Threecard Monte

Tliis con game, adopted by magicians for the purpose <>f enieitainmeni, lias bmi played throughout Europe for centuries An early and exact description oi ii was given by Robert 1 loudin in 18(51.J Suipiisinglv, asacon, it is Still widely us« I all over the world to take peoples money, even though most of these people should know U tter, given the amount ofeflbri expended—much of il by magicians—to educate the public al>out this swiiulle.

The fail remains tlrat it is known to most ¡jeople around tire worid, if not fn 1111 experieruv, .u least from reports. Fnrm it emanates the fasdnati.mattache*! toallgam^of. hmv in which mankind tries to licat the <xlds. charm Lfldy IJick and, for an Instant; defeat <kst.ny

Doing a Three-canl Monte routine Ls a natural chokv alter having introduced tin- ^-.Jokers. You need merely arid any rani ofyour preference the <l,vk, I» *«** » " I learts or Ace of Spades, depending on your presniiadtw, and go into any of the publish n lutines that abound in the literature.

Miscellaneous Tithiniques

--------- ■ times. Now, every ume i neai •-«■«-- wik«i ,0 an master, ^, doiVt liave to botiier about deciding whether its a

, never came across a description detailing^ Kaps's method nor could anyone who knew ETa satisfactoiy explanation. But after having used the .dea in .Is different lorms, I

hav e come up with die following presentation and mediocL


The magician places die two Jokers from the deck aside since, he explains, he doesn't need them. A card is selected, but the ¡xirfomier fails to find it as announced. However, checking (lie Jokers, it is seen that diey liave caught one card between them—the spectal or's selection! This is done a second time, with die performer never coming near the Jokers.

Constmction, Management and Saipt

Before beginning the performance of the effect, declare that you will place the Jokers aside, as they have pra\-en detrimental to die success of some of your miracles in the past. Place diem rouglily sijiuuvd and face down to your left, turned at an eleven o'clock angle and just forward of the near table-edge.


1 lave a can! chosen ;uid, if you wish, signed. When die selection is replaced in die deck, imperceptibly control it to the top. A false shuflle and false cut, retaining die top card, will strengdien the conviction dial die card Is hopelessly lost. After the mixing, casually dribble the cards into your open left liand. an action dial implicitly communicates fairness in every respect, but also prepares for die move to follow.

Liwk at someone on your left and say, "Please think of any number ijan like and then till it to ernyem. So that this doesn't become a full-evening show, pick any number up to t'»vt!, Addressing a spectator to your left not only shifts attention away from vou and your hands, it also makes you naturally mm to the left, a position tliat affoitis perfect cover when

J™ ¡T ¡¡¡Jlhp ¡°Pauxl ^ your right hand, using die top palm while casually squaring me deck <W page 273). 11,e fact that die .arris are in an unsquared condition after dnbbling diem affords additional justification for the squaring process.

toSSlS? T' in rronI of ** sPec®or and, on completion of this action, add U^O U H " Here is how: As soon as the spectator receive your another .„ Z'! ^ y°U tan **Before he makes up his mind, add '«SfS^ ^^rnnkeilanndd number. (Ml mZnsanahW cause an S^ othltr ,his Ls or ^ but I assure you, the statement will those of the rest ofiH^ "' h the ,mml of ^ spectator concerned, but also in group, all Of whom iire wondering why on earth this should be so.

Whatever lianas in your audiences mind, this is die moment you act; Ux)k directly into the eyes of the spectator on your left and place the deck, minus die palmed card, in front of him with a pronounced ¡¡loj). This is a strong moment; in Slydinis sense of the term (Volume 2t page 457) and you can consider it as one beat As you can see in the illustration, die Jokers are more or less in a line between you and the spectator.

...and the hand moves immediately toward the spectator and into die space above die balance of the deck.

Now conies die offbeat, the weak moment, which consists of the right hand retracting and moving in the space directly above the Jokers. The | »osilion shown in the illustration Is taken for only a fraction of a second

Tliis is immediately followed by the next strong moment, which should be interpreted as anodier full beat. To start it, die right hand is lowered directly above die Jokers, the palmed card is released mughly square on top of diem...

This Ls a set of three actions, consisting of ( 1) placing lire deck in front of the spectator, (2) retracting and secretly ditching the palmed card on top of the Jokers and^t)gest urtng toward the spectator. I. may be accompanied by an utterance such :*.r>kn,j-..,mr n.un, to the Ween* cant ^(assuming he has ch..*,, WW,,, When you say. -Okay, "slam the deck in front of the spectator ( 1 ) and when you say, count to tlu fifteenth card you^Wsture toward him (2 and 3). Since the .n.tial and final a,irons nu . e S unit of ine.ming. die middle action of ditching the palmed rani passes

Miscellaneous Teouniques il 05

«leased -«d* Joken^ notperfealy squaml-

,n.c »ill, ,,.„ ronlraiv 1" evHyonefe expectation nails 10 hb n»'"1 • ' ' 1" be surprised and ronfasod tXX^' - die

¿¿hinftIt appears as ifyoU are thinking, ;ind tiiatW-"*, , -—LJ *M - .»-«<—,/«>

¡¡¡few* Tills is Hie best piece of advice I have ever beard when it comes to acting out "fail-,ne" situations, and it was given to me by Juan Tamariz.

already visible b )dk <ii the Jokeis. u inree caiu>oi t»

(Jh? cauls with your right Hiigertips: Three air see/1 Your audience wilJ anticipate that the selection is between the Jokers. For the slower ones you provide some coaching: 'Vne caixt has beri\ caught between Die Jokers."

It remains only to show the spectator's card between the Jokere. You can do tliis by taking the tliree cards eillier into left-hand dealing position or at the fingertips, and then bottom dealing the first card (Volume 3, page 686), Iilacing it face up on the table—a first Joker. Deal the next card face down onto the faceup Joker but jogged diagonally backward, and deal the tiiird and final card face up on top, still diagonally offceL Then slowly turn the face-down card over to reveal the selection.

Joker Ofih

Or you may use the following clever Three-card Monte move by the ingenious and funny Welsh performer, Ttovor Lewis, with a convincing touch added by the innovative Ken KraizeL4 As the right hand picks up the cards from the table, they are spread showing three backs. Reverse count the cards into the left hand, outjoggirig the middle card in tin* process. TliLs emjihasizes visually ti\ai there are three cards and tliat one caul lias bee« caught between the Jokers. T\ike the cards fanned in this condition into your right hand

The right Iiand immediately turns palm up and regrips the duw-oard spread—after which the left hand takes die face-up selection and tosses it to the table. If smoothly executed, dds elegant topological incongruity won't be noticed, let alone suspected, by even the smartest observers; especially if it is accompanied by some kind of unobtmave misdirection, such as dial suggested above, using the eye and the word.

Second Phase " v '^jjlfl

'Tin so sorry this dulii V work Let me place Vie Jokers catiqJetdy away." Take the two Jok-ere and place diem into the card case, with their feces against the flap side of the case. Then set the ruse thumb notch up to your left on the table, again angled at about eleven o'dock.

Apparently lose the card again in die deck, but in n*ality control it back to die top, using any method you prefer. Something as simple as placing the <-ml on the top and giving the deck a false overiiand shuffle and false cut dial retains the selection on top is enough intttsoontext As you square the cards, palm the top card into your right hand Create some misdiiBCtion by suiprisingly telling die qpectatar, 'If / ami find your ami you are going to try,"

Race die deck again in fiont of the sjx*tator on your left: 'Please eut the deck You will eut exactly to your cotxL" Retaut your right hand, which hides the palmed selection, and adopt your favorite» "rest position", such as r^ing the I land on die edge < »f the table or on your thigh

Wlien the spectator cuts the decX nrither tin- top card of the lower packet nor the bottom card of the upi>er is found tobe liia Liiok tit the card a«e on the table and say '/ ^o-thr Joke,* " Th<■spectators will siaii dunking what this could mean and some will ariic-ip* • the

Look up id the audience and say. 'Vint's incredible, is i/?"llie question and the use of inconect grammar (uLs if rather dian Isn't it")—the latter won't even register consciously in the minds of most—will cause an instant of psychological misdirection, which is enough to execute the monte move: The left hand turns palm down to grasp the two cards on die left end of die spread

Now your left and right hands turn over simultaneously. The left hand turns palm up while the left thumb pushes the selection diagonally forward and to die right. The right hand turns palm down and simply places its Joker face up onto the left hands two (aimed face-up cards.

^ re b^eji caught between the. lability thai the^ end grip and shake it i*

Since u uuiwarOjthe little to your left

You an? now going to extract the two JokeiB from the box while secretly adding the palmed card behind them. Tliis technique, which is essentially a Card in Case load, is Edward Marlok6 While the right hand holds the case in end grip, the left hand grasps the case from below and turns it over. In the process the palmed card is added to the back of the case as follows.

Hie led liand grips the case from below, thumb on die left side, fingers on the light The fingere' outer plialanges lie almost an inch above the Upper edge of the case, which brings the tips of tin* middle and ring fingers into contact with the right side of the palmed card

Begin to turn your left hand ¡>alm down, bringing the case firet to a vertical position and then, as you continue the ti im, again to a horizontal position, but now with the opening of the case rotated downward During tliis turn, the palmed card is added to what is now the underside of the case. There is a natural tendency for the right hand to flatten, to put the palmed card against the case as it is turning. Tliis tendency must be fought TYy instead to move the case imperceptibly closer to the right palm and steal the palmed card, the right hand remaining motionless during these actions. Also watch your right thumb, which will tend to shoot out like a hook Keep it in contact with the inner end of the case, until the case is brought to a vertical position and the card has left die palm Then move the right thumb smoothly toward die ti|>s of your right fingere, where it

proce«, acting almost as phJmfWI,h ,he toP Pnfl oftiie case during this turnover method for rppiai-imi Iahllpri ' J , lll(>sc «^ons are wry close to those used in the fourth

Tlus leaves the left liand holding the caixl case while your right hand opens die (lap. Use your left forefinger to hold it open fn.»m above. Then place die pad or your right thumb onto die face of the Joker at its outer end, exactly over the thumb notch of the case. Place die right forefinger opposite die thumb, on die back of die selection still hidden under the case. Using this grip, pull the three cairls to die right, making it appear that ¿ill three come from within the card case.

Your left diumb and fingers, on opjjosite sides of the card case, help to cover the emeigng edges of die added card, making it impossible to see that it comes from beneadidie case. The illusion is further heightened by the fact that die spectators see die face of one Joker and ti lai bodi Jokers come from inside die case.

As the left liand places die case aside on the table, the right hand turns over and spreads the cards, showing diree backs. FYom here on you may proceed widi Ttoevor Lewises monte move, as explained at the end of the first phase Hie spectators selection has again found its way between die Jokers; but this time in an even more inexplicable way.

1 sometimes end this routine by looking at die Jokers, tearing diem up and throwing them over my shoulder, saying, 'That's the Inst rime litis will happen" Whatever you do, lets remember die lesson by the great master, Rene Lavand: A good routine needs a prologue as well as an epilogue; and die latter can l)e just a sentence (see "Alls Wells Tlial Ends WeUs", page 1361) or a simple gag, such as that used here.

Final Notes

1. The secret loading of the palmed card Z In die past I liavt? tried to "enrich"

onto die Jokers in the first phase Is essentially an exercise in timing I've never lx?cn caught in the niai\y years I have been iHTfonuiiigdiiseflect The audience wasn't even aware that a can I l\ad been placed onto die Jokers. Tins Is quite interesting, considering that diree face-down curds wen* almost always visible on the table—which si lows dial looking Is not seeing.

the relatively slwnt routine above by adding various kinds of Sandwich eflects. My experience lias siiown me duit die In-st reactions were obtained by using die slim stnicnire itesofl**! alxive, less being more. Mfijbe it s as in cooking If you begin with a 9Wce duii lias Ixvn exquisitely reduced by hours of simmering. you're not going to improve it liy aikling more water.


The chœrlier shu

r> fmm the legendary FVencli card-coi\jurer and gambler Chariier8

Wh0 o^ «2 ** W * the cards retain their relative order in

2a viable sleight, die Chariier sluitlle Ls litUe known nowa-

dtys^and even less used, since many find it eccentric in appearance.

ms hKtement to some Nalidity, if one doesn't understand the history of the sleight. Chariier I ¡mi in the nineteendi century and flourished mainly in France, where a full deck consisted of tliirty-two amis In addition, the raids were thinner than they ¿ire today. People or this pencxl used a "haymow" shuffle to mix cards. That Is, they held diem in left-hand dealing position arid then pushed blocks of amis into the waiting right hand, placing these packets alternatively above and below each other. One of the reasons this handling was used can !>e found in the quality of the cards of die time, and especially their finishes, which didn't allow the cards to slide as easily as do most of today's brands. Charter's sin ifile, about to be described, imitates the liaymow shuffle exactJy. Charter's shuffle retains the cyclical order of the cards, die sequence being altered only to the extent dial the deck is given a simple cut. However, it appears its if the canls an? being diorouglily mixed.

It is certainty impractical to shuffle a deck of fifty-two cards the way described, although it is possible to do so in certain situations. However, it is an excellent method for shuffling a small number of canls, up to a packet of about twenty, which is called for in many instances. It Ls especially useful when one doesn't want to use nuigirian's terminology, such as in die performance of mental magic, where it would be more appropriate to say that the cards are being muni raffijerttan shufffal. Anyone needing to false shuffle a deck of twenty-live Zener cards in the context of an ESP effect will be liairl pressed to find a better technique than the (liariier shuffle. And if one must secretly retain the onler of anv kind of printed cards* such as business ranis the Chariier shuffle will come in very handy. In all of these cases, to

('huiier s,lufl,e "»I® a lot more like "mixing" than it does anything else, w inch is exactly the impression we wish to create- that die amis are haphazaixlly mixed

To better follow wliai happens dining the Shuffle, I suggest you take the thirteen spade cards from die deck and arrange them in numerical order, so tliat die Ace of Spades is on top and the lung is on the bottom of the factMlown packet. I lold the packet feoe down in left-hand dealing ¡xisition, sliift your little linger to the inner end and curl your index finger under the ¡xickct, assuming die position you use to spread cards between your handa As your left thumb pushes a few canls from the top of die packet to the right, they are received bv your palm-up riglit kind

Separate the hands again and, using the first three fingers of your I eft hand, push a few cards—one, two or three—from die bottom of die left hand's packet onto those alresuly in the right hand

Tlus ends die fust shuffle cycle, which is now going to be repeated until you ran out of amis in die left hand Tlial is, you separate your liands once more, in a natural swinging action, and push off anodier few cants with your left thumb. These cards am taken t>eneadi the right liands cards. The hands again separate and the let! fingers push another few cards freni die bottom of die left liands [racket onto die right liands, ending die second shuffle cycle. Reix^it once mow and then place the remaining cants from die left hand uruk'r those in die right Iiand

This ends one Cliarlier shuffle, which you can repeal once or twice. The C Tiarlier shuffle is especially deceptive if executed with the canis held fait» up. This Is so disarming, ii will even fool insiders. In my opinion, die ideal way of doing it is to shuffle the packet t wice face down and one more time face up. If you look ?U the faces of the canls now, you may surprise yourself die first few times, Ix^cause dieir cyclical onrJer lias been retained

Iri some cases you may need to restore die initial order of die packet^ by bringing the original top card back to die top. Tliis can be achieved in various ways. You can crimp the bottom canl before you st;irt the shuffle, and then simply give die packet a final ait, bringing die crimped card back to die bottom. Or you can use any odier kind of mark diat can tx> recognize*! Dtwn die back. And if you do the shuffle face up, it's an easy matter to spot die cani originally on the bottom and return it to that place. If the arrangement is not obvious to the eye, you may even spread the amis briefly face up between your liands to show how the shuffle lias mix« I the cards, during which you locate die top or bottom cants, which an- subsequently bmuglit back to dieir original positions with a simple cut.

Here's a clever ruse I sometimes use: T\im the top canl race up iind dn>p it back onto die remaining face-down atrds. Then do several < hariier shuffles as you say dial by turning a card face up diey can appreciate how well die canls are being mixed The feu v-up card ends ui> somewhere in die center, where it is turned face down without changing the order of the cards. You now can either take a break abow this card and cut it to die top, or simply eye-count how many cants from die top it is iind later nit that number of cards fn mi top to bottom.




I You might be a Utile CCtAsed after a tost ofUio^xiw. However, the mJets verysimple: Tin» cards pushed off ftam rhe/^ofihrleft hamflipacketgo //rafer the right han& padoet, and die cards torn tin? left hand go on top of those in the right hand The only exception WlB Ik1 the/Lrsi shuffle iiilion, during which there are, of course, no cards yet in the right hand Repeat these two actions unto the amis in your left lia/ul nm out. You ftqy interrupt the shuttle <ti any point and place die (Uliaiiiing canis from your left hand on t'Jp or on die bottom of diose in your right liand

Z The deception is caused by the worry, free and apparently careless luu idling of die cards. It really looks as if they are being mixed I>x>k at the spectators and don't draw particular attention to your actions. Just mention casually dial die cards are l>eing mixed a bit People can see what you are doing.

3. Although it is easy to learn, at first this shuffle requires a little concentration and thinking on your part, and should therefore be i>racticed just as you do more difficult sleights. There must l)e no visible hesitation and thinking all die actions should flow as if dictated by die law of randomness.

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