As a working professional magician I get to meet thousands of people over the year. Every now and then people will request a trick from me. Can you do the one where a card sticks to a ceiling or the cards change into glass they will ask? I know the only reason they request these tricks is because they have seen other magicians perform them which is why I create my own magic. Magic is 50% surprise. So, if they know what is going to happen it will not be as effective. It’s a bit like having heard a joke before. It’s not so strong second time around.
However, having said that there is one trick I do perform that people have heard of and do ask for on occasions as it is infamous and has a reputation. The trick is called Three Card Monte. Steve, a friend who booked me for his friend’s wedding at Stonehouse Court asked me to perform it. So, we all crowded into the newly decorated Stonehouse Court bar to watch me perform the scam.
THE THREE CARD MONTE
Three-card Monte is also known as Find the Lady. The Mark or victim is tricked into betting money by where they have to try and find the odd card out among the three face-down cards. This is a short scam con where the Mark has no chance of winning against an experienced con artist. The scam came into play in around the 15th century.
THREE-CARD MONTE RULES
The game is very simple to which adds to its appeal and addiction. The Operator put three cards face-down on a surface. This is usually nothing fancy like a cardboard box so if needed a quick getaway can be made. A target or odd card is made know to the Mark and they have to bet money on which of the three cards they think it is after they have been shuffled and mixed around face down. If they guess correct they win their money back plus profit. If not, then they lose.
DRAWING IN THE MARK
Three-Card Monte scam is generally operated by a team. From a look out guy to other pretend players, known as “shills” they are all put in place to encourage a Mark to bet their money. A good team will all work well together and know how to play the Mark to encourage him to bet by reading the type of person his is and then play against this to get the money. Other shills may talk to him and play mind games with him or another shill may be seen by the Mark to be winning money. The team will use many techniques to build the Marks confidence up and have him believe he can win and get him caught up in the scam.
THE BENT CORNER SCAM
One of the classic sucker ploys in The-Card Monte is the bend corner scam. The team use this if they find a really good sucker who likes to keep betting, or someone who is a little reserved about betting. Either way it is designed to get the money. Basically during play the money card will have its corner bent by the Dealer who pretends not to notice. The Mark, now convinced more than ever they know where the winning card is, will bet. Of course, they will still loose. During play the Dealer will un-bend the winning card and bend the corner on a losing card.