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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Bottle caps instead of shells (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

Craig Peterson
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I have heard that the workers in the shell game that you find on the streets these days use plastic bottle caps from soda bottles for the game along with rolled up paper or foil. I can see some charm in doing it this way for a magic routine. It would be fun to have the spectators open up three Coke bottles, give me the caps, and then have a drink while I perform. So here are my questions:
1) How hard is it to work with these props compared to shells? Can they be learned well enough?

and 2) Can the same moves shown on the School for Scoundrels DVD on the Shell game be used with bottle caps?
Ignore me...
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There are some great differences between the two. Most of the differences will center on the kind of object you're using with the covers.

Sal Piacente talks about the bottlecap game, but only briefly, on his "Street Monte - Three Shell Game" DVD, but doesn't give any detail regarding any real work.

I don't want to comment on this here, as this is an open forum, and you're not yet eligible for the private areas here at the Café. Show me you are interested by dropping me a private message, and I'll send you a few thoughts.

I hope to hear from you..
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NJ, U.S.
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Profile of Jaz
The commercial shells are made for the game where bottle caps are not.
You can put together a routine with caps and foil but not having the SFS vid I can't say that you can do the same moves.

Thimbles, matchboxes, coins and a small piece of paper as well as things other than shells have been used for the game.
Alan Munro
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Back in the late 80's, I saw it being played on the L Train in Chicago. The guy used three plastic caps, a small paper wad as a pea and did it on a sheet of typing paper, that was taped to a piece of corrugated cardboard. I worked well enough to swindle a kid out of $20.
Michael Baker
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Eternal Order
Near a river in the Midwest
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There was a guy here years ago that used plastic caps from Clorox bottles.
~michael baker
The Magic Company
Bill Palmer
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Only Jonathan Townsend has more than
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The plastic caps from 2 liter soft drink bottles seem to be more practical than the smaller ones.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."
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Profile of ursusminor
School for scoundrels sell (or at least sold) a book called: "The Real Work- Essential Sleight of Hand for Street Operators", by Paul Price. It explained a Shell-Game variant with plastic bottle-tops and a "pea" made from a tied-up rubber-band. It also explains some special moves for bottle-caps.
The book itself is somewhat "lacking in the ethical department", and is clearly not aimed at the magic comunity... But it's interesting never the less!

"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
- Winston Churchill"
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Profile of cardman1990
I've seen a guy do it in San Francisco with some caps and a peice of red sponge, pretty fun to look at, and I've used a similar variation at school.
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Profile of Ragman
I have done the shell game using bottle caps. It has a very impromtu feeling to it of course. There are some great moves that can be done with the caps. There is a move from the "HanXamean Approach to the 3 Shell Game". The move I am refering to is the steal known as "That was Not So slick". It is used with walnut shells but it is said that it was created specifically for bottle caps.
Jim Morton
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I sometimes do the shell game using bottle caps. I use plastic liquor bottle caps (Gilbey's Gin because they are gold). On the street I've seen people use Mountain Dew caps and other caps as well. I do this version when I am presenting the routine as a gambling demonstration because I want the information to be as accurate as possible, although I do take a few liberties. I will tell you right now, it is MUCH harder to do the shell game this way. You need a fairly soft, preferably springy surface, and the load are not nearly as idiot-proof as they are with a good set of Chanin or SFS shells and peas. The bottle caps do allow me to add certain moves that just don't work with shells. If you plan do try this and are usign a close-up pad, I recommend sandpaper the edges of the caps until they are smooth. Other wise, those little spikes will get hung up on the pad fabric. This is especially true with felt pads, like the Sterling pads.

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Profile of magicmind
Liquor caps, gold..... What about Crown royal caps? Those would look nice too.
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I actually prefer the Fox shells. I bought a set of the turtle shells and they are fantastic!
dark kard
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I have played around with the bottle caps. A little hard though. I also found if you used a pea from a 3 shell game set the moves were easyer then rubber bands or sponge.
"flying is easy all you have to do is miss the ground" Douglas Adams
<BR>dark kard
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