick, but uses some interesting props.
5. They will last a very very very long time. With care, a lifetime methinks.

A couple other things to note. Disks do not throw well on traditional close up mats as they tend to bounce so it is best to lay something down with a newspater underneath to absorb the shook. Also you will not end your routine with a bent corner, paperclip, foldeed, etc., obviously.

And now for the Disks I use. I'll get right to the point and say the Disks from 'MagicSwindles' are a thing of beauty!!!! I love them. Al, of MagicSwindles was great to deal with & a real gentleman. This Disks are a made in USA product by a craftsman, not a quick mass produced overseas item. Some features these disks have that I love:

1. The Disks are the same on both sides (with the exception of the embedded spot). This opens up a whole area of moves, false turnovers, displays, and aquitments that would be impossible otherwise.

2. The disks are scratch resistant (both sides). Nothing is unbreakable but I've had mine for a year & a half and mine are still in perfect condition.

3. The winning disk has a white embedded disk which won't come off or need replacement.

4. The weight and size of these disks are perfect for me. 3" diameter which makes them highly visible afar yet hype quite easily. There are solid black without a border which makes the hype more deceiving unlike some cards such as Bicycles.

5. MagicSwindles now sells a 'Pro Set' which is a set with an extra winner. I would highly recommend you get a set with an extra winning disk. They allows a great strategy of secretly replacing a losing disk with an extra winner (I use a simple pocket switch). Now you have 2 winners in play so no matter which disk they chose, you can turn over the other winner and show the other 2 as losers (via a false turnover/display of the other winner).

One note on 3 Disk Monte. Obviously, I think, it is not a self working piece of magic that you buy today and put in your show tomorrow. Tossing disks requires some sleight of hand skills and personality. No one can give you these things...just take time, effort and thought. Which should not be too much of a problem as I find it a lot of fun and even addictive :-)

Magic is very subjective & one persons treasure is another persons "gathering dust on the shelf" effect.
Anyways my rating for MagicSwindles Disks ( I have the Pro version and regular version)....10/10
Dealing with MagicSwindles 10/10
Highest Recommendation.

I've posted this in the past but here's a clip of tossing the disks:


and a very short clip of having some fun with them:


Max T. Oz
Message: Posted by: Andre Hagen (May 26, 2016 10:30PM)
You are the man Max when it comes to tossing 3 Disk Monte and you are correct about Al Lamfers. His disks and his many shell sets on 3shells.com are beautifully made. Al is a fine artist and human being. Very helpful to his customers.

Keep working on your book Max. It will be the disk monte bible!

Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (Jun 8, 2016 08:59PM)
A few moves with 'Three Disk Monte Pro'


Message: Posted by: shellgame-al (Jun 9, 2016 12:21PM)
Very nice display Max. Your false display/aquitments look very good!

Thanks for sharing your review on the disk sets.

You have given some good examples of how much can be done when working the Monte with a matching surface disk set and a added winning disk. Great job Max!!

Also, thanks Andy for your kind words!

Message: Posted by: ROBERT BLAKE (Jul 14, 2016 12:39AM)
Al's pirate discs are a beauty to work with. thanks AL.

love the video"s from Max.
Message: Posted by: Szymon Krzysztoszek (Jul 14, 2016 06:22PM)
I heard a lot of recomendations so I ordered the discs, I cannot wait!
Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (Aug 9, 2017 06:51AM)
For those interested....a few subtleties with the Pro Set.

I was going to send this in response to a few PM's I got but figured I may as well share it. It's a quick one off. One of these days (hopefully soon) I'll put together a vid with an actual audience and write-up.


Normally when you hype, the winning disk is hyped for a loser....with the spectators focus on the very disk you are hyping. This means your hype must be perfect and the focus is on the place and moment where you don't want it.

In the vid I am hyping....but not where the spectator is focused. All seems as it is. But in reality no matter which he/she choses....they're gonna lose. :)

Message: Posted by: shellgame-al (Aug 9, 2017 10:58AM)
Very well done. Thanks for sharing it!
Message: Posted by: LeoH (Aug 9, 2017 11:03AM)

Thanks for posting!
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 13, 2020 03:14AM)
Thatís a great video. Thanks for sharing. Iíve always preferred the shell game over monte because Iím not a giant fan of card tricks, but these disks have got me thinking. Thanks again.
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 13, 2020 11:51AM)
I've been looking at the various disks on Magic Swindles website and I see that they have three disk and four disk sets. Without an extra disk, it appears this becomes a very different routine. How well do these routine with only three disks?
Message: Posted by: Max T. Oz (Jun 14, 2020 01:22PM)
[quote]On Jun 13, 2020, GReed3649 wrote:
I've been looking at the various disks on Magic Swindles website and I see that they have three disk and four disk sets. Without an extra disk, it appears this becomes a very different routine. How well do these routine with only three disks? [/quote]

Good day J. Reed,
I sometimes just use 3 Disks, sometimes 4 Disks. It depends how long & involved I want to get with the routine.
I usually have the extra disk in my pocket so I can bring it into play if I so desire...or not.

With the 3 Disks it is more of a routine with me with 4 or 5 phases.

With the extra disk it can go on much longer and there is a lot of freestyle, unscripted depending where the spectator goes.
Picking the winning disk can become boring after a while so, for me, it's whether I'm telling the truth or not. Getting other spectators involved to give advice, audience poll....takes it to another level. And with the extra disk in play you have complete control whether the spectator wins or loses. A sidenote here. I have found it very important that the spectator thinks he has a chance on picking the winning disk....just like the street. As soon as the spectator believes that no matter which disk they chose, they will lose.....then there is a risk of losing interest.

Of course you are going to need some good technical skills and audience management for this.

But using just 3 Disks with a set routine is also great and in many circumstance better. A set routine around 5-6 minutes with around 4 phases.
Message: Posted by: shellgame-al (Jun 14, 2020 07:10PM)
Here is a new 4 disk set that will be available soon "The Grifter Disk Monte Pro Set".

All the disks are 2-1/4" diameter. Two blank textured surface on both sides and two with a white plastic disk embedded into the matching textured surface.

This 2-1/4" 4 disks set brings all the features and more that comes with the 3" Pro set.

The size of these disks can be taken into a classic palm that works well for switching a disk in and out of the game right in front of the player, when turning a disk over.

Having the extra winning white dot disk that can be bought in and out of the game brings unlimited things that can be done with this disk set.

​Compact size to carry like a "Grifter" and tell a story about the Grifter that took your money on a train ride by throwing 3 disks on a newspaper that you had been reading.

You can see more detail on the New Product link below

Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 14, 2020 11:22PM)
Thanks for the responses. Those new smaller disks look even more interesting. Any idea what the price point might be for those?
Message: Posted by: shellgame-al (Jun 15, 2020 12:53PM)
The Grifter Disk Monte Pro Set - 4 disks with the extra money disk - $115

The Grifter 3 Disk Monte Set - 3 disks $95

The cost is mainly the time it takes to make these disks, not the material cost.
It takes about two days to make a disks set.
There are no shortcuts when making a high quality two and three layer disk.

I sell very few 3 disk sets. Most want the extra money disk to have the option to expand their routine into the future as they learn some of the more advanced handling of the disks.

I want to make some advance disk handling videos first before I release these new sets

Handling the disks like Max T. Oz does not happen overnight.
Max has put in his practice time and it shows.

This is achievable if you have the will and drive to put in the time to learn to be good at what you do. The Disk Monte is not a self-working trick.
But it is not hard to learn, it just takes some practice and the will to improve with time.

If you know how to do the 3 card Monte you have a head start. It is similar.
There are many more new ways that the disk Monte can be handled and displayed.
Message: Posted by: GReed3649 (Jun 19, 2020 10:18PM)
Thanks for the info. I've always loved the shell game and I briefly played with monte. These disks (both sizes) look like a really cool alternative for cards and give the monte a whole new look.

There's definitely no denying Mr. Oz throws a mean set of disks, that kind of skill is truly a pleasure to watch.
Message: Posted by: DaveM (Jul 29, 2020 10:47AM)
A few months ago I purchased a set of Al's disks (set with extra "winner") along with the small mat. As expected, everything is top-quality.

The "price of admission" is certainly justified, as you get what you pay for. I have no doubt these disks will last many, many years. I HIGHLY recommend Al's products.....

Message: Posted by: steadyeddy2000 (Mar 16, 2021 04:13AM)
Magic is very subjective & one persons treasure is another persons "gathering dust on the shelf" effect.
Anyways my rating for MagicSwindles Disks ( I have the Pro version and regular version)....10/10