One thing that I like about the Three Card Monte is that it automatically engages the entire audience. It’s a game they all can play with being the person playing it. That’s why I think things like the 3 Card Monte or the Three Shell Game are perfect for virtual shows. The level of engagement is great!
Here’s a video from a practice session:
I’m working out the sequence, right now it’s:
Mix and the money card is in a different position
Set aside a non-money card, do the mix and the money card is now the one set aside
cards change so the two non-money cards are now the money card and the money card is now the non-money card
all cards change into jokers
There’s a lot of magic that happens in that sequence. It’s a pretty amazing sequence, and basically using the three card monte premise as a presentation hook for card color changes.
There’s a genre of magic tricks that I’m not really into and those are what are frequently called magician foolers. The main reason for this is that I don’t perform for audiences of just magicians very often. When I do perform for just magicians, I do my real world stuff. One thing to keep in mind is that just because it’s a trick for general audiences, doesn’t necessarily mean it won’t fool magicians.
What I’m writing about today are tricks that are specifically designed for audiences of magicians. Recently I’ve discovered an interesting principle, for doing a reverse three card monte type effect, where the audience mixes the cards and you always find the money card. I thought it was a interesting little thing and that’d be that, until I did it for a couple of magicians and it floored them! We spend the afternoon jamming with it and we added a second phase, but we’re still at it being a trick for magicians.
I think the important thing was for me to recognize what this probably is, it’s a trick for 2 am in the lobby of a magic convention. I’m going to keep playing with it and hopefully figure out something more mainstream to do it with.
One of the things that I do every now and then is get a deck of gaffed cards and try to figure out tricks to do with the different trick cards. I don’t read/watch the instructions, that makes this a fun creativity exercise. Right now in my office I have a deck of the Ultimate Gaff Deck that I bought because I was playing around with a four ace trick and needed some double backers.
This pack is sitting on my desk and I opened it this morning and the first thing that I noticed is that there is a set of cards for a three card monte using double ended cards. I took the cards out, set them on the table, then immediately thought, “why do all the monte routines that use these cards have them flat?”
When you see this trick done in movies or for real on the street, the cards are always bent.
The only reason that I can think of is that having them bent changes the handling a little bit. If you think about the time that these gimmicked three card monte routines started getting popular with Unconquered Card by Mike Rogers and Micheal Skinner’s Ulitmate 3 Card Monte, I bet writing up a routine with them bent would have been rough and made the routines harder to sell.
You can hide the gimmicks just fine with the cards bent.
I’m planning on playing with them today and see if I can come up with a short routine with them.