The Ultimate 3 Card Monte by Michael Skinner
I will always remember the first time I saw Michael Skinner perform this, and when Michael gave Louis Falanga and me permission to feature this as the bonus effect along with our ICEBREAKERS video project, we felt like we were blessed by the Pope and then hugged by JFK. The Ultimate 3 Card Monte is the holy grail of powerful, simple, card effects that will be in-your-face-impossible as long as the current laws of physics still apply.
All laymen are at least vaguely aware of the gambling game that uses 3 cards, so there is some built in interest to the concept. The problem with the legitimate tossing version of the 3 Card Monte is that people simply don’t care enough to really, truly try to follow which cards are going where during the tossing procedure, because they don’t have any ‘skin’ in the game. But even if they did, ultimately, they’re always wrong… which may sound good on paper, but in reality, always being wrong isn’t the most fun someone can have.
But The Ultimate 3 Card Monte, which requires two mis-pipped cards to perform, can be done so slowly that everyone can follow exactly what cards go where. The mis-pipped principle is amazingly deceptive; I don’t think there is any better method for convincingly turning 1 single card face down, which instantly becomes a completely different card when it’s turned face up again.
So there’s no tossing, no throwing and no mixing the cards around on the table to confuse people. Three cards are placed one at a time face down, and then instantly turned over to show the money card is in a different place!
To beautifully compliment this perfect technique, you’ll see Dai Vernon’s influence all the way through the presentation. Because no one is ‘wrong’ except you, the performer, and yet all along you are clearly trying to be a good guy!
To end, I show you a perfectly natural, completely convincing way to switch the 3 gimmicked cards for 3 regular cards, just in case people wanted to look at the cards. But even better… Trevor Lewis, my wonderfully talented friend from Wales, has given me permission to share his Bent Corner Switch, which is the absolutely perfect way to wrap up the Ultimate 3 Card Monte!
This is the only move with regular cards I’ve ever seen which can ‘compete’ with the 3 phases they’ve just seen. But this beautiful switch of bent corners actually looks as if it takes the effect to another level, even using the same slow, non-tossing turn over as the gimmicked cards used. Then BAM! The bent corner has magically moved and you end with 3 regular cards sitting on the table to be examined!
Originally appearing on "ICEBREAKERS" DVD.
Michael has been teaching magic for 30 years. Mentored by The Professor, Dai Vernon, Michael began lecturing worldwide back in the early 80's. Since then he has been honored with six magician of the year awards from the Academy of Magical Arts and has been featured on The Tonight Show and David Letterman. His "Easy to Master Card Miracles" are the best-selling magic videos in the world.