Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

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

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 4:33 pm

I use Bee Pinochle playing cards to make my monte sets. They are superb quality, and a Pinochle deck contains two of every card, in each suit, from 9 through Ace. One deck and you're practically set for life. I mean, as long as you have one prominent card as the money card, such as an Ace, King, or Queen, and two others that match each other, but are of opposite color from the money card, you are set. You can make many sets of three cards just from one deck. You have 8 Aces, 8 kings, 8 queens, 8 jacks, 8 tens, and 8 nines to work with. Moreover, the Bee back pattern, which has no borders, and particularly the blue backers, are considerably harder to follow and are thus more deceptive than, say, Bicycle.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 13th, 2018, 4:57 pm

Moreover, the Bee back pattern, which has no borders, and particularly the blue backers, are considerably harder to follow and are thus more deceptive than, say, Bicycle.


I would say that this is a myth; done properly, the hype is just as deceptive with bordered cards as borderless. In fact, the borders could even provide more shade, since people might believe that they would be easier to spot in a tricky move (but that is just conjecture).

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Bob Farmer » March 13th, 2018, 5:42 pm

Ian, that would be CONjecture.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby AJM » March 13th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Are Bee Pinochle playing cards still available?

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 6:29 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:
Moreover, the Bee back pattern, which has no borders, and particularly the blue backers, are considerably harder to follow and are thus more deceptive than, say, Bicycle.


I would say that this is a myth; done properly, the hype is just as deceptive with bordered cards as borderless. In fact, the borders could even provide more shade, since people might believe that they would be easier to spot in a tricky move (but that is just conjecture).


Well, I'm not going to argue. After all, what would Whit Haydn know anyway? He only wrote the definitive book on the subject (Notes on Three-Card Monte) (School for Scoundrels 2001), and the whole book is likely mythology. Furthermore, the 16 authorities with whom Whit consulted and whom he credits, including the likes of Gazzo, Eddie Fields, Bob Kohler, Johnny Thompson, Mark Wilson, Darwin Ortiz and Ronald A. Wohl, are probably equally clueless. Anyway, for what it's worth, here's what Whit has to say in the chapter, "The Cards": "The cards used in the game should have backs that are borderless -- as in the 'Bee' or 'Steamboat' design. A white border makes the movement of one card across another much more visible, and therefore the hype (the sleight used to switch cards) may be easier for the sucker to follow -- this, obviously, is to be avoided. A blue--backed design seems to further deaden any visible movement and is preferred over a red-backed design."

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Bob Farmer » March 13th, 2018, 6:46 pm

I have a version of this effect where the money card is really easy to follow: it's red with a 1" hole in the center and the other two cards are blue.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 13th, 2018, 6:50 pm

When I do the trick I really have no idea whether the cards I am using are bee decks or with borders. I suppose the latter is much more likely than the former. I have not heard of this Bee deck theory before which does sound intriguing. The next time I get hold of this kind of deck I will try it it to see what the difference is. Mind you, I have never had the slightest problem with the bordered cards.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 6:59 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:I have a version of this effect where the money card is really easy to follow: it's red with a 1" hole in the center and the other two cards are blue.



Thanks Bob! You just gave me a mucking good idea for an ending...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 13th, 2018, 7:45 pm

Alfred; here's something to try - film yourself doing the hype with bikes, and then with borders. If you use a phone that can record at 60fps, so much the better. See if you can notice the flash.

Then add in the misdirection that is built into the throw and try again. I would wager that you won't see a difference.

But, if you want to run when you are not being chased, more power to you.

(BTW, I have the book, so I'm not posting from ignorance here. It's okay to disagree with people, as long as you can back up your point. If you try the above, I think you'll see my point...)

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 13th, 2018, 8:00 pm

I have a bee deck somewhere or other. I just can't find the damn things. When I do I will try it on my web camera both ways and report back. I do know that I have done the move thousands of times successfully but have never taken the blindest bit of notice what kind of cards I have used. I do tend to think I have used bordered cards much more often than not. Come to think of it I must have used both red and blue cards and probably other coloured cards for this too. I am glad I never heard of this theory before otherwise it might have inhibited me.

Anyway, I have just looked at my copy of the chapter on the three card monte in the Ganson/Vernon card book. White bordered bicycle cards. And I have just remembered seeing Vernon on the Dick Cavett show doing the trick. I am off to check what kind of cards he used.
Last edited by performer on March 13th, 2018, 8:09 pm, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 8:06 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:Alfred; here's something to try - film yourself doing the hype with bikes, and then with borders. If you use a phone that can record at 60fps, so much the better. See if you can notice the flash.

Then add in the misdirection that is built into the throw and try again. I would wager that you won't see a difference.

But, if you want to run when you are not being chased, more power to you.

(BTW, I have the book, so I'm not posting from ignorance here. It's okay to disagree with people, as long as you can back up your point. If you try the above, I think you'll see my point...)


No problem, Ian, you are clearly light years from ignorance as a magician. I will keep an open mind and try what you suggest (but as Harry Anderson would say, "Not so open that my brains fall out.")


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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 13th, 2018, 8:13 pm

AJM wrote:Are Bee Pinochle playing cards still available?

Andrew


I found some here:

https://www.kardwell.com/mm5/merchant.mvc?

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 13th, 2018, 8:15 pm

I've saved you the time. My webcam can only record at 30fps, but the move looks like this live.

It's easy to follow which are hypes and which are fair shows by checking the cards as they are displayed. There are hypes from left and right hand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTfAhnt_AvU

Embedding is not playing :(

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 13th, 2018, 8:23 pm



With apologies to the Professor...I really didn't like the verbal exposure of the hype move in this video.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 8:29 pm

erdnasephile wrote:


With apologies to the Professor...I really didn't like the verbal exposure of the hype move in this video.


I couldn't agree more, E, and thanks for posting a topic that has stimulated a lively and fascinating discussion, and one near and dear to my heart.

BTW, I'm hosting a friendly little weekly monte game at my house, so if anyone is interested, and would like to win some fast cash, just PM me for details. Beverages are complimentary (especially alcohol) and all major credit cards are accepted.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 13th, 2018, 8:37 pm

Ian Kendall wrote:I've saved you the time. My webcam can only record at 30fps, but the move looks like this live.

It's easy to follow which are hypes and which are fair shows by checking the cards as they are displayed. There are hypes from left and right hand.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hTfAhnt_AvU

Embedding is not playing :(



I wonder a trifle if doing it so fast spoils the illusion? Of course I could be imagining it. It looks like the card could have come from anywhere.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 13th, 2018, 10:09 pm

Could I "see anything?" Well, no. But I think Performer has a point.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 13th, 2018, 11:32 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Could I "see anything?" Well, no. But I think Performer has a point.


He always does. He is a genius of the first magnitude and I have admired him my entire life.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 14th, 2018, 6:12 am

A fair point, and one that is not aided by using a webcam at midnight.

So, I recorded it again with my good camera in daylight. This video shows a normal throw, followed by a hype, and then repeated at half speed. The video was recorded at 30fps.

I've gone through the clip frame by frame, and in the slow motion section during the hype, it takes three frames for the top card to clear the bottom - that's 0.05 seconds where the supposed 'flash' could happen.

Secondly, when using Bikes (or any card with a white design), there is a lot of white moving at the same time - the border flash during the hype simply doesn't happen (even on a slow video) - this is why I maintain that the imperative of using Bee or Steamboat cards is misplaced.

As for the speed at which I throw the cards - I've been doing it that way for well over thirty years, and have never been called on it. In fact, watching videos of the routine over the years (the Vernon routines above, the Tetleys et al), I do not believe that I am throwing any faster than anyone else (and this morning, I deliberately threw a fraction more slowly).

Anyway, here's the clip: https://youtu.be/WwN9KtQEQSo

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 14th, 2018, 6:45 am

Thanks for that video---when you couple this with the fact the audience is going to be looking at the face of the money card, that would seem to make the illusion even stronger as well.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 14th, 2018, 9:34 am

All right Ian, you are persuading me over to your viewpoint. The original video you posted yesterday was not supportive of your position, for as Performer (a man of unparalleled genius) suggested, the cards were being tossed unduly fast. You noted in your post today that you have been throwing the cards with that level of rapidity for over 30 years and have never been called on it. But what is there to be called on? And is that a reason not to do it in a way that will make it even stronger? And just because spectators don't say something doesn't mean that a move is being done to its optimum effectiveness and that you are achieving the maximum impression you could be conveying and the best reaction you could be getting. In my opinion, your work on the video you posted today was far more impressive and magical because you tossed the cards significantly slower than on yesterday's video, yet I could see nothing. I respectfully recommend you toss the cards at the slower speed going forward...

All of this said, I still highly endorse the book, Notes on Three Card Monte; overall it is exceedingly well researched, highly informative, fascinating and brilliant

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 14th, 2018, 10:04 am

I fear that the change in speed from last night to this morning had more to do with the quality of my webcam versus my camcorder than any technique; the former is not great at picking up motion at night, it would seem.

WRT something that Mark said yesterday about the cards potentially coming from anywhere; in a Monte routine, the spectators should not be aware of the switch, and not just regarding potential flashes on a back design. In the 'real' routine (as described by Whit in the book, and demonstrated by The Tetleys) the hype happens only once, after several fair throws, and the mark has no reason to believe that the throw is going to be any different; they are going to be watching the much larger card to see the thin border, and the switch is not exposed until several seconds after the hype, and just before the mob scatter. This leaves little opportunity for the mark to backtrack on the move.

In a magic demonstration, however, the hype may be used two or three times, but again I would say that if the hype is mixed in with fair throws, there is little chance of being caught.

Again, as for speed; watch Gazzo here - this is the hype in the routine. It's the same speed that I do, if not a smidge faster.

https://youtu.be/vtEbtQwpwMw?t=372

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 14th, 2018, 10:34 am

"...this morning, I deliberately threw a fraction more slowly."

Whatever that fraction was, it made a difference.

The point I was trying to make in my previous post was not directed at the issue of "getting caught" versus not getting caught. You would not be caught either way, whether at the speed that appeared in your video yesterday or in the (substantially) slower speed I observed in your video posted today. My point had to do with what looks more amazing and magical, and therefore conveys the optimal impression upon the onlookers, a transposition done at blinding speed or one that is at a more medium tempo that seems fair and above board?
Last edited by MagicbyAlfred on March 14th, 2018, 10:39 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 14th, 2018, 10:37 am

I think the perceived difference in speed has more to do with the limitations of the camera, rather than the speed at which I moved. There is a much larger discrepancy in the two clips than there was in the actual actions :)

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 14th, 2018, 10:41 am

Well then, if you are saying that the way it appears in the video you posted today accurately represents the actual speed at which you do it, and that yesterday's video was a distortion, then I would say you do it beautifully and offer my compliments.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 14th, 2018, 11:31 am

Came across this (which has apparently been around for a long time, but was under my radar):

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ij3BWyUN2Jw

Actual routine starts at 1:00

Curious what people think of the ending (which is Harry Anderson's, I think)

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Ian Kendall » March 14th, 2018, 12:04 pm

This was one of the goodies in the Genii Bash swag bag in 2012. You got a handful of the cards to go with the routine.

Personally, I think it exposes the gimmick - it's flying dangerously close to Too Perfect territory; the Ace pip is undeniably torn off, but in the end, the Ace is whole. The only explanation is that the Three had to have a red pip...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby AJM » March 14th, 2018, 6:17 pm

I totally agree with Ian’s point here re. the trick effectively disclosing the method. I recall mentioning this in another thread some time ago. I also recall my opinion on this being rapidly shot down in flames.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 14th, 2018, 6:26 pm

I have watched Ian's two videos. I agree with Alfred that the slower one is better. I personally do the move at a relaxed pace and it looks like the bottom of the two cards is thrown. The optical illusion is better that way. And of course I continue with a double hype (if that is the expression) with the other card to make it convincing. If you do it too fast there is no optical illusion and the card could have come from anywhere.

Anyway I have now found my Bee Deck and will be able to compare border and no border. I have a suspicion that it doesn't make the blindest bit of difference but I will report back on the matter. I did see a video of Frank Garcia discussing ithe Monte with a street worker. Garcia used borders but I think the street worker used no borders. Perhaps street workers do it that way. I have no idea.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 14th, 2018, 6:48 pm

Check this out! The real (CHEATING) work. Notice that (1) he's using cards with thick white borders; (2) he has the "S" curve in the cards; (3) he blatantly cheats the mark (at 2:08 on the video) - i.e., after the mark puts up his money, successfully finds the money card and is about to flip it face-up, the operator blatantly cheats, by preventing him from turning over the money card and instead, says something along the lines of, "Wait, I wanna make sure you know which one you want..." If he did that in the American wild west, that would probably be the last monte that criminal ever tossed...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuuX9zqnid4

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 14th, 2018, 7:14 pm

PS Notice that at around the 14 second mark on the video, the shill "wins" a $!00 (supposed) bet, setting up the mark for the later kill...

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Bob Farmer » March 14th, 2018, 7:38 pm

The real thing is so boring.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 14th, 2018, 8:05 pm

MagicbyAlfred wrote:Check this out! The real (CHEATING) work. Notice that (1) he's using cards with thick white borders; (2) he has the "S" curve in the cards; (3) he blatantly cheats the mark (at 2:08 on the video) - i.e., after the mark puts up his money, successfully finds the money card and is about to flip it face-up, the operator blatantly cheats, by preventing him from turning over the money card and instead, says something along the lines of, "Wait, I wanna make sure you know which one you want..." If he did that in the American wild west, that would probably be the last monte that criminal ever tossed...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VuuX9zqnid4


Interesting--I'm really surprised the monte gang let the video go on for that long.

BTW, that S fold is markedly different than Giorgio's S fold. Giorgio's is more symmetrical and has a pronounced hump in the middle.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 14th, 2018, 8:08 pm

OK. I have checked the monumental matter of borders and no borders. It took ages and ages to fiddle about and figure it out. Here is my final verdict. Basically it doesn't make a toss (no pun intended) worth of difference but I will concede there appears to be a tiny, tiny, tiny advantage with the overall back design. So Alfred is right after all. However, the advantage is so tiny (and I might even be imagining the advantage) that it isn't worth bothering about. Use whatever deck is handy.

However, I tried it with a Tally Ho and to my great delight there were two identical jokers therein so I decided to make a video of my own routine. (actually Vernon's routine).It is very short indeed. I don't think it is much more than a minute long but it has served me well for decades and has always received good reaction. I think the reason that it is so short because I tend to take things literally when I read books and I probably shouldn't. Ganson gave grave warnings about not making the routine too long so I didn't dare add anything extra. I have a video of it in my computer but I would have no idea how to post it here so I won't bother. Technology is not my forte I am afraid. My genius only extends so far alas.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby erdnasephile » March 14th, 2018, 8:21 pm

AJM wrote:I totally agree with Ian’s point here re. the trick effectively disclosing the method. I recall mentioning this in another thread some time ago. I also recall my opinion on this being rapidly shot down in flames.

Andrew


I tend to agree, but I think if one were going to do this type of ending, the audience must be absolutely convinced they've seen the entire faces of all three cards in order for them to be fooled. I looked up the Harry Anderson version (Wise Guy, pg 90), where he cleverly conceals the gaff in a routine that uses the real hype move, which allows seemingly full face shows. That may be the place to start.

FWIW, as a lot of you do, I tend to only use gaffs if the effect is unachievable without them. There are some very clever sleight of hand methods to get this type of ending, but seeing Moser's routine makes me wonder if employing the gaff within some of the sleight of hand based routines might make them even more effective because it would eliminate one necessary switch. (Andrew Wimhurst has explored this type of idea in his "Yellow Kid's Monte", but 1) it's not a torn card ending and 2) you have to have real chops to do his routine smoothly).

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby observer » March 14th, 2018, 8:42 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:The real thing is so boring.


That's OK, as long as it doesn't use gaffed cards the purity shines thru.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby performer » March 15th, 2018, 12:36 am

Here is my version of 3 card monte. Ian Kendall has informed me that my "hype" (first time I have ever heard this word in connection with this trick) is faster than his but I am going to ignore him on the grounds that I consider myself perfect in every way. Anyway here it is. It is very short but it gets the job done very well for my purposes.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2SJExUh ... e=youtu.be

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby Tom Gilbert » March 15th, 2018, 9:40 am

I can't believe the link to the "cheating" video was real. Much less all the filming, the crowd including the op were well dressed. Staged???

As for the gimmicked/non-gimmicked, I just feel the gimmicked versions can look a little too cozy.

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Re: Gimmicked Three Card Monte vs. Real

Postby MagicbyAlfred » March 15th, 2018, 10:34 am

Tom Gilbert wrote:I can't believe the link to the "cheating" video was real. Much less all the filming, the crowd including the op were well dressed. Staged???

As for the gimmicked/non-gimmicked, I just feel the gimmicked versions can look a little too cozy.


Agreed regarding "too cozy."

I don't know, judging from the atmosphere and the expressions on peoples' faces, it seemed real to me, well, in my opinion (but, then you have to take that opinion as one coming from someone who is arguably detached from reality).

Something I had not noticed on previous viewings - right near the end, even after the tosser cheated the mark, and re-mixed, and the mark (correctly) bet on the card to the tosser's far left, the tosser cheated again by doing a Mexican Turnover or, maybe more accurately, a Flip Switch, to show a black card...


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