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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Believe it or not... » » Razzle Dazzle them!! (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

willhunter
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Providence, RI
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Does anyone know of a source for information on for the game Razzle? Or any other flat joint game were a numbers are generated then plugged in a coversion chart. I understand it was sometimes dressed-up with a football theme. I would like to read up on the history and hopefully find out the math behind the game where the numbers never add up.
aka Billy Boston
Rod Pringle
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Hello Will:

Wayne Keyser has a razzle chart in his collection of carnival history, contact him at goodmagic.com Also there is a book entitled Carnival secrets which has a chapter on this game with a football chart. it is CARNIVAL SECRETS BY MATTHEW GRYCZAN PUBLISHED BY PICADILLY BOOKS COLORADO SPRINGS, COLORADO. Hope this helps.

Rod
willhunter
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Providence, RI
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Thanks Rod!
aka Billy Boston
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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I have DESCRIBED it, but the actual play involves a lot more operator skill than I can wrap my brain around. Or at least, you can say that in order to keep the player psychologically "off center," you need to have your act together in a way that isn't in my skill set. Accordingly, I don't have the ability to explainm it too well.

Here's the page.

My impression is that the conversion chart is full of almost meaningless numbers, especially in view of its odd "special" squares and ambiguous interpretations below some squares, plus a "fast count" by the operator ("Let's see, you rolled 12 plus 8 plus m7gstydfff and ddlxerliy and ... that's 73 which gives you 7 points, oh gosh you're under by 3 yards!") and a practices 'keep 'em on the hook thinking they're almost there' patter.

-- Wayne Keyser
Rod Pringle
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Hello Will:

You are very welcome! By the way, go to http://www.goodmagic.com , and look up the Brill carnival plans that Wayne has reprinted. Order plan # 464 Building The 4 way joint.
It has drawings of the games, look at the penny pitch game, looks like a razzle board. There are details for that game under #16 in the text of the plan.

I have an old 1948 copy of this plan, I highly recommend the fine reprint from goodmagic.com It has great info on other games too. I highly reoommend the CD ROM"ON THE MIDWAY" . Wayne has put a lot of work into this CD and it is loaded with great photos and information on the outdoor amusement business.

ROD
willhunter
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Providence, RI
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I was thinking of adding the plans to my library already, now I guess I really should.

Thanks to everyone for the input.

I want to add a Razzle demo to my Sideshow History Lecture/class. I thought it would be fun to set up and play with funny money to demo. Last year I approached a gentleman that allegedly was a former Razzle operator and ask to learn from him. I got a smile and he walked away. I was hoping to reconnect with him this summer and try again, but it looks like my time a Coney Island is this summer will be short - sadly!
aka Billy Boston
Todd Robbins
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Will,
Look up Gambling Scams by Darwin Ortiz. There is a section on Razzle in there. Also, How to Cheat at Everything by Simon Lovell. That not only has a nice write up about the "game", but it also has photos of the Razzle set up that I own. That Razzle set up was worked years ago on the Royal American Shows.

The scam is simple to operate in terms of technique and a true art to operate in terms of the psychology that makes it work.

In a nutshell, when the player rolls the balls and they land in the numbered holes on the board, the operator quickly picks up the balls and adds them up. The math is faulty on this roll and the operator adds the numbers up wrong so that the total is the closest "winning" number on the point conversion chart. The player is supposed to get either 10 points or 100 points, depending upon how the operator runs it. This first roll (usually a free play) gets the player 30 or so points (if the game is being played with 100 being the winning total of points). The next play or two are worked this way until the player gets to 90 points. Then the game is played straight, the math is correct and the numbers landed upon don't add any more points to the total. The operator will interpret the vague letters and notes on the point coversion chart to mean that the next play of the game will cost the player more or that there is a "house prize" on the line. Also, the operator will lay side bets on various plays and this adds to the losses.

The genius of the game is that no one playing the game checks the math when they are winning, and when they start losing, the math is straight and there is nothing to hide.

There are a number of other ploys that can be used, such as keeping the game open when the player runs out of money and putting them on the send.

Last May at the 9th Ave. Food Festival in NYC there were two trainer mounted Razzle joints with a dozen games running. And there will be a Razzle joint running this Summer right next to John's operation in Coney Island.

Razzle operators are not very open about dicussing the game.

How I found out about the work on Razzle is none your business.
willhunter
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Providence, RI
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"How I found out about the work on Razzle is none your business."

I'm not asking!!!!

Thanks for the info.

FYI, it was a local business man whom is associated with the joint in CI that gave me the smile and walked away when I asked about Razzle. I am concluding from what I have already rescearched and from folks input here that the key to the game is the skill of the operator, his patter and psycology. This type of thing can't be learned from books!
aka Billy Boston
Todd Robbins
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New York
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By the way,a magician well known in the magic community worked a Razzle joint when he was a younger man. I am not at liberty to say who it is, and I doubt anyone would guess who it is without being given a clue. Perhaps the reason he often wears a mask when he performs is because he doesn't want to be recognized by any of the marks he fleeced.
sideshowsam
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I see you staring at my
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Hey a very interesting piece of "fiction" on the Razzle is "Eyeing the Flash - the education of a carnival con artist" by Peter Fenton Amazon link is here - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED

http://www.amazon.com/Eyeing-Flash-Educa......43258541

./sam
rossmacrae
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Inner circle
Arlington, Virginia
2448 Posts

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Read it. Good book.
reese
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Inner circle
of Hell
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Quote:
On 2010-05-26 23:07, rossmacrae wrote:
Read it. Good book.


Terrible book. It is half-ass fiction. I would puke on it... if I had the guts.

( and... it's sat on my store's shelf for years.. at half price... please buy it!!! )

I've read it. (sigh... wish it wasn't but it is.. complete garbage!)

There are very few good books on the subject, some still in print... this is not one of them.

I'm not trying to sell you anything and will not tell you to contact my store...try: bookfinder.com

It brings up sellers from different places.

G'luck,
F'ruck
rossmacrae
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Arlington, Virginia
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I didn't mean "an accurate history", I meant I found it a good read.

Sorry I didn't make myself clear (especially as around here I'm most comfortable when wearing my "amateur historian" hat).
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