Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Discuss your favorite close-up tricks and methods.
MagicbyAlfred
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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 22nd, 2018, 8:50 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:The main difference is that the gaffed versions look nothing like the monte as played on the street (at all). So, if you are presenting something as representative of the 'three card monte', and referencing that game, then it would be strange to use a mid-pipped card.


I agree with Ian's thinking on this. If a magician is presenting the monte not as a demonstration of the actual hustle, and authenticity is not a concern, and your paramount goal is to blow away the audience with the strongest magic possible, then, by all means, go gaffed to the hilt if you like. The only caveats I would add are (1) Just be sure not to get busted; and (2) be sure the presentation is not such that would lead a person with common sense or reasonable logical abilities to conclude that it could only have been done with "trick cards."

Literally as I was writing this, I had a bit of an idea. I think if I were to start doing the effect with the Ultimate Monte gaffed set, I would get one of those small Himber card wallets. After the routine, I would put them in the wallet, then as an afterthought, open the wallet back up and take out the corresponding non-gaffed cards (Ace, two and three), put the wallet away, and say something like, "What's amazing is that the trick was done with ALL aces [flustration count] then toss the cards onto the table face up with a smile."

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 22nd, 2018, 9:10 pm

For some reason, I could not edit my prior post, but I wanted to add that needless to say, the gaffed cards would be kept in the Himber wallet and initially taken out from there at the start of the routine. Also, after the cards were tossed face up following the frustration count at the end, I would leave the cards on the table for a bit, so that if anyone wanted to check them out they could, and after a little while, pull out the wallet and put them away as if I'd forgotten to do so earlier.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Dave Le Fevre » March 23rd, 2018, 6:09 am

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I think if I were to start doing the effect with the Ultimate Monte gaffed set, I would get one of those small Himber card wallets.

I gaffed a plastic packet-trick wallet by inserting an extra pocket within the clear pocket. The vanilla cards are visible. The U3CM set are concealed.

I necktie the wallet when removing and replacing the U3CM cards.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 23rd, 2018, 8:08 am

That's a clever idea, Dave.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Dave Le Fevre » March 24th, 2018, 5:07 am

Alas, like the majority of the clever ideas that I employ, I didn't originate it. I read it on a conjuring forum yonks ago.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 24th, 2018, 6:16 am

I believe the idea was published by Michael Close in his Workers series.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 24th, 2018, 9:17 am

It has been gently brought to my attention that I am not the first to think of the Himber wallet in connection with a clean-up for the Ultimate Monte. And now my frail ego is crushed (OK, just kidding, it's bigger than ever). I am told, that Michel Ammar, for one, has used the HW in his routine. Was he the originator of the idea? I have no idea. My understanding, from reading up on this a bit, is that the strategy of magicians who have used the HW in conjunction with the routine have done so as a means of insurance; in other words, the cards are placed into the wallet at the end and stay there until if and only if someone asks or demands to see them, or maybe contends they are less than on the up and up. I think that the schtick of taking "the cards" out again, as an afterthought, after placing them in the wallet at the end, in order to "show them one more thing," doing a fLustration count to show that it was, in fact, done using "all aces," then immediately tossing the cards (an ungimmicked ace, two and three) face up on the table may have been my idea. But if someone else thought of it first, well then, hey, c'est la vie. I am not even entirely convinced that it is that good of an idea, or even necessary, because I haven't performed the routine, let alone field-tested it over any significant number of trials. However, working in bars has made me anticipate the brash and the grabby. (*new idea for magic soap opera?)

But then this begs the question of whether the cards should even be introduced from any kind of wallet or receptacle other than the deck itself? Is that not innately suspect, particularly if one has done prior tricks using the full (or nearly full) deck? True, the cards in the traditional, ungaffed 3 Card Monte are not generally taken out of the deck (although I believe I read that Performer does so). But even if the cards in the ungaffed monte are not introduced from out of the deck (e.g. I keep mine in my shirt pocket or top jacket pocket - just the cards, no wallet or container), they are nevertheless seen face up throughout the routine and, of course, can or could be examined before, during and/or after. Furthermore, the cards are always at least somewhat bent lengthwise when I introduce them, and I explain that this is done for ease of pick-up and that it is how the actual 3 Card Monte hustlers do it. And it is actually surprising how many people I have come across who either know about the game, have seen it played live or on video, or in a movie, or have even themselves been victims. So, all in all, suspicion-wise, I think it is different taking the ungaffed cards out separately (i.e. not from the deck) versus doing that with the gaffed ones. Of course, I am pretty sure that there are those who introduce the gaffs form the deck - but that still leaves the clean-up issue. And anyone who wants to tell me that if the gaffed routine is presented the "right way," nobody will ever suspect, or ask to see, or grab for, the cards, I would suspect has not performed in bars very often. Moreover, suspicious and skeptical people, or those who are astute and logical, are not confined to those who patronize pubs.

Which leads to the problem of: Does anyone really turn over a card with their thumb virtually always completely covering the bottom pip of a card (except of course when they turn over the deuce as an (to me, unconvincing) acquitment, and, if anything, a tell? Is it just me, or does that look really unnatural? (If someone says that it is just me, I won't get offended). And even if they did not turn over the two any differently than the others, that would not allay suspicion, but arguably even compound it. All of this being said, I have it on very good authority that the gaffed, Ultimate Monte style routine absolutely kills. Maybe it's just not for me - I like throwing cards about and not stressing out over how dirty I am throughout the routine, and what life would be like if I were to be adjudged guilty of magical fraud.

Like so many things in life, it might just come down to different strokes for different blokes...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 24th, 2018, 10:03 am

I would not be over keen on using gaffed cards for this trick if working impromptu where I do most of my close up magic. It looks terribly fishy taking them out of a wallet. For a set show there may well be a case for it.

Having said that I used to carry a wallet when I was younger will all sorts of packet tricks. The difference was that just like Alfred mentioned all the cards could be examined when I finished. My favourite was the 3 and a half of clubs. I also used to carry Corinda's Odd Man Out which was a wonderful colour change of a small packet of cards which was worked by psychological means. I also used to carry Jon Tremaine's Voodoo Spirit which I think was based on a Dr Jacks idea. However, everything could be examined if people wanted to do so.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Brad Jeffers » March 24th, 2018, 5:06 pm

I once saw someone conclude their performance of Ultimate Monte by using the Eric Decamps ruse; which he employs in his Wild Card routine; of changing the gaffed cards into money.

I liked it.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 24th, 2018, 5:09 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I once saw someone conclude their performance of Ultimate Monte by using the Eric Decamps ruse; which he employs in his Wild Card routine; of changing the gaffed cards into money.

I liked it.


Agreed. I think Bill Malone mentions that on his DVD.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Bob Farmer » March 24th, 2018, 5:49 pm

Mike Close has the ultimate and best solution for handing out gimmicked cards. He places the cards from the routine in a small envelope, seals it and hands it to the spectator so, "he can try it at home."

When he gets home, he won't find the cards; instead he'll find a ccouple of Mike's business cards.

This is the old envelope switch: a stack of small envelopes encircled by a rubber band. The top envelope has its flap cut off. All the other envelopes have business cards. Place the gimmicked cards in the flapless envelope and pull out the next envelope with the flap. Seal it and hand it over.

Thank you, Mike.

My other solution: when asked if they can examine the cards, I say, "Of course not!"

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 24th, 2018, 6:48 pm

That last sentence is not a very good solution I am afraid!

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 24th, 2018, 7:15 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:I once saw someone conclude their performance of Ultimate Monte by using the Eric Decamps ruse; which he employs in his Wild Card routine; of changing the gaffed cards into money.

I liked it.


Yes I can see why; it is a fantastic idea! Not only magical, but a perfect clean-up. Don't mean to be a name dropper, but the first time I saw that fabulous, creative wild card routine {"Jokers Are Wild"), Eric did it in my apartment in Ft. Lauderdale circa 1995. Soon thereafter, although I needed no clean-up, I adopted the idea (an adaptation of Kaps' Flash Cash) for the climax of my 3 Card Monte routine. Back then, the plot of the routine was how I got hustled in the game, pattering about how, after I lost my money, "I didn't get discouraged, but went out and got myself 3 cards, started my own game, and [shake cards and they change into money] have been making money ever since."

I think I'm going to go back to that routine; it was really entertaining - and mainly leave the historical stuff to Ricky Jay.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Jonathan Townsend » March 24th, 2018, 9:58 pm

Darwin Ortiz published a Wildcard using a Himber Wallet (and other interesting ideas) back around 1977 in his first lecture. The blocking to get back to your wallet, envelope or deck at a time when folks are starting to reach for the cards is non-trivial. In Eric's Wildcard routine he's got his wallet and the deck on the table. The bills go into his wallet rather than having the cards examined. Yes, you could leave a bill out on the table and use that as a wildcard ... but anyway - think about the moment from the audience's perspective.

Back to the monte - how about routining the wallet into the effect so it's not interesting that you sometimes have the wallet in your hand?
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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby BarryAllen » March 30th, 2020, 10:26 am

I've regularly performed Joe Riding's 'Irish 3 Card Trick' (as it was always sold by him to the Non-PC amongst us) since 1981. I used to buy boxes of Jumbo Piatnik decks so that I could always use the best cards for it - in my view, contrasting Aces and Queens.

There are a number of superb Monte effects but as far as I am aware, this is the only version that can easily be adapted to either present in Close-up or Cabaret. Just to explain by the term 'adapted', I mean a different way of displaying the cards, during the false counts. The routine itself remains exactly the same.

It was Ken Brooke's best selling trick - as Ken related to Joe on an audio cassette before he passed. Personally, I don't think the Fred Kaps handling added anything particularly important; in the same way that his additional move during Ken Brooke's Dotty Spots (a rip-off of Dizzy Dominoes to be honest) just added unnecessary confusion. Just to add that Ken Brooke and Fred Kaps are two of my heroes......but I have to say it as I see it, in these instances.

I think Joe's version fell out of favour with magicians when Sidewalk Shuffle was released. I tried this version a couple of times; but it never went over as well (probably more to do with me than the trick). I always returned to the Joe Riding version as I could fit in a lot of one-liners (gags) into the presentation, without breaking the flow of the routine. There is also no lay down required in Joe's version; you can simply clip the card to (or place it behind) your jacket lapel. This is particularly important visually, when presenting in a stand-up situation.

Close-up, I have never presented a hype-style monte effect really - other than one of my (two) favourite packet tricks of all time; Edward Victor's E-Y-E.

I have never seen this trick presented by anyone; and it certainly appears to have fallen into a black hole over the decades. I was first sold this by Murray in Blackpool - around 1978 when I was 14. I used to get replacement sets of cards from International Magic in London, as they still sold the Geometric-design Bridge-size cards (Waddington or Alf Cooke manufactured, I think). In fact, Martin once turned to another customer and said "I know exactly what this man wants before he even asks....... some EYE cards a couple of 'I'll Start Again' paddles".

Along with Elmsley's 4 Card Trick (purchased from Hamleys when under the Inzani Henley banner), plus an Okito Box, I'm still performing these exact same tricks over 40 years later.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Bob Farmer » March 30th, 2020, 11:43 am

I did the Riding version. It is a great routine and, as you say, can be done with regular or large cards.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby BarryAllen » March 30th, 2020, 2:21 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:I did the Riding version. It is a great routine and, as you say, can be done with regular or large cards.

It can indeed Bob - although I've always performed it with Jumbo Cards; even in Close-up.

The appearance of the Jumbo Cards from your inner pocket always raises a laugh with the right gag......so you've got them on the correct footing from the outset.

Just as an aside, Bicycle Jumbo Cards generally handle better than Piatnik Jumbo's; as they are made of sturdier card stock. However, I used to notice that under lighting conditions in cabaret, etc. they tended to stick together; so I reverted back to flimsier Piatniks.

This all seems like a lifetime ago now! :?

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erdnasephile
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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 31st, 2020, 7:13 am

BarryAllen wrote:Just as an aside, Bicycle Jumbo Cards generally handle better than Piatnik Jumbo's; as they are made of sturdier card stock. However, I used to notice that under lighting conditions in cabaret, etc. they tended to stick together; so I reverted back to flimsier Piatniks.


Didn't Bicycle change to thinner stock on their Jumbo's? I saw a pack last year in the local drug store and the box is half the depth now.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby BarryAllen » March 31st, 2020, 8:07 am

erdnasephile wrote:
BarryAllen wrote:Just as an aside, Bicycle Jumbo Cards generally handle better than Piatnik Jumbo's; as they are made of sturdier card stock. However, I used to notice that under lighting conditions in cabaret, etc. they tended to stick together; so I reverted back to flimsier Piatniks.


Didn't Bicycle change to thinner stock on their Jumbo's? I saw a pack last year in the local drug store and the box is half the depth now.


Not too sure - the Jumbo Bikes I used were back in the 80's/90's. They were much thicker and had more of a matt finish - unlike their shiny Piatnik counterparts.

I've still got boxes of Jumbo Piatniks; over the years, I've picked these up at times for peanuts, via ebay in the UK.

If memory serves me right, Piatnik also supplied a Magic Deck version; a normal deck supplied with gimmicks.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Dave Le Fevre » March 31st, 2020, 8:49 am

BarryAllen wrote:If memory serves me right, Piatnik also supplied a Magic Deck version; a normal deck supplied with gimmicks.
They certainly marketed a deck entirely of gaffs, which probably includes the gaffs for this effect.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Jonathan Townsend » April 1st, 2020, 12:03 pm

How are you at introducing the special or prepared cards into the deck and unloading them for safe keeping later?

Most discussions of card indices are about getting one desired card rather managing packets of prepared cards. ;)

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 2nd, 2020, 12:33 pm

I love 3 Card Monte, and in my experience, so do laymen. I have always done a non-gaffed routine, but I am intrigued with Skinner-type gaffed versions. I am curious as to whether anyone has encountered a spectator reaching for or asking to examine the cards at the end of the routine?

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Dave Le Fevre » April 2nd, 2020, 1:36 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:I am curious as to whether anyone has encountered a spectator reaching for or asking to examine the cards at the end of the routine?
I posted this earlier in this thread, but it was two years ago so I hope that you'll excuse me for repeating it.

I gaffed a plastic packet-trick wallet by inserting an extra pocket within the clear pocket. The vanilla cards are visible. The U3CM set are concealed. Not my own idea - I read it on a conjuring forum yonks ago.

I necktie the wallet when removing and replacing the U3CM cards.

I can only remember one occasion of someone asking whether they could look at the cards, just out of curiosity. It may have happened on one or two other occasions, but no others stick in my mind. Anyway, the wallet solved that problem perfectly.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 2nd, 2020, 1:39 pm

Good idea, Dave, thanx for the info.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby BarryAllen » April 2nd, 2020, 3:15 pm

What do you do during the 'down time' whilst someone examines them? Recite Shakespeare or Byron?

I have never allowed people to dictate to me what they want to do. If people in the past have asked to examine stuff, I've just looked them straight in the eye and said "no, you can't".

You are there to entertain the group; not to waste time by bowing to the ignorant demands of one individual. Don't let them control your act.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Zig Zagger » April 2nd, 2020, 3:31 pm

Right on!

Which reminds me of a well-known German mentalist who was allegedly fond of replying, in informal situations, something like "Y'know, I'm not a sl*t you can bully around."
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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 2nd, 2020, 3:40 pm

I was merely asking whether anyone had had the experience of someone either reaching for the cards (meaning the spectator didn't ask and didn't dictate anything), or someone "asking" to examine the cards. The goal of my post (hey that could be like an American football pun) was to try and gauge the level of suspicion, if any, that people have after they see the routine. It might well be that virtually nobody ever asks to see, or even suspects the cards, I don't know...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby BarryAllen » April 2nd, 2020, 3:56 pm

If I was doing the Michael Skinner version; or any other gimmicked card version; where possible, I'd probably go down the line of palming (or add via a pocket) them to a similar backed deck you'd already used. There would have been every chance that a spectator had already seen or shuffled the deck - so it takes the heat off.

It's also more natural than removing 3 cards from a plastic wallet. If you've already used a deck for other effects, yet suddenly take (for example) a different AD, 2C, 3C from elsewhere, it's just creating suspicion.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 2nd, 2020, 4:43 pm

Yes, I absolutely agree - taking a packet of cards out of a wallet can be a recipe for suspicion. I had some regulars (a married couple and their middle school age son) at a bar/restaurant that came in to see me on average once a week over a period of 3 years. (Great motivation for constantly learning new material!) Their reactions to card magic performed with a regular Bicycle Deck were almost invariably wildly enthusiastic.

One night, I did a packet trick with some gaffed cards for them, where, at the end, all the cards change into credit cads - a beautiful effect (or so I thought). I then put the cards away into the little wallet and into my pocket. The lady looked at me and said, "Alfred, that one wasn't quite as amazing what you usually do. When I asked why, she told me, "Because you put those cards away in a wallet and then into your pocket. It seems like maybe you had something to hide." (or words to that effect). That was over two years ago and, with the exception of non-gaffed 3-card Monte I haven't done a card trick in a professional setting since where I didn't either use a full (or relatively full) deck, or cards visibly taken out of the deck. Of course, with the non-gaffed monte, obviously you can leave the cards sitting face up on the table at the end, without a care in the world, as you go into your next trick, basking in the glory of the amazing reaction...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Dave Le Fevre » April 2nd, 2020, 5:16 pm

I agree, I don't like taking a packet trick from a wallet. Obvious exceptions beinh effects where the cards are all blank or are all the same card.

However, my presentation for this effect justifies the wallet. Nobody's ever commented on it.

Nobody's ever grabbed the cards from the table.

And yes, in general I don't like to offer items for examination - my performance should be an entertainment for the spectators, not a challenge. But if occasionally someone asks and they ask nicely, then the prepared wallet means that I can say yes if I feel like it.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 2nd, 2020, 8:57 pm

I get it. I never "offer" things for examination either. But there is a difference between offering and leaving something there that you obviously don't care whether they examine it - in the latter cases, they almost never do go ahead and actually examine. I've had various versions of the Pen Through Anything/Pen through Bill down through the years. Some versions are not examinable so they cannot be left on the table and must be put away. Others, like the one I have been using for quite some time, are constructed in such a way that after the pen goes through the bill and is extricated, the little tip of the pen is finger-palmed as the cap is taken off (there is a real pen tip on that end of the pen, previously unseen due to the cap being on), and both cap and pen are then laid casually on the table with an air of indifference. Although cap and pen are examinable, they never do bother to examine because they have no suspicion or reason to suspect. And the last thing they ever conceive of is that you are finger palming a little false magnetic tip of a pen. Eventually pen and cap are picked up and deposited safely away along with the evidence into the pocket.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Paco Nagata » April 25th, 2020, 9:10 pm

Giving something away that apparently may be gimmicked could be part of the trick; part of the magical illusion of the trick.
Personally I call this concept "resolution of the trick," and I think that sometimes it can cause a magical illusion even stronger than the effect of the trick itself. I would like to coment two things about it:

First, when you give something away, it's very important not to seem that you do it to let them check it, but just to give a nice memento from you, and nothing more. You can transmit it by NEVER saying useless things like: "you can check it if you want." Just give it in a casual and relax way.

And, second, you can "play with it". I have been all my life playing with this concept and I have got a great reputation as a card magician between my people. I mean the following:
When you finish the trick (clear), and you talk casually to the audience, you can keep the remaining cards next to you, as if you were protecting them from the audience. That way people would assume that the cards are gimmicked or have something they cannot see or touch. Finally, when you stop talking and the show finishes or you are going to start a new trick, you take those remaining cards with the intention of taking them to your pocket... BUT, in the last moment you say: "ah! I wanted to give this card as a memento to you". And you hand the cards smiling.
Everytime I have done this pantomime people have shown a face of surprise while they see each other. For sure they may think:
"Hey! I gave for granted that the cards had some secret and he wasn't give me them at all. But, I have them in my hands! So, actually they are normal cards! So, again, how did he do that?!"
So, if you show yourself reluctant at first, then, when you give the cards it may looks like a magical illusion as well. So that, the resolution of a MAGIC trick.

Coming back to the topic of the thread I like particularly this routine by Chef Anton.

https://youtu.be/Wv4F62KOaEo
"The Passion of an Amateur Card Magician"
https://bit.ly/2lXdO2O
"La pasion de un cartómago aficionado"
https://bit.ly/2kkjpjn
Latest erratum corrections and improvements update, 10/05/2020.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » April 28th, 2020, 2:13 am

Paco, those are splendid ideas and they show a lot of thought and consideration and an understanding of human psychology. The giving out of the prop as a “memento” or “souvenir” not only dispels any suspicion of a gimmick but adds an extra effect thus maximizing the magical mileage to be milked from a routine. I agree that there is something unseemly and distinctly non-magical in a magician saying you can check it out, examine, inspect, etc.

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Favorite Magician: Juan Tamariz

Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Paco Nagata » April 29th, 2020, 9:44 pm

Thank you Alfred!
Anyway I assume that any good magician may come to this reasoning and ideas for sure as he or she gets experience. Experience is our best friend and Spectators our best teacher (like you said once in this Forum ; - ) a very good point, BTW).
I like your eloquence, Alfred.
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