School for Scoundrel's stuff

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School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 12th, 2003, 8:38 pm

This turned out much longer than I intended, Sorry for the length in advance. I don't feel I have a duty to report on a new product, when something excites me I tend to get wordy. Theres so much schlock out there that it's a true joy to see something of quality as told below:

I just returned from the magic shop where they had (1) the new tape on the 3-card monte and also a set of the magnetic shells. I've always been happy with anything from school for scoundrels, and have been especially thrilled about their endless chain, book and tape, which has gained me quite a reputation in the local magic community. The chain has helped me provide countless hours of entertainment, and a couple of bucks for myself here and there, so these new products were very welcome additions as you'll see.

First the tape on the 3-card monte. This is the real stuff and is far better for a real worker than Daryl's DVD.

The school for scoundrels tape spends a lot of time on what Whit is famous for, and if you've ever seen him perform or lecture or have his "Chicago Surprise" notes, you know what I mean.

I already have his book on the monte, (my second copy since I wore out the first one to a pile of ragged pages) and I suppose you could use the tape without the book, they do go hand-in-hand.

I've personally seen Whit do the monte in the bar and on stage a few years ago at a convention in Minneapoolis with Bob Kohler (what a combo there) , A short segment by Doc Eason is also included. I saw Doc behind the bar in Minneapolis last spring, and he's the man. The only videos on the Monte that I can think off offhand are Doc's, Daryls, the Revelations #9, and a couple of different types such as Pat Pages 3 card routine, and some 'standard routines' from Dan Harlan and a few others which only only go into the most basic, but commercial entertainment routines.)

On the School for Scoundrels tape I saw moves that weren't discussed in the book and also were better than anything I saw when I saw him do in person. I thought I was pretty good, I feel like a beginner again. Great tape with lots of material by both Whit and Chef Anton with a surpise cameo by Doc Eason.

Second, the magnetic shells. Expensive, but so much better than the pewter ones I bought a few years ago and were too heavy for me to use, I've been making my own and using those, but these are better than any other shell I've used even if you forget about the little secret in each shell. They are great. No instructions are provided at all, but this is what I figured out:

In order to use the magnetic shells magnetically, you need to either change your routine, or just rotate the shells 180 degrees and go as normal, knowing at any time you can lift all three shells with impunity, in fact you can't do a normal routine unless you rotate the shells 180 degrees, so it does take a little practice to get used to them in this manner.

You can also use the shells like regular shells in the normal grip as long as you use a (supplied) normal pea. the quality is superb and it comes with a handful of normal peas a couple of fakes, and two magnetic ones. The peas all look and feel nearly the same (Except the hard fakes) IE you can squeeze a magnetic pea and it has the same uniform texture under the closest inspection.

I'd love to have Whit or Chef to email me if any of the above is wrong, or I'm missing out on something that I havent discovered yet, or for some ideas that make used of the magnetic pea other than an 'out'. I can be emailed at


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 13th, 2003, 10:16 am

I have these Magnetic Street Shells and they are fantastic. I also use "Magnetic" Elohim Ring to pick & drop invisible the peas under my hand, easialy.

I have found that this works fine for me:
I just slide the shell to the left on the table and the pea rolls out and picks up of the magnetic ring.
I load the shells with pea when I have turned them upside down: I pick the outer two shells with my both hands and drops the pea into a shell and it snaps to the magnet in the shell, then i rotate them and put them on the table.

When you have the pea attach to the ring you can show your hands very freely...
Very easy to palm: slide the hand to the right and the pea is rolling off and you can palm it between two fingers, easialy.

Its very fun to play with the spectators.
One great thing you can do with these shells is to put a shell with a pea inside on a spectators hand and they will never feel or notice the pea in the shell. When you later produce the pea from the shell in the hand they will almost freak out. I have shown these shells for my very sceptical friends and they almost tried to "kill" me after the routine...hehe.
Why? I put a big banknote and told them to bet and they lost...! Be careful if you play with money I think you must let them win occasionally.

When you get the feel for this fantastic Magnetic Street Shells yo can fool anyone on this planet. This is one of my favourite props,
looks innocent but they are devilish smart.
This is a dream prop they are very useful for anyone that like this kind of trick. This is a "knock em dead" effect.
Out of 10: 10.
I bought my Magnetic Shells & Elohim Ring from Hokus Pokus, California.

Mats G. Kjellstrom


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 13th, 2003, 7:08 pm

Thanks for the response.

When you use the magnetic pea, do you you use it during the entire performance, or do you switch it in during a performance? I can see the need to use the magnetic pea very sparingly.

My plan is to build a new routine that will use it rarely, as it's so easy to switch in a pea.

One way I thought would be cool is a bent corner type of sucker trick, where you explain how a dishonest spectator might put an additional pea under the shell while you were busy paying out or something.

This would be a motivation to insert a mag pea under one shell.

Then he'd have a better advantage (or so he thinks), of course it would make no difference if you use the shells in the normal way, and the mag pea would be invisible at the end as long as you never push on the mag pea shell, without picking it up, many the ways you could screw with a know-it-all are endless.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 23rd, 2003, 1:17 pm

I use two magnetic peas during the entire performance. My routine is very clean. Its also angle proof. Before, I had these cheap plastic shells with ordinary peas but I never managed to use them perfectly. Now I can fool any sceptic audience.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 23rd, 2003, 8:02 pm

I've decided NOT to use the magnetic pea at this point. Just lifting a shell to show its empty doesn't look right, you need to show them the bottom.

If I ever get the time to build a good routine that uses a second pea, or I use some of Bob Sheets ideas, then I may reconsider. For now, I find it far more convincing if they pick a shell with a pea underneath to hide the pea behind the back of the second and third fingers as I push forward and rotate to show an empty shell.

My teacher is at his first year at Fechter's and if Whit is there, they may discuss this subject.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » April 24th, 2003, 5:41 am

For me it works like a dream these magnetic shells and I almost do it for "real" people.
No problems has occured when I use the magnetic peas, no sceptical questions etc.
I have asked several friends and they had no clue how it was done. It up to yo what choise yo do. I love these shells :)


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 28th, 2003, 10:46 am

Thanks guys, for all the nice comments. We will be including a section in our SS Notes on the Shell Game on magnetic shells and peas. Hopefully, the book and tape will be out by the end of the year.

The magnets are best used sparingly in a routine. The pea can be shown under the shell by pushing the shell forward and slightly to the right or left, and can be picked up on the magnet by pulling the shell back toward the performer.

One of the best handlings with a single pea is to do a roll flash with the shell with the pea in it. (This is pulling back the shell so that the spectators see a glimpse of the pea at the front of the shell.)

Then pick up the shell between the first and second finger of the palmdown right hand (Eddie Joseph method described in Ouellett's routine) lifting it straight up about six inches off the table showing nothing underneath. The hand is held flat, with the second, third, and fourth fingers held together.

The shell is then placed down with a sort of short sweep to the left. The pea is pulled off the magnet in the process, exiting the right side of the shell, and goes under the second finger to be pinched between the right second and third finger.

The left hand reaches for another shell, to lift and show empty, as the right hand moves just slightly slower to pick up the third shell between the right thumb and first finger, dropping the pea as the shell is picked up. Then the hands are shown empty, and all three shells are turned upside down and shown empty.

The best stuff happens when using two peas. With two peas under the shells, and one of them magnetic, miracles can happen.

One sequence I like is this:

The magnetic pea is on the table, regular pea is pinched between the right thumb and second finger. The left hand picks up a shell, and the right hand picks up a shell. The right hand shell goes over the magnet pea, and the left is put down in front, about two inches between the shells. The magician says "Watch between the shells, that's where the action is..."

Both shells are moved back toward the magician, and the magnet pea rolls out from the rear shell and is seen going into the left hand (front) shell. In the process, the right hand loads its pea under the rear shell. Both shells are lifted and the pea is back where it started under the rear shell. The effect is startling--a real neck snapper.

The old masters, like Soapy Smith, always used two peas when working the scam. The magnets just make this more practical and add some possibilities. Look at Bob Sheets video carefully, and you will see all kinds of "two pea" ideas that can be enhanced with the magnets.

The magnetic peas are great even when used with ungimmicked shells. A magnet under the edge of the table, or behind a tie or lapel, becomes a perfect holdout for the magnet peas. A magnet dropped into the right hip pocket allows you to use the magnetic pea like a hoo coin.

My alltime favorite thing with the magnetic shells is the "in the hand" ending. I don't need to carry a shot glass or ashtray or any other prop to get a good ending.

The loaded shell is placed into the spectator's hand, and they are told to close it into a fist. The pea can not be felt. A second pea is shown on the table, and covered with one of the remaining two shells.

The operator says, "It may be confusing you having so many shells, so we will eliminate one. Now just follow the pea under these two shells." The two shells are moved around each other, and the pea stolen. The pea is ditched in the pocket.

The two shells are shown empty, and the spectator is asked to open his hand slowly. The magician shows his hand empty, then slowly pulls the shell away, so that the pea rolls out onto the spectator's hand.

This is a killer ending, and the magnets make it clean as a whistle, and easy.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 28th, 2003, 12:32 pm

One can't say enough good things about Whit and his educational institution. It was delicious reading all that new material about the 3-Card Monte Book.

BTW, Whit is performing his stage act at my new Brentwood (California) cabaret-magic venue tonight, Wednesday. The details:

Wednesday, May 28
6:30 9 pm
Table-to-table magic (by David Groves) 6:30 7:30 pm
Cabaret show 7:30 9 pm (opener: Dave Cox; emcee: Glenn Aga)

El Dorado Cantina
11777 San Vicente Blvd., Brentwood, CA 90049

Directions: Its in Brentwood on San Vicente Blvd near where it intersects Montana Ave.

Admission: $10 + 2-drink minimum. Dinner available.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 28th, 2003, 3:30 pm

I would like to point out that the magnetic shells are most powerful when used sparingly. Most magicians fall in love with a method, and use it way too much. Topits and sleeving come to mind. Use the magnets for a couple of things, not for everything. It is the combination of sleight of hand with the little something extra that throws off the wise guys. You can burn magicians really easily if you throw in a couple of subtle bits with two peas, or with the magnets, in the middle or at the end of a sleight of hand routine.

The ability to ring extra peas in and out is what separates a street swindler from most magic presentations, and this is what keeps things going for a long time. I rarely do the normal exhibition routines with the shells. When I do, it is usually my version of Bob Kohler's routine.

Most of the time, when I am doing the shells, it is at a corporate or charity event like a casino night where all I do is the shells for two or three hours. Spectators come and go, and some stick around for quite a while. It is important to have a variety of methods available to fool the intense spectators. This sort of performance is closer to the actual swindle, done without shills.

The use of magnets (under the edge of the table for example) as a holdout is important. I also make use of the Sharper. This is a hollowed out Sharpie pen that holds five peas, and can deliver them one at a time into the hand. The pen is pulled out and used as a pointer, and the pea is stolen. A pea can be dropped into the breast shirt pocket when the pen is replaced.

We will be marketing the Sharper when the book and video come out. We will be explaining its use in the book and showing it on the video.

Having a system to seamlessly ring peas in and out of the routine is essential to the actual street type performance.

I highly recommend Bob Sheets video Absolutely Nuts to get a better understanding of the use of two peas. Soapy Smith's handling of the shells in the 1800's always involved two peas, and he is considered the greatest worker ever.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 28th, 2003, 4:50 pm

Bob Sheets is our headliner for the Minnesota Magic convention this year in just two weeks.

Wow, I can't wait for the additional School for Scoundrels material. Since meeting you (Whit) at the Mn Magic convention a few years ago, I have been a HUGE fan of yours.

I want to get one thing clear. You mentioned several messages ago that you separate the magpea from the shell by drawing with a slight horizontal movement. Does this mean the the point of the shell is toward the audience or to yourself? If I use a magpea and draw the shell back, then the pea is left behind.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 28th, 2003, 5:28 pm

The point of the shell is away from the performer, toward the audience. To move the the shell with the pea attached to the magnet, the shell must be lifted slightly off the table, or moved straight forward. To release the pea from the magnet, the shell is moved forward at a slight angle so that the pea rolls down the side of the shell where it is released from the magnet, and can then be shown under the shell or stolen into the hand.

User avatar
Pete Biro
Posts: 7125
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Location: Hollyweird

Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Pete Biro » May 28th, 2003, 5:55 pm

Watching you do the shells at Porland last weekend re-kindled my intrest. Thanks for making such good stuff... you scoundrel. :whack:
Stay tooned.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » May 29th, 2003, 1:09 am

Thanks, Pete. It was a fun weekend, wasn't it?


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » December 1st, 2003, 2:14 am

Any new DVD coming out soon on Magnetic Street Shells . I think I read a post about a new DVD before Cristmas 2003, is it true?
If yes, where can I find it?

Mats G. Kjellstrom


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » December 2nd, 2003, 12:28 pm

We have just completed our one month course "The School for Scoundrels" at the Magic Castle. We had thirteen participants, and everyone seemed to be very pleased with the lectures, teaching, and demonstrations. This is the seventh year in a row that we have presented this college level course on the three classic street scams.

"The School for Scoundrels Notes on the Shell Game" and "The School for Scoundrels Video on the Shell Game" will be released together, along with our long-awaited "Sharper Pen." Hopefully, this will be early next year, but a lot depends on our other product releases.

We have the Jumbo Trade Show Shells coming out in December, and the Billy McComb Folding Niteclub Table coming out in January. These are both fantastic and revolutionary products, which we are very excited about.

We are putting all of our previous video releases out in DVD form early next year.

Once these projects are done and the decks are cleared, I will be buckling down on the new Shell Game releases.

The Notes and Video on the shell game will complete our School for Scoundrels class notes, and then we will begin work on the book, Unfair Advantage , which will take all our previous notes on street scams and their history, psychology, and methodology, and add a lot more about magic exhibition of these games, with many original routines and ruses by the top guys in the field. That project may take a couple of years to complete.

Thanks for all the great comments and ideas.


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » December 24th, 2003, 1:13 pm

Our Jumbo Trade Show Shells are now shipping available from Hocus-Pocus Magic or from us at

This is a complete trade-show act that is a guaranteed crowd stopper.

Paul Green
Posts: 302
Joined: March 15th, 2008, 8:29 pm
Location: California

Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Paul Green » December 29th, 2003, 6:41 pm

Wow! I just got my TRADE SHOW SHELLS from The School for Scoundrels. The shells are BIG! The pea is BIG! The price is BIG! I must also say that the value for this set is REALLY BIG, too.

Chef Anton and Whit Haydn released this project only after researching and developing a great quality product. The instructional DVD that comes along with the set is designed to teach you the basics of the set and Chef Antons own trade show routine. For the professional, this will serve as an inspiration for developing his or her own approach. Mechanically, the routine is easy. But it will require a truly experienced trade show worker to fully enjoy the big responses from an audience.

For the neophyte (I cannot imagine a neophyte purchasing this set of props due to the high cost), this may be the first truly trade show presentation he or she is exposed to. It is a fine example of Chef Antons skill before a trade show audience (although not really shot before a real audience).

The big price will keep this out of the hands of the merely curious. This will be a good thing as the true trade show worker community is rather small. I know that this will find its way into my trade show repertoire. It does get my biggest recommendation.

Paul Green

PS I have no financial interest in this product. I paid full price for my set!


Re: School for Scoundrel's stuff

Postby Guest » December 31st, 2003, 5:41 pm

Thanks, Paul. Glad you like the Jumbo Shells. Chef and I are very proud of the way they came out. Hope you get some use from them.

All the best, and Happy New Year!

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