Skinner's Utimate Monte?

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Tom Frame
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Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Tom Frame » April 12th, 2016, 1:37 pm

Hi guys,

While rooting around in an old box of magic stuff, I found three Phoenix-back cards that are 4 inches long by 3 inches wide - an odd size. The Aces of Hearts has a Three of Clubs index in the lower right corner. The Two of Clubs is a regular card. The third card is a Three of Clubs with an Ace of Hearts index in the lower right corner.

The cards are housed in a thin vinyl “case”, with a sleeve on one side into which the cards are inserted and stored. There is another separate sleeve on the other side. The case appears to be a primitive switching device.

I believe that these are the cards for Mike Skinner’s Ultimate Three Card Monte. If so, can someone tell me where I can acquire Mike’s routine for them?

Thanks
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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 12th, 2016, 1:50 pm

They're for the version Card-Shark sells called "Moser's Monte." Not quite the same. All of these are essentially DeLand's "Pickitout" from 1908.
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Brad Jeffers » April 12th, 2016, 4:10 pm


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erdnasephile
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby erdnasephile » April 12th, 2016, 4:13 pm

Hi, Tom:

What you are describing sounds very much like the cards included with the January, 2011 issue of Genii (pg 76).

You can certainly do Mike Skinner's routine with them: http://www.amazon.com/Michael-Skinners- ... B000Y0AR0Y or many of the other routines for the "Pickitout" sets.

Tom Frame
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Tom Frame » April 12th, 2016, 5:38 pm

Thanks for the information gents!
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Bob Farmer
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 13th, 2016, 11:41 am

Tom:

For a complete history and much better routine see:

http://www.penguinmagic.com/p/3356

Tom Frame
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Tom Frame » April 13th, 2016, 12:03 pm

Very nice! Thanks Bob.
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Bob Farmer
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 13th, 2016, 1:54 pm

The Skinner routine is actually Eddie Taytelbaum's "Find The Ace." I've sent you a note.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Richard Kaufman » April 13th, 2016, 4:01 pm

Tatylebaum's routine is actually Theodore DeLand's "Pickitout."
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Bob Farmer
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Re: Skinner's Utimate Monte?

Postby Bob Farmer » April 13th, 2016, 5:55 pm

Taytelbaum's routine uses the "Pickitout" cards but that trick had no routine. Taytelbaum came up with several phases and something that sort of looked like a tabled 3-card monte. Though the Skinner version is the most well known, the Mike Rogers version is much better and uses a more deceptive set of cards (an ace and two 2s). However, all of those versions aren't that good. They make no sense. Here's an excerpt from my "Bammo Monte Monster" effect:

DeLAND’S “PICKITOUT”
THE GREAT GAFF GRANDDADDY
In 1908, Theodore L. DeLand invented what was then a revolutionary three-card monte effect, “Pickitout.” Three cards, an ace, 2 and 3, all black, are shown in a fan, turned face down and spread in a row. When the spectator tries to pick out the ace, it never is where he thinks it is.

Two of the cards were gaffed: the ace had a 3 index at one end, and the 3 had an ace index at one end. The 2 was ungaffed. With the 2 on the face, if the cards were fanned from one end, they would appear as A-3-2; fanned from the other end, the order was 3-A-2.

This method, cutting edge at the time, allowed the magician to always show the ace where it shouldn’t be.

By contemporary standards, the simplicity of “Pickitout” is its major flaw. There is no routine. The method and the effect don’t vary. The ace always shuttles back and forth between the first and second posi-tions and the 2 is always in the third position. Today, you could do the effect deceptively twice, maybe three times, but more than that and you’d be busted.

TAYTELBAUM’S “FIND THE ACE”
Time passed and more elaborate and routined versions of “Pickitout” were devised (e.g., Ken Brooke’s, “Chase The Ace”), however, the most influential version for the routines here under discussion was Eddie Tay-telbaum’s, “Find The Ace” (DAI VERNON’S ULTIMATE SECRETS OF CARD MAGIC BY Lewis Ganson, Unique Magic, 1967).

The Taytelbaum version uses the DeLand cards (Ace, 2 and 3 of clubs) and provides a routine where the cards are tabled (approximating the feel of real three-card monte). The routine is in three phases.

Phase One: After showing the cards in a fan (ace on the outside), they are dealt face down in a row, the ace going to the left end. The ace magically jumps to the middle.

Phase Two: The cards are picked up and shown in a fan a second time (ace again on the outside). The ace is dealt face down and the other two cards are dealt face down on either side of it (so the ace must be in the middle). The 3 magically appears in the middle where the ace should be.

Phase Three: To make the ace easi-er to follow, the 3 is discarded face down and way off to the side. Only the ace and the 2 are used. Dealt to the table, they are moved around slowly, then shown: the ace is gone, it’s now the 3. The ace is found off to the side where the 3 was placed.

Problems: Unfortunately, the routine is not as direct as the effects summary suggests and has serious weaknesses. The major one is the end-for-end switch (as with the original, “Pickitout,” the A-3-2 fan has to be closed then re-fanned as 3-A-2, or vice versa).

The 3-A-2 is cleanly shown, then the cards are dealt one by one into a face-down pile, picked up, reverse counted face down in the hands and then fanned again to show A-3-2.

Before and after this “shuffle” the cards are in the same order, but in turning the packet face down and then face up, the ends are switched so the first fan (3-A-2) is made from one end and the second (A-3-2) from the other end.

Logically, this makes no sense at all: why show the cards in one order, turn them face down, move some cards around and then turn them face up and show them in a different order? But worse, anybody pay-ing close attention to the ace would expect to see it still in the middle. It started in the middle, the cards were reverse counted twice, so it should still be in the middle.

Remember, it’s three-card monte and the audience has been invited to watch the ace closely: if they actu-ally decide to do so, the method better be bulletproof.

“Find the Ace” uses this illogical shuffle switch twice, once in Phase 1 and once in Phase 2, but then aban-dons it completely for an even bigger whopper.

At the end of Phase 2, the cards on the table are spread out face down in A-3-2 order (the 3 has just been shown as the middle card). The cards are picked up one on top of the other and fanned face up. Obviously, the 3 should still be in the middle, but when the cards are fanned it now appears on the end (3-A-2).

Here there is no illogical shuffle, actually no mix of the cards at all, yet the cards are not in the order they should be in (magic has happened, but apparently the magician hasn’t noticed).

The use of all black cards in sequence, A-2-3, highlights the discrepancies rather than camouflaging them. The 2 is always on the face, the 3, like the ace, always shuttles back and forth between the first and second positions.

Finally, in some key places, the handling is very, very awkward (e.g., the initial display of the cards).

SKINNER’S ”ULTIMATE 3 CARD MONTE”
Mike Skinner’s routine was first marketed in 1990 and quickly became the most popular of the gaffed montes. It is virtually identical to Taytelbaum’s routine (hence the reference to “Ultimate,” it’s the routine from ULTIMATE SECRETS OF CARD MAGIC).

There are two improvements: the awkward handling has been eliminated and the ace is red, while the 2 and 3 are black.

However, nothing else has changed: it uses the same illogical shuffle switch in Phases 1 and 2 and the same defective pickup at the end of Phase 2. The cards are still sequential A-2-3.

ROGERS’ “THE UNCONQUERED CARD”
Mike Rogers devised his routine in the 1960s and it is clearly superior to both the Taytelbaum and Skinner efforts because it offers solutions to the problems in those routines. It is comparatively unknown, perhaps because it was only available from Jeff Busby Magic, Inc., a dealer whose eccentricities tended to limit his customer base.

The first thing that Rogers improved was the cards: his routine does not use the sequential A-2-3, rather he uses an A-2-2 combination. In addition, the ace is red (a diamond) and the 2s are black (clubs and spades).

Now the audience only has two things to process, the red ace and the black twos (not three, as in the other versions, the ace, the 2 and the 3). This makes the effects clearer and the method more deceptive.

Rogers also uses the illogical shuffle switch, but he improves it: the ace is in the middle before the shuffle and it is still in the middle after the shuffle. In fact, before and after the shuffle the cards appear to be in exactly the same order, 2S-AD-2C.

The shuffle is still illogical (and maybe more so because the cards are in the same order before and after the shuffle), but at least if anyone is following closely, the card order looks right.

The handling Rogers has devised leaves the other routines in the dust, chiefly because he holds the cards face up and deals them in a row face down (the other routines deal from a face-down fan, with an occasional face shown). As a result, the Rogers routine looks much fairer and much more impossible.

The routining is about the same as Taytelbaum/Skinner, though Rogers adds a second part to Phase 2.

The Bammo Monte Monster has none of these problems and the instructions also include a version of the Taytelbaum routine, done on the table, but with none of the downsides.


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