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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Deckless! » » Advice on 3-card monte (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

nspikito
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I love this effect, and it gets some of the most joyous responses from my spectators. But I have a consistent problem in performance. Maybe some of you have figured clever ways around it.

I don't use gaffed cards. My routine has 5 phases that build up in apparent impossibility. In the last 2 phases I mark the money card with a paper clip that conveniently pops onto an indifferent card. If I just use the routine as a display piece, it basically works fine. But I like to involve the spectators by asking them where they think the money card is. This definitely has a positive effect. But often, maybe in 1 out of three performances, the spectator, knowing that I'll probably trick him, deliberately picks a card that he doesn't really think is the money card. And sometimes he's right. I've tried structuring the routine and patter to avoid that, but it doesn't always work. One ploy, that I learned from Daryl's 3CM DVD, is to ask the spectator where he thinks "most people" would believe the money card is. That helps.

I'd love to hear any other suggestions. It seems that this problem could occur with lots of packet tricks where the spectator is asked to keep track of one out of a few cards.

Spike
balic2003
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Ask the spectator where he SAW the card go and not where he thinks the card is.

this helped me.
Robert M
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If the spectator guesses right say, "Correct! Now it's time to play for real money!" (I believe this is a Bill Malone line.)

Robert
The Burnaby Kid
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Spike,

It's possible, depending upon the rest of the routine, that people are being inextricably lead to conclude that it must be on the paperclip, just by virtue of the impressive revelations that happened before. Without knowing the rest of the routine, it's hard to isolate the reason why people might go for the "correct" card.

Random thoughts: Asking "Where do most people think it is?" works better if you're asking it throughout the routine. The natural question that people expect is "Where is it?" and so the added nuance of the "Where do most people think it is?" question can come across as confusing, and potentially kill momentum built up in a routine.

You could redo the routine so it's told entirely in story form. Some people don't like this, but I found that I was able to use that to justify me making the audience's decisions for them, and by making myself the mark that was taken down by a mean old man, you pacify the audience somewhat.

Two phases with the paperclip seems like overkill to me. Frankly, I'm a three phase guy. First phase, bare bones. Second phase, a little more complicated, but with the double flash to reassure that the card is where it should be. Third phase, bent corner. Now, with the paperclip you've got the added benefit of not needing to overuse the move that you've just burned them with twice, so I believe you should use that to your advantage and just hit them with it once. Again, though, this is just my impression without having seen your routine yet.

Regarding the paperclip, check out Steve Draun's approach. It might not fit you, but then again it might -- personally, I thought his way of incorporating it presentationally was lovely.

Incidentally, if you're going to involve the spectator into what essentially is a challenge routine, these sorts of unpredictable responses are likely to show up. It happens to me pretty regularly, and I lay the challenge on pretty thick. If it's at all possible to do it, you might want to consider rolling with their correct guess. Remember, at its core it's not a magic trick. In the unlikely event that they actually guess the correct card all three times (it's happened once in the last couple hundred peformances of it or so) I always know that I've got a follow-up routine that I can use to reestablish prestige. But in that one moment... "Hey, you won. Good for you. Everybody give her a round of applause. [Pause.] Now you guys are all convinced that I suck. Fine. You're on. Shuffle these cards."
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Robert M
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Andrew makes some excellent points. I've been doing Dai Vernon's 3 Card Monte routine for years - in three phases with the bent corner ploy last.

Just try to make it fun and not so challenging, if possible.

BTW, the actual Bill Malone line is "That means that it's time to play for real money."

Robert
Stiles
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The intentional marking of the card gives the spectator a feel like something is going to happen. With the crimped card what I like to do (if they are on to my hype) is to reshuffle and hype the faked crimped card. They then think the crimp is a complete accident and that they've "seen" how I've been doing it. I don't think that ploy can work with any intentional marks, especially when the spectator expects to be fooled/amazed.
vinsmagic
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Another reference Sal The Hit man Piasanti has a dvd and also Daryl has a dvd both on the three card Monti different takes and different styles
these might be worth checking out.
Come check out my magic.

http://www.vinnymarini.com
Lawrence O
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Very few performers realize that in the real con game, the misdirection is supplied by focusing on the way the cards are mixed on the table. Hence the toss should never be a focal point.
The spectator is to be made totally convinced that we are cheating during the mixing of the cards on to the table, and naturally, since we are not, his suspicion should be encouraged further and further to look deeper and deeper.

Then the advice you received regarding "where he thinks 'most people' would believe the money card is" or "where he SAW the card go" (and not where he thinks the card is) make a lot of sense.
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
nspikito
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Thanks, everyone. Those are some very insightful comments and suggestions. I am going to start from scratch and rethink the whole routine. I am intrigued by the ideas that 3CM is not exactly magic, but a "challenge" and the nature of a "real con game".

But in case you have other suggestions, based on yesterday's version of the routine, here's a video link of it:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MXGjaTcCZYc

I pilfered and mangled lots of ideas from Bill Malone, Dai Vernon, Joel Givens, and Daryl for this routine. Incidentally, this is my first youtube video. I apologize for its amateurish nature, but I think it captures my typical presentation, which is usually performed for a small number of spectators in a strolling environment.
Spike
Wizzard
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Spike,
I watched your video 5 times, mechanically your a bit tense as you are about do a move,don't telegraph the move, relax, you have the handling down. Get into character. What you showed on the video was a "Narrator" doing a card trick. Speed is of the essence when doing these types of routines, the excitement, the chance of winning, money comes and goes. Stand when you do this bit, that is what happens in real life. Play the part as a third party if that is what your are comfortable with. "My friend was walking down the street the other day,when he got caught up in a little card game.........".
Then go into your routine.
If someone "catches you" say to them; "You are good, double or nothing if you can do it again", Let him win, again! Sucker the Mark, just like the real game, draw that person in.
Regards,
John
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nspikito
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Thanks, John, for the specific review of my video. I will certainly take your suggestions to heart.
Actually, I almost never perform card tricks seated. I mostly do walk-around performances, and even when I do something at a table in a parlor-like setting, I prefer standing up.

The "narrator" voice, somewhat like a wise consultant, is Joel Givens' idea for 3CM. He thinks it takes the sting out of repeatedly conning the spectator.
Thanks also for the suggestion to use more "speed". I always felt the intro to my routine was a bit sluggish. There's quite a lag before I actually do anything with the cards.

One more question for you. If I pull one of the 2 paperclip effects, which one do you think is stronger? One of them is in fact virtually identical to something I did earlier in the routine without a paperclip.

So back to the drawing board for me. I really like the routine, and so do my audiences, but it still needs some serious tuning up.

Thanks for all of your sage advice.
Spike
Wizzard
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Nspikito,
Like I said your handling is fine, don't telegraph. I like the clip idea, I've seen
it before, don't recall where. "How much fairer could you get?" The money card is clipped!
All in all you put some good Magic thinking into this routine and I'm sure it plays well. My audiences love a Monte routine.
Regards,
John
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It's never the wand, it's always the magician
The Burnaby Kid
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Some thoughts, after seeing the video...

First of all, nice work coming up with a personalized strolling monte routine. It's not easy. It's less authentic in terms of the way the game is actually played, but it does offer more room for deceptive strategies, and it looks like you've worked to take advantage of that.

Definitely ditch one of the two paperclip phases. You don't need both, and one is basically a repeat of an earlier strategy anyway. Also (and I don't know if you're already doing this) but if you pull the cards from your pocket with the paperclip keeping them together, you've got a motivated reason to use it later on for the final phase.

I don't mind the tone of the routine too much -- don't speed it up for arbitrary reasons. One dynamic that's almost unique to the tossed version is that while it seems fast and hectic, it's still easy to follow the winning card. In the hands, that sort of thing might make it difficult for the spectator to feel like they know what's going on, which is a vital component of monte. However, you might want to rescript it so that some of the early exposition is moved between phases.

The popular Colour-Monte sequence that you use has been improved upon. R Paul Wilson has good work on this on his Knock Em Dead DVD. Loosening up the handling would help a bit.

Personally, I think the Monte Slide move is one of those which works better with an all-over pattern (such as with Bees) than with a bordered pattern (such as with Bikes). That said, you're also doing some other stuff in there which would suffer if you were working with Bee backs.

I agree that mechanically this is a bit tense. Work on loosening it up a bit.
A screed for scams, sorcery, and other shenanigans... Nu Way Magick Blogge

JACK, the Jolly Almanac of Card Knavery, a free card magic resource for beginners.
Herr Brian Tabor
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The big thing for me when doing this effect is I guess myself, as if I can't figure out what's going on. The spec know's you're a magician, and that you can fool the eye, and of course they don't want to be wrong. I don't like asking them because some specs feel like you're making fun of them or teasing them etc and get offended, or annoyed. This of course is just my opinion!
Lawrence O
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One of the misdirection I use is to do the effect with one way League Back Bicycle card (two one way, the money card the other way) and then I let someone win and claim that he is cheating because of the way he can look at the back. Henc I change the cards and take three normal Bicycle back cards, making sure that the back is symetrical and keep on with the routine (the cards are Michael Skinner's types of cards gaffed on the face)
Magic is the art of proving impossible things in parallel dimensions that can't be reached
nspikito
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Thanks, everyone. Your collective wisdom is really helpful. I'm impressed! Like everything else I do, I'll probably be tinkering with this routine for a long time, looking for just the right mix.

Spike
TheRaven
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I enjoyed your routine. Just my 2-cents. It seems like if you are going to ask them to guess, you should be doing so right from the begining. Feels like you switch from a demonstration to a game.

I don't think you need to ask them to guess at all. I think you have the basis for a strong routine and the patter could be the story of demonstrating something that happened to you. I think the remark that you have no idea how they did it works well for you.

You could also make this into a pure game, in which case you may want to do a few demonstrations without any moves and have them start guessing right from the beginning.

Why not use the same moves to put together two routines -- one a game and one a demonstration. Try them out on different audiences (one or the other per audience) and see what you like best.

I like the idea above of the purpose of the paperclip is to hold the cards in the pocket. You could work in some logical reason for the clip, like "...he was putting the cards away (put clip on card) and I said I wanted to try my luck one last time...he didn't notice he had left the paper clip on..."
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