Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

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Leonard Hevia
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Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 24th, 2018, 8:12 pm

Has anyone seen this effect sold in red backed Bicycles? I have two sets and both are blue black. I need a red Bicycle set to use the gaff as one of the cards for the Princess Card Trick that's in red Bicycle. I want to break up the entire group of gaffed court cards with two gaffed spot cards.

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Richard Kaufman
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 25th, 2018, 1:22 am

You'll find what you need in the DeLand "Madness and Mystery Deck," because DeLand invented this trick.
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Brad Jeffers
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Brad Jeffers » September 25th, 2018, 1:36 am

A Google search will lead you to THIS.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » September 25th, 2018, 4:45 pm

I included a history and analysis of the Skinner routine in my marketed effect, the "Bammo Monte monster." An excerpt follows.

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 meth-od 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 paying 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 actually 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 abandons 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 is 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.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 25th, 2018, 10:10 pm

Brad Jeffers wrote:A Google search will lead you to THIS.


Wonderful Brad! Thank you!

Is the Deland Mystery deck in Bicycle back?

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby MagicbyAlfred » September 28th, 2018, 12:44 pm

Bob Farmer Wrote (re Skinner Ultimate Monte): "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.

Yes, that is one problem I always had with the trick. While it might get by the average spectator, there are those more astute who did not just fall off a turnip truck. But even more problematic are (1) the awkward and unnatural way the cards are held when shown individually (a thumb clumsily and inexplicably covering the bottom index); and (2) the fact that only the top indices of the cards are peeking out during the displays and prior to being placed on the table

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2018, 1:07 pm

[quote=Is the Deland Mystery deck in Bicycle back?[/quote]

What do you mean by "DeLand Mystery Deck"?
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 28th, 2018, 5:46 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:[quote=Is the Deland Mystery deck in Bicycle back?


What do you mean by "DeLand Mystery Deck"?

The Deland Madness and Mystery deck. What is the back design? Is it a Bicycle back design?

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Jonathan Townsend » September 28th, 2018, 7:17 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Has anyone seen this effect sold in red backed Bicycles?
Bob Farmer's Bammo Monte used to come in red bicycle cards but he's not using 2's or 3's.
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » September 28th, 2018, 7:59 pm

Jonathan is correct: the Bammo Monte Monster does come only in red backs, but there's a reason for that. The backs are red, two of the aces are red--only the money card is black. With this color scheme, the black card really stands out. If the backs were blue this would only serve to introduce a hint of possible confusion--one more color to follow.

Here's a demo:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s0Xo68frPQk

There's another reason the money card is black: when I was performing a different monte routine in a bar with a red money card, the face of the money card vanished because the bar was lit in red lights, so black is the answer to this problem.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2018, 8:05 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:
Richard Kaufman wrote:[quote=Is the Deland Mystery deck in Bicycle back?


What do you mean by "DeLand Mystery Deck"?

The Deland Madness and Mystery deck. What is the back design? Is it a Bicycle back design?


The DeLand Mystery and Madness Deck has red Bicycle Rider backs (chosen because the great majority of people use red-backed cards).
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 28th, 2018, 8:12 pm

Richard Kaufman wrote:The DeLand Mystery and Madness Deck has red Bicycle Rider backs (chosen because the great majority of people use red-backed cards).


Thank you Chief! And this is the deck that comes with the book, correct?

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Richard Kaufman » September 28th, 2018, 8:14 pm

Yes. 54 gimmicked cards that allow you to do many different tricks from the book.

I will be selling extra copies of the deck separately to those who've bought the book in case folks want more than one deck (no instructions come with the deck).
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » September 29th, 2018, 11:42 am

Leonard, the Monte Monster instructions include a version of the Skinner routine with all the problems removed.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 29th, 2018, 12:11 pm

Thanks Bob, although a kind and generous Forum member sent me a set of the Bicycle red backed Skinner Monte cards, I will definitely get this and other products from you still on my bucket list. I like the idea of using gaffs and gimmicks in ways they were not initially designed for. Gaetan Bloom is a master of this. I just wanted a few extra double index number cards for the Princess Card Trick to break up those four court cards that come with the packet. I love this trick! It's a fooler dooler as the late great Daryl might have said.

You can see the late Jacki Flosso fooling David Ben with this trick in the Dai Vernon Spirit of Magic video at 38:06:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=C_Pg-OTXYu4

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » September 29th, 2018, 3:08 pm

Leonard, I have a completely different use for the cards that's not a monte. I add the AS so the set is four cards. The first effect is an oil and water color separation and the second is a transposition of the two red aces for the two black aces. The first effect sets up the packet for the second. I haven't published this yet.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 29th, 2018, 6:41 pm

That sounds interesting Bob! An Oil and Water packet effect followed by Dr. Daley's Last Trick?

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » September 30th, 2018, 10:04 pm

Skinner never looked more dashing and charismatic than in this photo performing those two handed cuts. It's worth buying this trick just for the cover picture.



Image

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Michael Close » October 1st, 2018, 10:40 am

For those interested in the Ultimate Three Card Monte effect, I published a handling for the final phase of the routine in The Paradigm Shift Volume 1. It eliminates the "cozy" pip-cover display of the Ace and affords you an easy way to get the gaffs out of play.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » October 1st, 2018, 3:12 pm

Leonard: Yes, those are exactly the effects. The key advantage: the audience sees the apparent order of the cards right up to the revelations. I guess I should explain this at some point.

The trick is called the Bammo Transpo Pterodactyl or The Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Deland.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Leonard Hevia » October 1st, 2018, 8:20 pm

Bob Farmer wrote:Leonard: Yes, those are exactly the effects. The key advantage: the audience sees the apparent order of the cards right up to the revelations. I guess I should explain this at some point.

The trick is called the Bammo Transpo Pterodactyl or The Last Trick of Dr. Jacob Deland.


Ha, ha! Dammit I want this! For those of us that already have the trick and the special cards, can we just buy your manuscript?

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby performer » October 1st, 2018, 10:38 pm

This De Land/ Skinner/ Taytlebaum kind of 3 card monte is fine and dandy as far as it goes. However, if I were going to use gaffed cards for the trick then I would use the Dutch Looper which is far more effective depending on which routine you use. I actually have 3 routines depending on who is in front of me.

I have never been overly keen on the premise of getting spectators to pick out which one they think is the correct card and I always try to minimize that aspect as much as possible. The only time I use it with the Dutch Looper is when I have some kids in front of me so I can growl at them when they get it wrong. I take great delight in snarling at them, "See---kids don't know everything!"

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » October 2nd, 2018, 8:04 am

Leonard: I guess I should publish this with a video.

I'm not sure, but I may have come up with more ways to use the "Pickitout" cards than anyone else.

I agree with performer (a rarity): you should never ask the spectator to guess where the card is since he ends up looking like an idiot. I use two different patter schemes for this kind of effect. One is a test of dishonesty: if you pass the test you're dishonest, if you fail, you're honest. The question is always: where would an honest man say the card is?

The second revolves around Bernie Madoff and crooked Wall Street accounting. You follow the money and you make a bet but Bernie scams you every time. Intro is: there's a game they play on the streets of New York--no, it's not Three Card Monte--that's 47th Street--I'm talking about Wall Street--it's called Madoff Accounting, after Bernie Madoff the biggest crook in Wall Street history, now serving 150 years in prison for a $65 billion Ponzi fraud.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Jonathan Townsend » October 2nd, 2018, 8:26 am

I'm kinda surprised the non-gaffed card is not more often used to scoop up the gaffed card and justify the partial display in fanned position ...

Also interested in what Bob's been doing with the gaffs. I'll buy that for a dollar (or ten) ;)
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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bill Evans » October 2nd, 2018, 4:09 pm

Leonard Hevia wrote:Skinner never looked more dashing and charismatic than in this photo performing those two handed cuts. It's worth buying this trick just for the cover picture.



Image



Michael used to joke and say "that's my son".

A friend of mine just dropped off his Dad's magic briefcase that hasn't seen daylight since the 1940s and one of my finds is Berg's Three Card Monte with a regular 2C and two gaffed cards, one is AC/3C with one club pip, and another AC/3C with three club pips. I tried to take a picture and post it but I couldn't get it to work. No surprise there. Anyway, the envelope the cards came in appears to have been labeled by hand.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Bob Farmer » October 2nd, 2018, 5:33 pm

On a quick look through THE BERG BOOK (published by Stevens) I couldn't find the routine; however, it did convince me that Berg was a creative genius. There are so many great effects in the book that if marketed today would standout in the welter of junk magic usually seen.

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Re: Skinner Ultimate 3 Card Monte

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 2nd, 2018, 9:56 pm

Sounds like Berg just copped DeLand's original.
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