A Treatise on the Sucker Effects of Three-Card Monte - All the Tricks of the History's Biggest Con Game by John Scarne - As Told to Audley V Walsh.pdf

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Three Card monte
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Definition of Gambling Terms. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .8
Foreword .........................……………………………........9
Introduction . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .10
Grifter's Signals. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .12
Familiar Phrases in Gambling . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .13
Three Card Monte . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .15
Series of Deceptive Moves . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .19
Bent or Crimped Corner, Grifter Method . . . . . . . . .21
The Flip ............................……………………………......24
The Flip Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .26
Grifter's Marked Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .27
Scarne's Monte Slide . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .28
Scarne's Triple Climax. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .30
Scarne's Method of the Crimped Corner . . . . . . . . .33
Scarne's Marked Corner. . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .35
The Stamped Ace . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .37
Scarne's Method of Torn Corner . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .40
Scarne's Push Over Change . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .41
Mexican Turn Over . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . . .42
The Daub ............................……………………………....45
ACE- A dollar. A good-humored individual, a sport.
BERRIES- Money-one of the terms a gambler uses when speaking of the balls to play.
BLANKET- Used sometimes in place of a table. Also means overcoat.
BLOWOFF- Climax.
BREEZE- Scram or screw; in other words, make an exit.
BUCK- Another term for dollar.
BULL- A policeman.
BUM STEER- Bad information.
CASE NOTE- Another way of saying the last dollar.
CHICKEN FEED- Silver coins, contemptuous term for small amount of money.
COME-ON- The guy who leads the suckers on. The shill working a crowd with the grifter.
DICK- Another way of saying detective.
DO-RE ME- A fancy way of saying money or funds.
FIN- Meanings are two-a hand or a five dollar bill.
FLY-COP- Another nice way of saying detective.
FROG- Still another way of saying dollar.
GRAND- Everyone knows this means a thousand "bucks."
HAMDONNY- Burned out pugilist.
HEP- Wise to.
JACK- Money.
JOHN- Another way of saying sucker.
JOHN LAW- An officer of the law.
KALE- Once again we say "money."
KICK- A pocket.
LAY-OUT- The gambling equipment.
MARK- Did you ever hear of an easy-mark?
MUG- Sap-a gent not looked upon with respect-a palooka.
NICK- To make an impression on a bank roll.
OAKUS- Wallet.
PALOOKA- Hanger-on-One who does not know what it is all about.
PIG- Also a wallet-made of leather.
POKE - Pocket-book.
QUEER- Counterfeit money.
QUEER SHOVER- The fellow who passes counterfeit money.
SAW BUCK- Ten dollars.
SIMOLEON- Once again we say dollar differently.
SUGAR- Money, of course.
VEAL CUTLET- Overcoat spread over knees as playing table.
YAP- Stupid victim.
John Scarne is known and praised by the world's best magicians for his clever manipulation of cards. It is
doubtful if there is another card man in the country who can entertain and mystify as John Scarne. His
effects are of a lightning nature and done with the ease and control of a master. His "Card in the Pocketbook"
is a masterpiece and imitated by many. There is no doubt that he is the greatest table worker we have in the
world today. Gamblers have offered him enormous sums for some of his table workings.
John Scarne started his career as a boy and is still a young man. He has appeared before and entertained
the Presidents of these United States and celebrities all over the world. Being of a creative mind, he has
originated and perfected many beautiful card sleights, and after many requests he has at last consented to
give to his admiring friends this series of original moves and sleights under the heading of "Why You Can't
Win, a Treatise on the Art of Three Card Monte and its Sucker Effects."
And in compiling this book, we feel that the lay man will at last have obtained a thorough knowledge of
the reasons why he can't win, and the magic fraternity will be getting a series of manipulative moves that
have been closely guarded by gamblers and three card monte men (better known as grifters). Furthermore
we can honestly state that after careful research there is no book that deals with the subject as thoroughly,
as you will discover after reading these pages. Hoping that John will favor us in the near future with
another series, I remain, Sincerely,
A. V. Walsh
Three Card Monte and its sucker effects--a marvellous topic for thorough discussion. I don't know how far
back in history this game goes, or who invented it, but I do know that it is one of the best means of exhibiting
your proficiency in the art of dexterity. No doubt it is closely related to the three shell game, which developed
from cups and balls, and they go way back in history. I read in some history book that Nero did some clever
moves with cups and balls, when he was not playing his fiddle.
Now, before we go any further into this discussion, let's get acquainted with the types of people we will
meet during said discussion. First, there is the Grifter --better known as three-card man or monte worker.
Three-card man we call him, but to the mob he is known as a broad tosser. He is the gentleman whom you
see standing behind a small table or packing case, in fact behind anything that he can use, providing he can
attract a crowd with his cry of “Step this way, gentlemen."
During the recent N.R.A'. celebration and parade in New York, the "grifters" were very much in evidence.
Mingling with the crowd, they managed to attract the attention of on-lookers with their come-on tactics, and
many of the lambs were shorn of their wool so smoothly that they were hardly aware of it. Many are the ways
that games start. A familiar method is to ask a spectator to hold out the newspaper he is reading. Cards are
spread on it and with the efforts of the "shills,'' a crowd collects, interest runs high when the apparent
simplicity of the card moves going on in front of them impresses them, the spectators put their money up and
get cleaned, as it were.
[I This refers to National Recovery Act, an effort of F. D. Roosevelt to improve the economy. The year was
Almost anything will serve as a table top for the grifter. Sometimes, the back of one of the boosters will
serve, while his arm-pits serve as convenient nooks or wells for certain necessary card changes. Win? Try to
do it, brother! You haven't a chance.
The "grifter" is ably assisted by a group of followers knows as "cappers," "boosters," "shills," the latter name
being the correct one. These gentlemen travel around with him at all times. The clever "grifter" has clever
"shills." This group you will find in any place where there is an opportunity to make money--at race tracks, on
trains, carnivals, ocean steamers, even among society and better known clubs. "Shills" working at these
places dress accordingly. One of these "shills" is usually known as a "ham-donny"--a third rate pugilist who
goes along as strong arm man for the mob. He is the gentlemen who tells you to "scram or screw" if you
should put up a holler after you have been gypped or cheated. No doubt you have read or been told that the
"grifter" will let the spectator win to encourage betting. This is wrong. It has never been known that the "broad
tosser" gave the sucker an even break. The winning spectator is always a "shill." Nobody has ever beat a
"grifter" at his own game. It is impossible. (Incidentally there is one exception that is hardly an exception to
the rule-up to a short time ago, a mob was working on ferry boats around New York. They let suckers win,
but after close examination, it was discovered that the winnings paid by the mob was counterfeit money, or
"queer" money, as it is called by them. It was a clever way to get rid of the "queer. ")
The reason why you can't win--the "shill" himself never knows where the winning ace is until the signal is
given to him by the "grifter." After that if you are lucky enough to place your hand on the winning ace the
"shill" will place his hand on any other card. The "grifter" grabs the "shill's" money, thereby killing your
chances of winning, because only one person can play at a time. The "grifter" will say, "Money in hand or no
play." If you give him your money first, then place your hand on the right card, he will say, "Double the bet?"
The "shill" will then say, "I double the bet." You get your money back and the "shill" wins, thereby keeping the
money in the mob. The "grifter" will say, "Double the bet," if you have your hand on the wrong card. If you do,
it is O. K.; if you don't it's O.K.--you lose anyway.
After dealing the cards in Three Card Monte the shill never knows where the winning card is, until
signalled to him by the Grifter. Each mob of monte workers use a code of signals of their own and the most
prominent used codes are as follows:
When winning card is in center the Grifter calls:
"I pay 20 to 10 on the Ace."
When the winning card is on the right he calls:
"I pay 10 to 5 on the Ace."
When the winning card is on the left he calls:
“I pay 2 to 1 on the Ace."
The Grifter after dealing will leave his hand or hands on the board in the following manner:
When the winning card is on the left his right hand rests on table.
When the winning card is on the right his left hand rests on the table.
When the winning card is in center both hands rest on table.
When winning card is in the center he looks up or straight ahead.
When the winning card is on the left he looks toward the right.
When the winning card is on the right he looks toward the left.
The word "Hipe" means to cheat. Using the word in this discussion of cards will mean to over-throw. For
instance, if you hold two cards in your hand, the winning ace on the bottom, in the act of throwing the ace to
the table you hipe. In other words, you do not throw the ace but throw the upper card. That is hiping.
Shills or Cappers
Arouses enthusiasm in the game. He is the encourager, the plugger, one who encourages you to enter into
a game of chance. Also known as a booster.
Money Bag
Money bag used by the grifter, made of a piece of chamois approximately 8 to 12 inches in diameter. It is
interlaced around the edge with a cord made so that in case of emergency all he has to do is grab the string
and pull. The bag then automatically closes up. The grifter will also have a duplicate money bag filled with
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