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Haydn, Whit and Chef Anton: Notes on Three-Card Monte
©2001 The School for Scoundrels
Paper, Spiral-bound, 154pages, 8.5x11"
Notes on The Three Card Monte
Image from Magicref

Comments: B&W clear photos throughout. This is a full treatise on the Three Card Monte, not as a magic trick, but as a swindle (with appropriate warnings never to use this to cheat anyone). In a swindle, there will be others in the audience who intentionally guess wrong, helping the sucker think he is better than average at following the card.


i Preface (Whit Haydn and Chef Anton): Introduction to street cons, and some warnings about using these to con people
1 Three Card Monte - History: an excellent coverage of the Monte through the years and across the continents with lots of anecdotes
16 Closed Monte and Open Monte: Open Monte is performed in the streets and gathers a crowd, closed Monte targets an individual
18 Closed Monte - The Rube Act of Frank Tarbeaux: an account of an actual closed Monte swindle
22 Open Monte - The London Mob: An account by Gazzo of an actual open Monte scam
27 Trays, Boxes, Tables and Umbrellas - The Layouts: the wide variety of playing surfaces used through history are discussed
35 Sleight-of-Hand
35 The Cards: use borderless cards, such as Bee, and how to prepare them
37 The Mix: this is not where the dirty work is done
39 The Toss: how to hold and toss the cards
41 The Hype: the most important move in Monte
43 Three In the Hands Toss: picking up and tossing all three cards with one hand
43 Flushtration Move: Show Ace and Joker as two Jokers
44 Some Other Switches: Buckle Double-Lift, Glide, Vernon's Optical Move, and Scarne's Monte Slide
49 Turnover Moves: Flip, Flip-Change, Mexican Turnover
54 Throws and Patterns: all the major variations of throwing and mixing are covered in outline form. These throws can be routined.
60 Hooks and Come-Ons: Come-ons are more for magician's tricks, as a real sucker will shy off; a hook is an apparent 'mistake'
61 Bent Corner: identifies the Monte card, or so they think
62 Gazzo's Creased Lightning: sucker can actually see part of the index
65 One-Way Backs Hook: using a deck with one-way backs
67 Scarne's Crimped Corner: a Come-On version of the bent corner
68 Scarne's Marked Corner: spectator draws a line on the back of the Ace
69 Paperclip: to mark the Monte card
70 Torn Corner: no good as a hook, but a great come-on
72 Kohler's Knifed!: stabbing the card to the table, and Bob Kohler's excellent method with a knife
76 Stamp: placing a sticker on the back of the card
78 Pencil Mark, Lipstick and Daub: can be a come-on or a hook
81 Psychology and Shills: how the game is played on the street
85 Speiling the Broads - Monte Patter: lines and patter used for the game
90 Three-Card Monte in Film: a listing of movies featuring the game
93 Monte and the Law (Chef Anton): Conversations with police officers from Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas, San Francisco, Atlanta, NY City, and Final Thoughts
98 Beating the Monte (Chef Anton): a bust of a Monte game
99 Exhibition Routine - Three Card Gold (Whit Haydn and Chef Anton): a full Monte routine
108 Afterthoughts - Right on Cue (Performance Notes from Chef Anton): on practicing and making a character
111 The Meaning for Magic: An essay on performing the Monte as magic
115 Appendix - Closed Monte - Canada Bill's Rube Act: another closed Monte description
118 Closed Monte - Devol's Bent Corner and Pencil Mark: more stories
120 Closed Monte - The Dry Cleaner/Tailor Play: another story
122 Closed Monte - The Texas Twist (Detective S.M. Haines): an article by a detective with the Dallas Police Department. Also a short story by Mike Rogers.
126 Closed Monte - The Girl at the Bar (Whit Haydn and Sophie Evans): another sucker...
128 Open Monte - Devol and The Boys From Texas
129 Open Monte - Race Monte
130 Open Monte - Even a Man About Town Can Get Taken in the City: with an e-mail from Mr. Kroll
133 Open Monte - Piccadilly Ploy
138 Rise In Con Games Reported in Downtown Shopping District (Michael Krikorian): an L.A. Times article
139 How to Photograph Three-Card Monte and the Shell Game (Ronald A. Wohl): and not get caught!
141 Scoundrels' Glossary: The slang of the game
149 Bibliography
151 The School for Scoundrels: about Chef Anton and Whit Haydn
152 Gazzo
153 Ronald A. Wohl
154 Advertisement for more from The School for Scoundrels