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Topic: Skinner's Ultimate 3 Card Monte
Message: Posted by: tbaer (May 16, 2006 08:06PM)
I perform on 10-12 year olds. They will want to examine the cards. What's the best way to switch the gimmick cards in Skinner's ultimate 3 card monte?

I watched Michael Ammar's Ice Breakers video and he performed Skinner's monte and then at the end of the routine pretended not to remember which pocket he placed the black packet in. So he reached in his right pocket with his right hand with the gimmicked cards and reached into his left pocket with his empty left hand and did the switch while bringing out the regular cards and the black packet. Then he placed the cards in the packet in case anyone would want to examine them.

But after thinking about it, I was hoping there would be another method of the switch.
Message: Posted by: Snidini (May 16, 2006 08:58PM)
Having just seen Michael lecutre and perform the monte routine, he proceeded to use a himber style packet trick wallet to ditch the "Skinner kards". I believe this would get you by in most cases.

Message: Posted by: ElliottB (May 16, 2006 09:05PM)
That's a swell idea.
Message: Posted by: airship (May 16, 2006 09:12PM)
Have the regular cards on the bottom of the deck before you do the trick. When done with the trick, drop the gaffes on the top of the deck as you pick the deck up. If anyone demands to see the cards, flip the deck over and peel them off the bottom. Be slick about it.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (May 17, 2006 07:03PM)
Airship, you would definitely have to be slick about it. It could be pretty risky.

How would the himber wallet come into play in the routine. I am not familiar with it, however, I'm assuming there is a hidden compartment. Would you place the gaffed cards in the wallet after the routine and just lay it on the table or would the wallet come into play near the end of the routine in some sort of way?
Message: Posted by: ElliottB (May 17, 2006 07:27PM)
Itís a switch wallet. You put the cards in the wallet after the trick is done. If someone wants to see the cards, you open the wallet and hand the (gaff free) cards over.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (May 17, 2006 08:21PM)
Thanks for the replies. I guess I will then have to purchase some type of switch wallet strictly for this routine. I don't perform many card tricks. I have maybe 2 or 3 card effects, but this one will require me to switch the cards.

In your opinion, what is the best quality switch wallet you would recommend that the price is around the $50.00 range. Remember, I will be purchasing a switch wallet strickly for the Skinner's monte routine and for nothing else.

Thanks for helping.
Message: Posted by: ElliottB (May 17, 2006 10:31PM)
Unfortunately, I donít know much about the differences between the various models. It sounds like you only need it to hold six cards and it will only be used for a very basic purpose. Also, you donít really need it to resemble a real wallet; just a packet wallet. Therefore, I would recommend shopping for a small, cheap plastic model. If I come across something, Iíll let you know.


Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 17, 2006 11:32PM)
I bought a small wallet size Himber many years ago for storing packet tricks. I could load each side with different setups and switch them in and out at will. Including the center (shared) divider, I could set up four separate packets, not that I'd use them all at once of course, but it did give me some options.

There are two popular sizes, the most prevalent is the "pocket secretary" size which is sized for an inside jacket pocket but too tall for a back pocket. The other, which is less common, is the hip pocket size like mine. Mine was made by Harry Monti but as far as I know he stopped making them years ago.

Do a search for "Himber Wallet" and you should find several good sources.
Message: Posted by: Roland78 (May 18, 2006 07:52AM)
Just a question: why do you think that the Ammar solution is not good?
I use it all the time and it works very well. Don't overestimate your spectators, they won't notice you are switching the 3 cards if you do it smoothly :)

Message: Posted by: JSBLOOM (May 18, 2006 09:26AM)
A couple questions...
If performing for 10-12 year olds, why not do the color monte?
Here's another idea.
Why not show them 1 by 1 face up COMPLETELY as normal?
Show the faces of each 3 cards face up, turn face down and place under pile.
Drop the two normal cards on to top of deck leaving you with 3 cards, 2 gaffed and one normal.
Message: Posted by: Roger Kelly (May 18, 2006 10:40AM)
I use the Jerry O'Connell mini himber for this very effect. It is incredibly thin and made of top quality leather.
Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 18, 2006 05:17PM)
I think I saw a version of this as a Penguin download. I think in their version they finished by placing the cards in a pocket (possibly each in a different pocket, I'm not sure) thus making the finale even more "impossible" and at the same time giving you the opportunity to switch them with the ungaffed cards right under their noses.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (May 18, 2006 08:09PM)
Roland78, I never tried the Ammar way of switching the cards so I really can't honestly say how it would work. I guess reaching into the pockets puts up a red flag for me, but like you said, the spectators probably wouldn't think anything of it.
Message: Posted by: Jaz (May 19, 2006 08:24AM)
I'm not one for having packets in a wallet.
For me, removing the Skinner cards from a deck seems the best way to start.

If at start the regular cards are on top Carney's "The Yenrac Packet Switch" could be done.
If at start the regular cards are on the bottom a variation of the "Vernon Transfer" can be done.
Message: Posted by: Hoelderlin (May 19, 2006 11:02AM)
In fact, Michael Ammar, at the end of the routine, does the change of the gaff with regular cards and then he performs, the bent corner move; now he does another miracle and the cards are examinable.
Message: Posted by: Joey Stalin (May 19, 2006 12:34PM)
Well a wallet to store you packet tricks would be an option. Where you work would be another option. Could you lap the gaff cards and switch in the non-gaff ones? Or just a switch in the same pocket. Works for a few Sankey effect.
Message: Posted by: magicbar (May 20, 2006 03:53PM)
A packet trick wallet with a black art divider would allow a simple sw****. I take the set out of the back pocket while not showing the audience the wallet. Then at the conclusion I place the cards away and if asked open the wallet and remove a non g****d set from the visible side
Message: Posted by: Dave V (May 21, 2006 01:44PM)
That would work too. The Himber wallet is similar, although it doesn't need the black art divider to work.

Harry Anderson uses (a slightly modified) Himber in his "Buffalo Bill" routine and has the spectator open the wallet.
Message: Posted by: Bill Hallahan (May 21, 2006 08:41PM)
Using the Magic Cafť search engine, I found the following topics about Michael Skinner's Ultimate Three Card Monte:

The more specific question regarding switching gaffed cards can be found in some of these, and also in other topics about gaffed packet tricks.

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=151424&forum=201]Skinner's 3 Card Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=98413&forum=37]Ultimate 3 Card Monte Michael Skinner[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=86142&forum=201]Skinner's 3 Card Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=71669&forum=109]Ultimate Three Card Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=58095&forum=201]Skinner's Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=22958&forum=201]The Ultimate Three Card Monte-part two[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=22477&forum=41]Ultimate 3 card monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=13906&forum=201]Mike Skinner's Ultimate Monte Video?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=5132&forum=201]Michael Skinner's ultimate 3 card monte on bicycles?[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=88447&forum=201]Ultimate 3 Card Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=73950&forum=201]Michael Skinner's Ultimate Monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=29554&forum=201]Skinners 3 card monte[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=21454&forum=201]Skinner's Ultimate 3 Card Monte Problem[/url]

[url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=21224&forum=201]Ultimate 3 card monte origins[/url]

And, Skinner's monte is also lists in many other more general "Three Card Monte" topics, which can be found at [url=http://www.themagiccafe.com/forums/viewtopic.php?topic=88466&forum=2#0]Three Card Monte topics[/url].
Message: Posted by: Snidini (May 21, 2006 10:40PM)
Wow Bill, thanks for providing all these search options on the Skinner routine. Ammar does have a couple of different "kicker" moves as Hoelderlin says that keeps the cards in his hands on the final revelation. It makes grabbing them impossible for the spectator and yet with his use of the "himber" it allows him to pull out a regular set for them to touch/inspect the cards appearing that all is fair. I guess it all boils down to audience/spectator management.

Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (May 26, 2006 07:37AM)
I think the best way to do this trick is to take them out of the deck and show them as the routine describes. Sometimes more is less in magic. I am not sure as to why you would put them into a wallet at the end of a trick. Do you take them out of the deck first? I have always found it a little odd that someone just has 3 cards for a trick. I immediately think they are trick cards. Whereas if you show them a whole deck and force the 2 of clubs then it is only logical to go through the deck and pull out the 3 of clubs and an opposite color ace (like the ace of hearts). I have never had anyone ask to see them after this method. The spectators don't think you are using funny cards if they picked the one card that started it all. Just my opinion.
Message: Posted by: nairbles (May 30, 2006 01:01AM)
I like that idea alot... forcing the first card for a 3 card effect...
Message: Posted by: Magic Patrick (Jun 5, 2006 01:23AM)

Thanks. It works for me. I use the classic force so to the spectator it seems like real magic. Just my 2 cents.

Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Jun 13, 2006 04:53AM)
I have adapted a way to switch the gimmicked cards with ordinary cards, making it look as if they came from the deck. So when I finish, they don't examnine the cards anymore, since they already did the first time around.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Jun 13, 2006 08:25PM)
Do you mind sharing this?
Message: Posted by: rickmagic1 (Jun 14, 2006 10:25PM)
I have to say that I've never seen Skinner's handling of this routine...only Bill Malone's...

Message: Posted by: rmoraleta (Jun 17, 2006 01:03PM)
It's almost the same Rick.

Tbaer - I use a Braue Reversal move for the switch.
Message: Posted by: tbaer (Jun 17, 2006 09:10PM)
Message: Posted by: Dan LeFay (Jul 26, 2006 05:17PM)
Could it be that the initial goal is maybe not the right one? Performing a gaffed monte type trick for 10-12 year olds?
I think that this effect was never intended for that purpose. So the "problem" of children wanting to examine the cards seems a little far sought.

If you insist to do this the next problem might be: Are there any himberwallets that lock automatically? I use a himber wallet for children and they want to examine it...

I found the answer where the color monte effect was mentioned the most appropriate.
Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Jul 28, 2006 10:10PM)
I have solved this problem with close-up audiences of every age with routining. I have shared my thoughts on Monte effects in these forums. The problem with challenging audiences is that in a challenge situation they may choose the least likely and therefore correct choice. Skinner's U3CM suffers from the "too perfect" syndrome, and therefore must be covered by creative and skillfull routining.

Just to give you an idea: I recently taught a magic class to 10-14 year olds. During the class I taught Color Monte as a skill lesson. To amuse myself during lunch break I played a real 3 card monte with the kids. After the first couple of burns, they began looking away from the obvious choice, so I burned them by performing legitimate throws. One on the kids pointed out that he "hated this trick" because it was impossible to win (I cheated too well). My response was that it should serve as a lesson never to use Monte effects as a challenge, because there is nothing entertaining about loosing unless it is someone else doing the loosing. The most entertaining monte routines are often about how the performer was conned.

There endth the lesson on monte effects for the many-ith time.

Regarding props: Examinable? Who cares? I believe that attitude and confidence generally dismiss this "let me see that" attitude. I move on putting away things I can't have examined a proceed to the next effect ignoring the occasional plea for examination.

No, these things are mine and they have sentimental and or monetary value and no you can't put your sticky fingers all over them. And if you're over 15; No. I'm the magician and you ought to grow up, it's a trick and no, you don't get to spoil the illusion that I just presented. Oh, you know how it's done? Great, then maybe you ought to be in my place pumping out the energy; here are a couple of sponge balls; do some magic for us Mr. Big Mouth! Can't? Oh, can I go back to work now without any further rude interuptions? Thanks!

I'm a big boy and can handle the sceptic and heckler with a wink and or comment.
"Let me see those cards!"
"You just saw them, amazing weren't they?" He said with a wink and a smile. "Here, you better check out these dice; lest I be accused of using trick cards AND dice. Are they legitimate?"
"So you think, watch them." the magician says rolling into the "The Rules" (Bob Sheets funny take on the Dr. Sachs dice routine) with smooth skills quieting the "You're using trick stuff" people.

I guess the attitude that the magic is in you rather than in the thing you use generally soaks through to the audience. You only need handle the occasional wise-ass, with a little skill.
Message: Posted by: frog52 (Aug 5, 2006 03:54PM)
I have a question regarding the presentation:

Both the Michael Skinner & Bill Malone routines place the 3 cards on the table with no subsequent "moves". Then suddenly the magic happens, and the cards switch places. It seems to me that this screams "gaffed cards".

I personally add a few very simple "monte" moves, just to take the heat off the 3 cards. Does this make any sense? I know Bill Malone gets a fantastic reaction from the audience with his presentation.

Any thoughts?
Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Aug 6, 2006 10:47AM)

While I understand your concern, I've performed Skinner's [i]Ultimate 3 Card Monte[/i] a lot in the real world, I use two phases where the cards change with no "moves," and I've not once had people say or otherwise act as if they thought that there was something special about the cards. I always remove the three cards from a full deck, though, because if you simply remove the three cards from a plastic wallet, from your pocket, etc., you're telegraphing to the audience that there's something special about the cards.

Message: Posted by: frog52 (Aug 6, 2006 12:45PM)

Thanks for the response. Do you think anything is taken away from the routine by doing some simple, straightforward moves?

Message: Posted by: Larry Davidson (Aug 6, 2006 01:04PM)
Rod, no, I don't think "moves" take away from the routine if done slowly and deliberately.
Message: Posted by: evolve629 (Aug 6, 2006 03:26PM)
This is a true self-working miracle! I like to follow the Ultimate 3 Card Monte with the Twisted Sisters.
Message: Posted by: Full Deck (Aug 14, 2006 09:27PM)
I have performed Skinner's 3 Card Monte for years. I remove the regular cards from the deck and in their place I use Skinner's cards. They just sit there and wait for me to bring them into play. I have never once in all the years doing this routine ever been accused of using gaffed cards. Its in the way I bring them into play. I do several card effects prior to bringing Skinner's cards into play. You can display the cards in such a way that they appear to be normal.


Full Deck
Message: Posted by: Memory-Jah (Aug 17, 2006 06:40AM)
I found the 2 best possible ways are to use The Exchange deck, which is in general one of the best solutions switching cards and packets. Yes, I know you ars till left dirty, but in these cases it is not about examine the deck, instead they just want AND can see single cards/ packets.
The very best solution I think without any doubt is using a the Ambitious Riser for switching them out. There is no better way I guess.

Maybe this is helpful for you,

Message: Posted by: MagicbyCarlo (Aug 21, 2006 06:14AM)
Another handling tip for Skinner's U3CM:
The fact that the ace and 3 ALWAYS are the two cards that transpose bothered me. A real Monte player would use two like cards and one odd money card. So I toss out the 2 and use two black three's and the ace. I think this technically strengthens the trick although those of you that pull the cards from a deck (a detail which eludes me, because with a straight Monte, I, or any street thrower for that matter, wouldn't and don't pull cards from a deck to start the game) loose that option. Also regarding the character of the cards, if you use the drop count suggested in the instructions, the cards all seem to be shown quite fairly and further the illusion. These are just a little touches that I use, please feel free to ignore them.
Message: Posted by: jezza (Sep 5, 2006 06:02AM)
I love this effect but you need to find the right place to perform it as close up theres a danger of grabbers (and before anyone says about good audience management)you can have the best management of spectators but you will one day get someone grab a card
I like to perform this behind a table with a bit of distance but wouldnt use it table hopping close up