Use borderless cards for three card monte

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I’m almost afraid to know how it’s been “immeasurably helpful.”


Of course the idea behind bee back cards is that with an extremely regular image any variations caused by card-markers will be seen more easily.

I would think that “immeasurably helpful” would mean that he has no idea whether it’s been helpful or not… :-/

Remember, you need a few friends to make this hustle work.
Will multiple personalities do in a pinch? How about some stuffed animals?

There is one person you really have to have. That’s the enormous person who “handles” customer complaints and refund requests.


An enormous man named “Tiny” that looks like this?


I am going to bet that the ability to throw the top card and the practice of the sleight has been immeasurably helpful in pulling off other sleights of hand…

If you’d like to see this done, and done properly, look no further than this:


I’ll never forget being scammed as a naive 11-year-old.

Guys are playing some variation of thee card monte. The guy betting keeps losing all his money. I stop and watch for a while, and someone else also watches for a while. After a bit we start grinning at each other, because we always know where the card is, and eventually we even start pointing it out to the sucker playing.

Big boss comes over, tells us he doesn’t like us ruining his fun. He gives us $20 to get out of there. First onlooker takes the money and walks away happy. Big boss starts handing me my $20, and stops, just as the bill is touching my fingers.

“I’m giving you this money because you basically won the bet. But you woulda had $20 to bet, right?”

Yeah yeah, of course. I open up my wallet to show him I had money, eager to get my $20.

He plucks out a $20 bill from my wallet.

“And what card did you say it was again?”


When I was a teenager I watched a friend in the barrio get burned. I’d read about the game (it was the 80s, I was a nerd, and also puritanically anti-gambling), and told him it was a scam but he was so sure it would be different with him. Later I was with a diff’t friend in SF. Someone was playing the scam on a bus(!). We were watching, I’d assumed we were both just being entertained by watching the rubes, then he dropped a 20.

It’s surprising to see people you really think would know better get burned, but the game is really well tuned to manipulate people’s psyches.


See, I knew it was a scam because there were two King of Clubs.

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Per Harry Anderson’s book NOBODY wins at 3 card monte. If you see someone winning they are a plant.
It is a fun read with some sucker bar bets some fun bits of gambling history and why not to play casino games.

ETA well one magician did win and used his winnings for ER fees as his hand was stapled to the board that was being used for the table top.

ETAmore Another fun read on a con artist because Titanic Thompson is mentioned in some good stories in Games You Can’t Lose… This is a great biography for the man that is an extermely entertaining read. He was the inspiration for Sky Masterson in Guys And Dolls.


In case it wasn’t clear, I was describing the scam from the point of view of my 11-year-old self. Looking back, it’s perfectly obvious that everyone in my story except me was in on it.

(Also, the guy playing was losing, which in this case is what they used to reel the real suckers in.)

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