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Profile of stony003
The other day, when I was performing the Ultimate 3 card monte to some of my friends before class,this kid who's already seen it walked in and picked up the card! I got so mad, I had a 3 foot tall stool in my hands ready to knock him out. Although I kept my composure and did nothing but swear for the next ten minutes, I was really upset and it ruined my day. The kid said he wanted to know how I did it so I even got more frustrated. So my question to you is, how do you keep the spectators from picking up the cards during the presentation? Smile Smile
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Sid Mayer
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Profile of Sid Mayer

First you get ahold of a 3 foot tall stool and then ...

Well, you asked.

Sid Smile
All the world's a stage ... and everybody on it is overacting.
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Profile of Stedwick
Many of you will disagree, but it is for this very reason that I don't use Skinner's Monte.

Not because im afraid of people taking the cards, but because the effect itself pretty much spells out, "this is fake."

Three card monte is, in my opinion, an honest game. you TELL the players flat out that you are TRYING to fool them.

This does not work: "Look how fair this is. You couldn't possibly lose. Ooops...the card magically changed places."

In Las Vegas, everyone knows the odds are against them. casinos don't try to convince people that they will win. They try to convince people that there is a CHANCE they will win. People have a fascination with *beating the odds*.

The odds in three card monte should be 1 in 3. people will try to beat the odds by watching how you shuffle up the cards etc.

The players KNOW that you will be using sleight of hand and stuff to try to fool them.

It is kind of like the card game BS. the whole point of the game is to cheat and get away with it.

Anyways...back to the matter at hand.

Magicians don't play 3 card monte WITH the spectators; they perform 3 card monte FOR the spectators. No money should be involved (obviously hehe) and there should be no winners or losers.

This is why I like Tom Piccard's Gypsy Monte. It is NOT a 3 card monte. It is a performance and a story ABOUT the 3 card monte.

If you *play* three card monte with the spectators then of course they will want to examine the cards because they don't want to lose.

If you *tell a story* about three card monte then the players will be intrigued and fascinated to see just how con men cheat by playing three card monte.

My two cents

I hope it made sense lol =P

Jon Gallagher
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Profile of Jon Gallagher
That last post is very important. If you adopt an attitude doing magic of "I'm going to fool you," then you set yourself up to have spectator's grab props or yell solutions. However, if you're attitude or goal is to ENTERTAIN, spectators become much less "grabby."

I'm not saying you're guilty of trying to fool the pants off your fellow students, but having been a teacher and having had students who did magic, I know that sometimes we all can forget that the bottom line is entertainment.... not how much someone was fooled (if they're entertained AND blown away by an effect, that's just a nice bonus).

Hey! I'm finally a Dot Com!
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Profile of davidpaul$
Welcome to the world of close-up magic. Experience will teach you how to avoid this problem, although it happens to the best. First rule, never show the same effect twice, especially in this context. The "GRABBER" saw you perform it before, so he new what to expect and his curiosity got the better of him.

You will also learn to read personalities. Mike Close talks about this situation in his "Worker" series books and videos. Stay away from the Grabbers and avoid them altogether if possible. He has other good advice as well.

You also don't want to do magic as a challenge to your spectators. Use a different approach, such as telling a story of how a man or ?? amazed you with cards. Share the experience as opposed to "where do you think the ace is"??
This is an open invitation for someone to grab the cards.

There are many techniques used to prevent premature revelations. You could use an object to put on top of the card. You could instruct your spectators not to touch the cards ahead of time, because you don't want them to be influenced in any way. If you are familiar with Rapheal Benetar , he has some videos out and in particular his cups and balls video he talks specifically about grabby spectators and how to handle them.

Lastly, always keep your composure in every way. Verbally, physically, emotionally, and every other way. Your effectiveness as a magician depends on discipline in many areas.
When you mess up a trick, many times a spectator doesn't know it, but if you reveal your mistake by getting upset then you've surely blown it. Even the Monte Cards although familiar to you because you know the secret, your spectators don't know. You could have turned the experience around and magically changed the card with different pips and values. How would they know ??

Don't get frustrated, learn from your mistakes, and go forward with a better understanding of human nature. That's what it is going to take to be not just a good magician but a great one...
David Paul Smile
If you can't help worrying, remember worrying can't help you!
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Profile of catbertek
I also use "story" patter with most packet effects. When I explain what "Happened to me one day" people can just enjoy the effect and not feel challenged to "catch me."

Also, with this particular effect, I do not use the instructions that tell the spectator to point to the card...this is already half way to grabbing it.

Instead, I tell the story with "so the guy asked me where the card was...left, right or centre" ; the audience will sometimes chime in when I say the appropriate position. I try to encourage them to say the location of the card with pauses in the story to bring them into the effect.

This is a great, great effect and worth the effort.

It is hard dealing with a "grabby" spectator, but the good news is that with experience you will be able to identify grabbers fairly quickly. You can either place the cards a bit further out of reach or choose a different effect. Smile
Eight Spades
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I've never had that problem with Skinner's version. However, school is probably one of the best/worst places to perform. You've got to retain control of the crowd and that can be almost impossible. Ask any teacher, they'll tell you!

"Tricks are only the crude residue from which the lifeblood of magic has been drained." -S.H. Sharpe
Dan LeFay
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Profile of Dan LeFay
I devised a handling that is done completely in my hands. I am in control always. And before all that I'll tell the spectators there are some rules to follow, one of them that the cards should never be touched other than by the operator.
I once experimented by letting the spectator put a miniature clothespin on the card of their choice, but my in the hands, no touch version is the safest I have.

For formal close-up I do a one handed version based on the image of Rene Lavand. But that is when no grabbers are near me.

This trick/method has never failed me. I use it strolling, formal and even stand up with giant cards.

However I'm glad at least some of you think it is not a good routine, that will keep some diversity in performance material eh?
(I, for turns, would never do an oil & water routine in a paid venue...)
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James Washer
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When performing magic at school try to stay away from effects that can be ruined by people grabbing.

Regarding 3 card monte try this. Put the three matching cards on the top of the deck. Put the 3 cards that come with the trick in different parts of the deck. Tell the spectators for your next trick you will only need three cards. Find the three cards (gimmicked - well 2 of them) with the deck facing yourself. Put the deck in your pocket. After you finish the trick go to your pocket, leave the 3 cards and come out with deck. Casually deal the top three cards face up on the table. I don't say look these are the three cards I just did the trick with, but I give a real open feeling. Now they can examine the cards.

Bama Gambler
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Profile of JSMagic
Im 14 and im in high school-i only do effects that are hard to figure out and examinable. Lots of times the jerks don't even ask they just yank it out my hand and inspect...of course it doesn't bother me because i use only stuff that can be examined...example is color monte...great effect for high schoolers-If you use something gimmicked hat cannot be inspected, the high schoolers will make up a theory of how tis done and you can prove them wrong unless you let them inspect the trick....Josh
If a magician is not intending to "trick" a spectator, why is every "trick" called a magic "trick"?
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Profile of CloseUpMagicKid
UGH... There's ways of NOT putting yourself in a position of getting your stuff grabbed.

The control is in the presentation.

On Ultimate Monte... don't make the end "THE END"... make it so it continues on with some sort of patter which allows you to get rid of your gaffs if that's what you're worrying about.

Finalizing the routine gives them that window to grab.
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Profile of Terry
Keep an eye out and be ready to just end the trick and pocket the card!

Just say - "Hey this is a spectator sport!"

But you gotta be ready to grab it back and don't take no ****.

Brother - Keep an eye out for grabbers and be ready!
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Profile of alexhui
I am going to obtain this 3 card monte,but does it need replacement which mean I have to pay extra when I often perform it?

The Real Way of Magic is to touch the soul of our audience, but not to touch the ego of our soul
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Profile of m@t
A tip my friend- what you have to do is get Daryls video called Daryl Does The Full Monte, this is a compilation of un gaffed monte effects. Learn some routines and then perform them at school.

If you have any luck that same kid will shout 'look these are dodgey cards' and pick one up, then you will just take all the credit when he is shown wrong.

M@t Smile
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Profile of CloseUpMagicKid
Yeah... and then slug him!
"Careful! The beverage you are about to enjoy is extremely hot!" -Starbucks Coffee

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Profile of debaser

I did a watch steal once in high school and within an hour, everyone in the school had heard about it.

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Profile of Cyclone
On 2003-01-29 22:52, Stedwick wrote:
Many of you will disagree, but it is for this very reason that don't use Skinner's Monte.

I completely disagree with you.

I've performed Ultimate 3 Card Monte for over hundreds of people now and that problem never happened to me. You just have to be VERY good at presentation I guess.
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Dr. Jakks
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Slap him on thewrist and start looking for Mr.whip.those of you who have EugeneBurger's Magical Voyages will getthis.

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Profile of Kenguru

No replacment needed.

All right then. I'll go to hell. (Mark Twain)
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Profile of charlatan
I have performed the 3 Card Monte countless times at school and never had the problem of a spectator picking up the cards. Just have the ungimmicked cards ready.
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