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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » If right you win, if wrong you lose... » » Three Card Monte versus The Three Shell Game (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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topandball
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Looks like I'm late to this thread, but I can make a few comments that some of you may find informative.

First I will respond to some of the other posters.

Nicholas: You're right about the problem with no sticks using the cards that you are either ready or not, and with the tops you can come ready any time and then just move the ball back to where it should be if they bet. There is a move you can use for the cards if they are ready to bet on a natural (when you're not ready) which I will get to in moment.

Silverking: You are correct that for the most part we use a full setup (cardboard boxes as a table) for the red card, however I have had great success playing up in the air on the same surface I use for the tops. This also alows an interesting move when working single-o. If a mark is ready to bet, but you are natural, you reach toward him for the money or to make some gesture, and 'accidentally' spill one or two cards to the floor. "Wait, this one doesn't count. Hold onto your money; I'm going around again." Then you come ready since you know they are ready to go off.

As for the question of which is going to get more money, I would unhesitatingly decide in favor of the tops. There are moves with the shell game that serve the same purpose as the bent corner or a mark on the winning card, but these actually allow the mark to SEE the ball under the top. And these moves can be used again and again on the same mark, until he is broke. There is a bit of business we use after the mark blows on the top where he just saw the ball, which makes him think he simply turned over the wrong top. It's very difficult to make him think he turned the wrong card, when the corner was bent (although it can be done! a beautiful move, and a story for another day.)

Short answer: when single-o; tops. with a mob; tops. they are just stronger than the red card with the advances that have been made in the game in recent decades. The red card still gets the money though!

If you had not limited the question to tops or red card, I would say I like dominoes. You can play them right on the palm of your left hand, ad you end up with no identifiable evidence that can be linked to a known con game.

I hope you found this informative and interesting; I think it's a fascinating subject. And very good question!

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
topandball
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Addendum:

Quote:
On 2009-06-11 12:59, Nicholas J. Johnson wrote:


Do we have a source for the claim that the 3CM is done with two hands more often than the shell game?


I see know major impediments in performing the 3CM with one hand that do not exist with the shell game. I also see a few additional possibilities that are not possible with shells.

Man! I love this game!


I can be your source for the claim that 3CM is regularly done with one hand, but I will say it is most often played with a full setup and two hands in the classic style.

If one of your "few additional possibilities" was the dodge of dropping the cards to prevent a winning bet, you have the mind of a con man!

And I love this game, too!

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
silverking
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Those were the two best posts and some of the finest information I've read on this topic in a long time topandball, thanks for sharing.
topandball
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Well I'm happy to answer any questions that don't threaten my livelihood. Smile

Thank you for your kind words.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
Jamie D. Grant
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Quote:
On 2009-06-11 11:38, silverking wrote:

Jamie, have you got all the School for Scoundrels material on both the shells and the monte?.....it's the finest work available on either or both, and highly reccommended as the prime resource for anybody interested in either the monte or the shells as a con or as part of a magic routine.


Hiya Silverking!

I have The SFS 3CM DVDs and Book and Sal Piacente's 3CM. As for the Shells, I've had Sal's DVD for a while but just picked up SFS's Volme 2 (which explains my new found interest). Does Volume 1 cover things that my Volume 2 doesn't, I wonder (Whit- maybe you can answer)...

And for Everyone!

Thanks for this great information! If I'm presenting a Shell Game (in the far future) and some spec says, "That's pretty good, but it'll never make you the kind of money that those guys with the Three Cards do." I'll have a reply that is founded on fact. Priceless information. I basically view deception like the scene from Resevoir Dogs where the Undercover needs to learn his anecdote inside and out....

But I digress. So it seems like The Shell Game (which is called The Tops? I didn't know that) is the winner. What's the allure of 3CM then? I love it as a magician but am wondering from a street level. Easier to carry, lol?

~jamie
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topandball
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Jamie,

In answer to your question, some players are just used to the broads. They play them because that's what they are comfortable with.

There is a great advantage in being skilled with both. For example, if a mark says to us, "I lost 200 dollars on that game last year, I'm not playing again!" we can then say, "well have you seen this game? It's different." That will keep him watching long enough to get him hooked in.

Similarly, if we have beat a mark at, for example, the red card, and he still has money left, but will not play that game anymore, we can switch to the tops and he might be willing to play that game. It seems silly, but it's true.

Re. the name of the game: 3CM is called 'three card monte (or molly),' broads, and shaking the red card. The shell game is called just that, top and ball, or shaking the pea. It's called the tops because we use bottle tops as covers for the small ball.

Incidentally, we players have a catchphrase about this subject. "The red will get the bread, but the ball will get it ALL."

This whole subject of which is stronger assumes of course that the players are able to use both games to their fullest potential. If you don't know all the moves for the pea, or you are just not that used to it, but have been shaking the red card for a decade or four, then of course you will get more money with the broads.

Hope you find this interesting; they're just a few tidbits of info I thought might be of interest. Remember that I came from the magic world and crossed over to the dark side ;-) so I have an understanding of the kinds of things magicians might be interested in hearing.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
topandball
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Quote:
On 2009-06-10 14:55, Whit Haydn wrote:
I've done both the monte and the shells on the streets of NYC single-o for money.

This was in the 1960's before I had learned how they should really be played with shills. I had never been taught by a con man.

The Shell Game is by far the best of the two for single-o, for many reasons.


Whit,

If you've still never been taught by a con man, I'd be happy to give you a lesson when I come to Vegas this fall, in return for the tremendous help you have given me (you know what I mean). I'll give you a call when I head out there.

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
Whit Haydn
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I am always open to learning. Thanks.
topandball
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Well I've been schooled on more than a few things by you and the other scoundrels. Plus I would love to meet you and the boys, so there is an ulterior motive Smile

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
topandball
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P.S. I should have said "demonstration," and not "lesson." You hardly need a lesson, but I'm sure you would find a demonstration very interesting.
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
Whit Haydn
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Anything you want to show me I will find interesting. Thanks.
NJJ
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Quote:
On 2009-06-11 16:19, topandball wrote:


I can be your source for the claim that 3CM is regularly done with one hand, but I will say it is most often played with a full setup and two hands in the classic style.

If one of your "few additional possibilities" was the dodge of dropping the cards to prevent a winning bet, you have the mind of a con man!

And I love this game, too!

-B


Thanks B - I'm interested in any other other differences a one handed player might experience between the shells and the 3CM.

I would imagine that dropping the cards (or tray) to dodge a win would play even better if it was bumped out of your hand by one of your crew rather than by your own clumsiness.

Some angry words exchanged with the capper about how he 'lost me money' would cool off the mark who would assume that he would have lost the game.
IanKendall
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I mentioned this to Nick last week, but for general info re monte with one hand...

Last summer I was on the High Street doing a standard table show. In between shows I was playing with three cards, hyping this way and that for practice. A man came up to me, introduced himself as 'Red' and showed me his monte throw.

He held all three cards in one hand, and dropped them onto the table with one sweeping motion. I remember that I was able to track the cards at the time, but I can't remember the handling now (a year later). I imagine this could be done while holding a board or a newspaper in the other hand.

Red explained that he was going to work the bars during the Festival. It was obvious that he was working single-o. I never saw him again.

Take care, Ian
topandball
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Ian, did he use his cards or yours? Did he bridge the cards or were they pretty much flat?

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
IanKendall
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He used my cards, with a very slight bridge.

Ian
topandball
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Hmmmm. There is one move from a magic book with work in the cards. One of the losers is trimmed a little short. That lets it slide out with the motion you described. In that method the cards are held all together in one hand, stacked up. Is it possible that's what he was doing?

-B
"Gamblin' Sam from Birmingham, I learned this game in Vietnam"
R.I.P. Haynes, the ORIGINAL "Gamblin' Sam"
IanKendall
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Not really, I don't have any short cards in my deck.

Ian
Whit Haydn
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I demonstrate this move, a one-handed throw of three cards on our Three-Card Monte DVD. I uses normal cards, bent for monte.

It also works with the Snake or "S" bend in the cards.
NJJ
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I use Whit´s one handed move regularly.

It works very wellç

eçuse the typing. I´m in barcelona using a spanish keyboard!
Whit Haydn
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It is not my move. It is from Scarne's booklet.
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