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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Three Shell Game? Is it hard? (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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Keith Mitchell
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The pea used in 3-shell game is so small it makes me wonder how my hands could even steal it?

Is it difficult to do Three Shell Game? Right now I am learning C&Bs and I wonder what the difficulty level is on 3-Shell game. Is it harder than C&Bs or easier. Does it take years of practice to handle that tiny pea?

Please help
Thanks
Keith
Bill Palmer
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Although the three shell game is related to the cups and balls, the techniques used are different. It is not difficult to acquire the basic moves. Figure a few weeks to get the basic moves down, and more if you really want to do some of the more difficult techniques.

If you want to learn the shell game, get the School for Scoundrels DVD by Whit Haydn.
"The Swatter"

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My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

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FunTimeAl
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I found that a 3 phase shell routine was easier for me to learn than a 3 phase cups and balls routine. There's less to keep track of mentally.

As for the moves. Well, just like any effect, there are easier slights and there are complicated (read: hand crampingly painful) slights Smile

Shells are like cups in the sense that you may want to buy a cheap set to see if you like the effect...and then wishing you'd purchased a nicer set very soon after.

Whit's Street Shells are a gem and priced just right for the worker.

I can't imagine ANY magi not liking the shell game. It's fun, highly visual, historically significant, and has easy, stock patter lines to run.

Read about Soapy Smith to get some historical reference to this classic con game.

Oh, and just as a side note. I perform this effect as a "public service announcement" in my sidewalk show. I NEVER allow the audience member to actually guess where he/she thinks the pea is.

I'm not one to want to make a person feel like I just "beat them up" with my magic. So, I tell people that I'm going to show them why they should never bet on the shell game and then, encourage people to play the part of the "mark". So, when a person guesses, I'm encouraging them to guess like a "mark" would guess.

That way, they lose no face for guessing incorrectly.

I also do a final load with my shell game. I thank Charlie Frye's Eccentrics Vol. 1 DVD for the inspiration, but I changed the load and the motivation to fit my show. I load a 1" red crotched ball as my finale.

..."Step back folks! Looks like we got ourselves a Red-Bellied Pea Eater here. Quick, someone find something for me to put it in..."

A little reverse engineering of the 3-Ball Routine from Stevens Magic Emporium and I'm at 3 ball capacity.

And there we have my lead into the cups and balls. Smile

Now, keep off my pitch with it, or we'll have words Smile
walid ahumada
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I don't do the 3 shell game since IMHO it doesn't look very magical but it took me just a few days to learn the basics moves, then I lost interest in it.

walid
“Magic becomes art when it has nothing to hide.” BEN OKRI quote
Don Sautter
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I don't do well with small objects in my hand usually but the 3-shell game was a different story for me. It was much easier than I thought it would be and with practice you can have a nice routine without a bunch of the hard moves in it. Then you can move up to more difficult routines as your skills improve.

I also recommend the School for Scoundrels DVD with Whit Haydn and Bob Sheets. This DVD is great and gives a lot of insight into the various moves. You also come away with a good easy routine to start out with as well as the extra information they include in documents on the disk.
Harry Murphy
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It is not magical per se. But it is a show of skill! Like dice stacking it gives the audience an interesting interlude and allows the performer to develop a personality piece to draw the spectators in.

Given the historical context and the sucker moves it can prove to be great fun for the audience. They will really get involved and anticipate where the pea is! Do what Bob Sheet’s does and give two or three spectators a chip and let them play against you. It increases the spectator involvement with the game (even the ones without chips) and doubles the fun!

I love the little thing. I doubt if a week goes by without me performing it for someone. I have a set in the glove box of my car, in my desk at work, in my close-up bag, and on a shelf in the living room.

Heck I can do an entire con game set using the old Buddha papers (I call it a gypsy switch - I know it's not but they don't do they?!?), the Three Card Monte, the Endless Chain, and the Three Shell Game! I performed that set last month for a law enforcement party. It was very well received! The only other thing I added to the set for the party was a poker deal routine.

Walid, I think you lost interest because you didn't bother to perform even a simple routine for anyone. Try it on a couple of people before you discard it. You'll find that they will talk about it more than you ace assembly!
The artist formally known as Mumblepeas!
TheAmbitiousCard
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I recommend the Bob Kohler video for beginners.
Here's why:

1. Great routine
2. Great moves
3. Completely scripted routine with moves. Nothing to chance.
4. First 2 tries the spectators gets to pick. The rest is a demonstration.
5. Teaches the psychology of the routine very well for how to pick the 'mark'.

After you have this under your belt you can explore other ideas but, WOW, what a great routine to do first.

For the advanced worker, nothing better (or more entertaining) than the Phil Cass video/DVD. It's edge-of-your-seat entertainment. One of the more entertaining videos I've ever watched. Some consider his approach a bit harsh at the start of the video but it's all done on purpose. He is the master. Interesting that the moves on this video are just as easy as on the Kohler video but you WON'T be doing the routine anytime soon. This one requires you to get out there and practice Kohler's for a long time before you're ready. All psychology!!! And you need to learn how people think before you can do this.
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Pete Biro
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Re-read Frank's post above. And check out Bob Sheets' dvd... you can learn the move in a few hours. The KEY is to have a routine. Glenn Bishop (search google and you tube for his great rouine). it is easy to do.
For a totally different routine check out Ken Brooke's TWEEZERS routine.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
TheAmbitiousCard
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If you check my website for the on sale items I have a great deal on the shells and video combos. can't beat it. that is until the media are all gone. then the deal will disappear.
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Joshua Barrett
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Quote:
On 2008-02-20 13:13, walid ahumada wrote:
I don't do the 3 shell game since IMHO it doesn't look very magical but it took me just a few days to learn the basics moves, then I lost interest in it.

walid


I agree, but some audience are more interested in matching skill, then "magic". so I think its worth learning as a entertainer that uses sleight of hand
Bill Palmer
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The shell game is not primarily a magic trick.

BTW, I rate questions such as "How difficult is the three shell game?" with questions like "How difficult is it to play the guitar?" and "How difficult is it to speak Spanish?"

Nobody here knows who you are. We have no idea what your level of dexterity or dedication might be. You certainly won't learn how to do the shell game by sitting in front of your computer.

Go out and buy a set of shells. Get a set of Vernet shells. They are very inexpensive and they work just fine. Now practice. If you can't figure out how to work with the pea after a couple of weeks, then give up.

Remember, unless you have really huge hands or really small hands or you have some kind of disability, your dexterity will probably be about normal. If this is the case, you will probably be able to do the shell game without too much trouble.

BTW, if you really want to learn how to do the shell game, find someone who is a magician who does a good version of the shell game and pay him to teach it to you.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
matt kemp
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Quote:
On 2008-02-20 15:39, Frank Starsini wrote:
If you check my website for the on sale items I have a great deal on the shells and video combos. can't beat it. that is until the media are all gone. then the deal will disappear.


Frank, where are these combos on your website? I can't find them.
TheAmbitiousCard
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matt kemp
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Thanks Frank.

I noticed there is a flip stick DVD. Would the flip-stick move be good for vanishing a wand during a cups and balls routine? Do you think that's just too much magic happening at once?
TheAmbitiousCard
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I think that it can certainly be added to the routine. That's just up to you and your routine. I love the flipstick stuff. It's killer.

Also check out Shoot Ogawa's Wand Routine DVD (I don't sell it but it's great).

Flip's DVD is more broad and full of ideas.
The ogawa DVD is more of specific ideas in A routine.
Different. Both good.

Flipstick is good because it's a great impropmtu method for vanishing something.
Which I think is very important.
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FunTimeAl
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Quote:
On 2008-02-20 18:33, matt kemp wrote:
Thanks Frank.

I noticed there is a flip stick DVD. Would the flip-stick move be good for vanishing a wand during a cups and balls routine? Do you think that's just too much magic happening at once?


Matt, I'm pretty certain that I've never seen a live performance of the cups and balls without the flipstick move being thrown in there somewhere!!!

The move is easy...but buy the DVD anyway. There's some great stuff on there. Flip's got a great billiard ball routine on there, he also puts the flip vanish into an entire wand routine and then into a flute routine. He's even got a Zombie-ish routine that I've altered and use in part of longer act. It's a great bit of reference material.
Pete Biro
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The first time I saw FLIP work he baffled me so bad I had no clue. I thought the FLIP STICK was mechanical using complicated holdouts. I use it all the time doing cups and balls.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
Keith Mitchell
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Quote:
On 2008-02-20 17:19, Bill Palmer wrote:

BTW, I rate questions such as "How difficult is the three shell game?" with questions like "How difficult is it to play the guitar?" and "How difficult is it to speak Spanish?"

Nobody here knows who you are. We have no idea what your level of dexterity or dedication might be. You certainly won't learn how to do the shell game by sitting in front of your computer.

BTW, if you really want to learn how to do the shell game, find someone who is a magician who does a good version of the shell game and pay him to teach it to you.


I agree with what you just said and I knew this before I posted the question. Taking the time to ask the question I also knew that people would respond, and I got a lot of good information. Enough information that convinced me to go ahead and dive into The Shell Game, but will have to wait to rebuild my checking account since I spent a lot on C&Bs and Chop Cup DVDs. Then I get information on dicing, which I have never heard of before. The 3-Shell game is new to me as well, so yes, it was worth taking the time to ask.

You also say that I should meet other magicians, and you are right about that too. I don't know any other magicians, and I have not really put any effort into seeking them out. I dream about going to Las Vegas and finding my magic mentor; this might happen if I win the lottery. So, I been training myself without help from others; I am not trying to prove I am better or anything, it's just that I don't know any other magician out there. One reason for this is when I first started out with Magic two years ago, I felt that I was not experience enough to join SAM, and so I have been stuck on training myself ever since. Now that I am talking about this, I just feel too lazy to look into it. Part of me is too afraid to look them up.

Don't worry sooner or later things will work out. At this point I am enjoying what I do, so no need to push myself harder (yet).

Thanks for all the help
Have fun
Smile
Keith
FunTimeAl
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Keith,

I too have never joined a magician's club before. I began training myself from DVDs and eventually found magi friends that helped me progress my talents, scope, and business sense.

I respect that you hold out on joining a club. You're more likely not to turn into a clone of someone else that way.

I try VERY hard to keep my routines original. I post explanations of my routines on these forums from time to time like I did on this thread to help add to the communal pot of knowledge that I've been fortunate enought to draw from.

By the time you've got a tight 3 effect routine worked out that lasts somewhere between 5-10 minutes, then you are all set for joining any club that's out there.

You mentioned the cups and balls...perhaps that'd be your closer. Now, a little rope magic, maybe some coins or cards...and you're done except for the connective tissue!

If all else fails, there's always the wretched red rag trick and a scotch & soda!!!

Or hows about this...a buddy just told me he saw someone do this not too long ago. Hand out a new, ungimmicked deck for inpection...deck switch to 1 w*y deck...to wicked-impossible ambitious card routine!!!

That'll get those SAM boys tippin' there hats right quick atcha!!!
Bill Palmer
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You don't need to go to Las Vegas to find a magic mentor. There are more unemployed magicians in Las Vegas than there are in any other city in the US, with the possible exception of Los Angeles.

Your profile doesn't indicate where you live, but unless you live right square in the middle of the Okefenokee swamp, chances are there is a magician within driving distance.

Two years ago, you weren't experienced enough to join the SAM or the IBM. One of the requirements is that you be interested in magic for at least two years. But there is no requirement when you join either club that you be good at it! Smile

The IBM and the SAM are open to collectors, dealers, historians and performers. They are organizations for hobbyists. Some pro's stay with them, as well.

There is a very prominent member of the various organizations who lives in Fort Worth, Texas. He is recognized by everyone who knows anything about Houdini as one of the foremost authorities on the subject. But he admits he isn't a performer.

As far as "not turning into a clone of someone else" is concerned, the clubs don't foster that nearly as much as Ellusionist, Penguin and the other DVD mills.

There are several assemblies and rings that have excellent mentoring programs that actually encourage originality.

Don't look to someone who has never been a member of any organization to help you find which group is most likely to be able to help you.
"The Swatter"

Founder of CODBAMMC

My Chickasaw name is "Throws Money at Cups."

www.cupsandballsmuseum.com
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