OneAngryDwarf
OneAngryDwarf
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May 7th, 2010 at 11:24:18 AM permalink
Here is an interesting demonstration/dissection of the classic gambling scam that is three-card Monte. It's a little confusing at first, but it becomes clearer what's going on on a second viewing.

You'd think this scam is well-known enough by now that most people wouldn't fall for it anymore--but when I walked down La Rambla in Barcelona a couple years ago there were at least 5 "games" going, just waiting to draw in some suckers. (No, I wasn't one of them.)
"I believe I've passed the age/of consciousness and righteous rage/I've found that just surviving was a noble fight... I once believed in causes too/I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right..." --Billy Joel
rudeboyoi
rudeboyoi
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May 7th, 2010 at 11:34:28 AM permalink
Quote: OneAngryDwarf

Here is an interesting demonstration/dissection of the classic gambling scam that is three-card Monte. It's a little confusing at first, but it becomes clearer what's going on on a second viewing.

You'd think this scam is well-known enough by now that most people wouldn't fall for it anymore--but when I walked down La Rambla in Barcelona a couple years ago there were at least 5 "games" going, just waiting to draw in some suckers. (No, I wasn't one of them.)



do they pay even money or 2:1 on 3card monte? if they pay 2:1, why not pay attention to the card they want you to track and pick one of the other two at random?
Wizard
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Wizard
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May 7th, 2010 at 12:58:33 PM permalink
They pay even money. So, yes, if you could eliminate one card (the one they are tricking you to pick), then it would be an even game. I've seen this played in NY City, and sometimes after the first player picks a card, and loses, they still pay even money on the other two. Still, I would never touch the game just on principle.

I've seen it played in Vegas a couple times, once outside the Mirage moving walkway, and the other time at the corner of the Strip and Harmon. In Berlin I saw it played with three matchboxes and a ball the size of a pea.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 7th, 2010 at 1:43:54 PM permalink
nice video of the game. There is even a smoother at the end who makes the guy feel better and picks his pocket at the same time.
OneAngryDwarf
OneAngryDwarf
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May 7th, 2010 at 1:45:07 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

They pay even money. So, yes, if you could eliminate one card (the one they are tricking you to pick), then it would be an even game.



But even then, I'm sure that the dealer would quickly catch on to what you were doing, and start to employ slight-of-hand on the other two cards, to "counter-trick" you, as it were.

The cardinal rule in con games is always, "you can't cheat an honest man..."
"I believe I've passed the age/of consciousness and righteous rage/I've found that just surviving was a noble fight... I once believed in causes too/I had my pointless point of view/And life went on no matter who was wrong or right..." --Billy Joel
Dween
Dween
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May 7th, 2010 at 6:29:17 PM permalink
Let's say you follow the card they want you to (a loser), and you bet on one of the others.
Then, let's assume you happen to bet on the winning card.

A shill will come in and bet bigger on a loser. The dealer will say, "Sorry, the bigger bet is the one I take."

What if you put more money on your card? You know you have the winner if the shills are trying to steal away your bet!
They'll just knock over the table. "Oops, Sorry! No bet! No bet!"
-Dween!
Wizard
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Wizard
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May 7th, 2010 at 7:40:49 PM permalink
Quote: Dween


A shill will come in and bet bigger on a loser. The dealer will say, "Sorry, the bigger bet is the one I take."



A "biggest bet" policy should be a dead giveaway that something is fishy. If the "dealer" were legitimate then he should not object to offsetting bets, because it lowers his risk, and would only engender good will on the player who won. If both were wrong, then he would win both ways. Furthermore, even if he did have a one bet policy, he should honor the first bet made. To have the right to not accept a bet is ridiculous, because he knows where the queen is.

I started to write something about magicians who use shills, but decided to not change the topic, so wrote up that rant in my May 7 blog entry.
It's not whether you win or lose; it's whether or not you had a good bet.
pacomartin
pacomartin
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May 8th, 2010 at 12:02:31 AM permalink
Quote: OneAngryDwarf

The cardinal rule in con games is always, "you can't cheat an honest man..."



If you take the time to watch the video of the actors recreating the con in 1960's London, you see what they do.The mark sees some preliminary maneuvers that establish everybody's role in the game. Then they move in for the kill.

Shill #1 pretends to cheat the card dealer by surreptitiously looking at the card and putting $20 down. Then shill #1 looks away and the card dealer switches the cards. Shill #2 taps the mark on the shoulder to call attention to the fact that the cards have been switched and puts $40 down on the new position (basing his bet on Shill #1 looking at the card).

The mark thinks he has a lock since he saw both maneuvers of the men trying to cheat each other. He now puts down a $500 bet on his sure thing. At this point the losing card is overturned, and one shill calls out "police" and everyone scrambles with all the money. To add insult to injury a seeming store owner shows up and sympathizes with the mark who is all alone, and gives him $20 for cab fare, and then picks his pocket.
DJTeddyBear
DJTeddyBear
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May 8th, 2010 at 7:59:09 AM permalink
I admit that I got taken once, about 30 years ago, by a group playing the game on the streets of Midtown New York City. I only lost $40 before I put it all together. Considering I had a lot more on me, I think I did OK. In my experience, the cheater actually bent the corner of the 'queen'.

That video did an excellent job showing how the game works.




But what really surprises me is the comments here, talking about it like it is a casino game, run by honest operators, with security nearby.

Are you guys serious? You'd be lucky to get out of there without getting your ass kicked!


Gang, the only casino you'd find that game at is the 'locals' casino Clark Griswold goes to towards the end of Vegas Vacation.
I invented a few casino games. Info: http://www.DaveMillerGaming.com/ 覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧覧 Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? 😁
rudeboyoi
rudeboyoi
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May 8th, 2010 at 9:56:41 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear



Gang, the only casino you'd find that game at is the 'locals' casino Clark Griswold goes to towards the end of Vegas Vacation.



haha that casino is so awesome.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8c1BQkKUsx0

rock, paper scissors.

guess which hand.

what number am i thinking of?

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