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The Magic Cafe Forum Index » » Ever so sleightly » » Three Shell Game with Bottle Caps (0 Likes) Printer Friendly Version

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guardoz
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Mission Viejo, CA
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I was in San Francisco and watched a street performer do the 3 shell game with bottle caps. His routine was fantastic. This seems to be a great impromptu method of performing the trick, since bottle caps can be easily carried and are household items.

Can anyone direct me to a book or video source where I can learn this version of the trick (prepare the bottle caps, what type of balls to use, a fitting routine, etc.)?

Thank you.

Bill Humphreys
Randy Sager
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I have not seen any thing written up on using the caps. But I have seen the actual operators out to get money use the bottle caps. I would imagine someone has at one point written something about using bottle caps. Maybe Whit Hayden has more info on this.
ursusminor
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I bought a book from "School for Scoundrels" (I love those guys!) called "the Real Work" by Paul Price. Amongst other things it has a section on the three shell game with plastic bottlecaps.
Quite a bit of useful information in there.
Hope this helps!
Bjørn
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
- Winston Churchill"
Pete Biro
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Ken Brooke sold a routine called "Tweezers" that was a 3-shell game using plastic end caps for chairs. I have also used copper end caps for plumbing copper pipes.

It doesn't matter what the "shells" are it is the routine.

I watched someone do the Fast and Loose (endless chain) Friday and realized all the fancy moves, added gimmicks, etc. ARE NOT NECESSARY.

What is NECESSARY is a really good reason/routine and presentation.
STAY TOONED... @ www.pete-biro.com
WoodRat
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I love this. Did you ever notice that a US quarter fits nicely under a bottle cap? If you combine 2 quarters and three bottle caps with some of David Roth's coin box moves, you can really wreak some havoc at the pub. Smile

Posted: Feb 27, 2004 8:52pm
----------------------------------
Say guardoz,

What was this guy using for the pea?
Learn something new everyday.
guardoz
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Mission Viejo, CA
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Thanks everyone for the replies.

For Woodrat, he was using a red, fluffy ball - about the size of a pea - maybe a little bigger.
Alan Munro
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Many years ago, when I was coming back to my brother's place, from street performing during "The Taste of Chicago", I saw the shell game played on the "L" train.

The guy used a sheet of typing paper that was taped to a shirt cardboard, as a working surface. The shells were plastic bottle caps and the pea was a small paper wad. Saw him fleece two kids out of $20. The guy even had an accomplice in the back of the train to make sure that no one interrupted the game.
DanHarlan
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The way I've seen it done in a pool hall, was using three beer bottle caps and a dime. It's a bit tougher, but it still works, and is completely impromptu. That's the way I did it on Mindbogglers. If you use a puffy ball, or a small bit of sponge, then you can use all the standard moves. The secret is proper friction. The School for Scoundrels will give you all the work.
--Dan Harlan
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www.danharlanmagic.com
WoodRat
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You can tear/cut a small piece of cigarette filter for the pea also...
Learn something new everyday.
martinkey
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Sal Piacente covers the bottle cap routine in his new Three Shell dvd. He uses plastic caps, a bit of old rubber, a newspaper and an upturned cardboard box. The technique is somewhat different from the walnut shells as the "pea" does not automatically come out of the cap. Sal shows you the way to deal with this. He also points out that the caps is not really a magical effect but rather a street scam. He then goes on to give dire warnings about trying this out on the street to make money. Apparantly you need a posse of about 6 people anyway - shills and lookouts - if you want to survive!
I enjoyed Sal's aggressive approach - shaved head, the shades etc. - which makes a change from the normal approach. He covers the walnut shells in great depth but you will have to work out a routine as Sal's is pretty much "which one is the pea under?" kind of approach.
I recommend this dvd - and it's good fun too!
Martin
ursusminor
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The book I mentioned,"the Real Work" by Paul Price, recommends a "pea" made from a rolled-up & knotted rubberband. I have tried it, and it worked well, even on a hard & smooth surface.
Bjørn
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
- Winston Churchill"
guardoz
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Thanks again to everyone who has responded with suggestions! I'm following up on all of them!
T. Joseph O'Malley
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One more piece of advice, if you get Paul Price's "the real work" I DON'T recommend following all of the advice given in that book ie. the parts about how to rip off vending machines, how to fake being a drug dealer to scam people, etc...ha!
tjo'
guardoz
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Scafidi7...

Thanks. I just got the book and was shocked at some of suggestions in it. I wouldn't recommend it to others since it crosses the line from magic/showmanship to pure dishonesty. I guess there's a fine line in magic, but in this case, the suggestions are way over that line.
holytoledo36
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I think I saw the same guys in San Francisco. They were incredible...Sal does show how to do it with bottle caps, but it really isn't revolutionary what he teaches. The disc as a whole is very good however, and highly recommended.
ursusminor
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Don't get me wrong! I'm NOT recommending that anyone take mr. Price's advice on using taped dollars and other illegal practices!

(Neither did I mention them...)

The topic was 3Shellgame w/bottlecaps, and there ARE some useful advice on that in the book.

Bjørn
"Men occasionally stumble over the truth, but most of them
pick themselves up and hurry off as if nothing happened."
- Winston Churchill"
j
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I have seen the Sal DVD and it is awsome. I immediatly collected three soda bottle caps and got a pea, it works with a little bit of adjusting. I love the three shell game!! I would recommend this DVD to anyone.
Man, I hope he chooses a card soon!
Whit Haydn
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Quote:

Guardoz writes:

Thanks. I just got the book and was shocked at some of suggestions in it. I wouldn't recommend it to others since it crosses the line from magic/showmanship to pure dishonesty. I guess there's a fine line in magic, but in this case, the suggestions are way over that line.

_________________________________

On 2004-03-24 03:11, ursusminor wrote:

Don't get me wrong! I'm NOT recommending that anyone take mr. Price's advice on using taped dollars and other illegal practices!



The book Paul Price's The Real Work is not intended for magicians. It intentionally written for street people and hustlers. It gives you a good insight into the mind of a hustler, especially interesting because he had an interest in magic before he became a hustler.

Magicians don't think twice about taking advice on how to improve their craft from a card mechanic, one who could be considered just as odious and criminal as the street crook who knocks off a vending machine.

The book was published by Loompanics Books, a company much like the Paladin Book series for alternative literature and politics, libertarian philosophy, dropping out of society, survivalist literature, etc. These companies provide a source for books that mainstream publishers wouldn't touch.

At School for Scoundrels, we try to help magicians get as much real world knowledge and understanding of the thinking and techniques of the street con man as possible. Techniques and thinking of these guys can provide interesting background for magic presentations, as well as providing concrete methods and ways of thinking that can be directly applied to the methods of magic. This book is a great example.

We do not recommend that anyone attempt the techniques explained in this book--knocking off drink machines, slot machines, etc. Most of these are both illegal and dangerous.

And some of these techniques don't work as easily as promised... ;-)
WoodRat
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BTW, j... love the spoon Smile

Another good pea is to cut off the eraser from a pencil... just rub it until you get a good shape... works like a charm... you can even get them in green instead of red if you're buying...
Learn something new everyday.
guardoz
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All:

Thanks for the tips... the eraser idea sounds great. Thanks to Whit for clarification on the book.

Speaking of Whit, I feel honored that he responded. If anyone hasn't seen him perform, please do! I was fortunate enough to be at the Magic Castle two years ago and was waiting for a show to start. We happened to end up first in line for an up-close show by Whit. Ended up sitting right up to the table where he was working. It was, by far, the most incredible performance I have ever seen in magic. Beyond just the tricks, the showmanship and entertainment was great. But, the magic is what we were there for and Whit did it better than anyone I've seen up close.

Along those lines, does anyone know how to find a schedule for performances for Whit? We would love to see him again.

Thanks again to all everyone for your tips.

Bill Humphreys
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