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  • Darren Whichello

The 3 Card Monte

Updated: Feb 4, 2023

I do love a Monte effect and think I have performed one at every booking I have ever done. They are fast and fun and really suit my magic character! The real, on the floor gambling version does not work for a strolling Magician and is in my opinion is a little too much like being a street hustler but there are many other great magician versions out there. The fist version I used to perform was based on a great little routine I saw a very talented Magician called Stephen Tucker perform using a double-backer. (I bought a lot of material off of Stephen when I first started in magic and he was not only a great creature but a very funny performer too!) His routine was not a Monte effect but I adapted it to be one. Then I saw R.Paul Wilson's very strong 3 Card Monte routine at what I think was my first magic lecture which was put on by International Magic in Clerkenwell. I bought the effect which used special gaff cards and spent many, many hours trying to get it right! I was still quite new to magic and remember really struggling with a move called The Glide! The main problem with this effect though was that it needed a table which I often did not have available as I mingled with guests as a Close-Up Magician. I then discovered one of the great 3 Card Monte effects! I bought a series of DVD's by an American Card Magician by the name of Bill Malone and wow! Bill is without a doubt my favourite performer and probably the greatest influence on my magic and his handling of Michael Skinners 3 Card Monte is just brilliant! Again, it needs a table but apart from that it is just so much fun! If you have not seen it, do check out Bill Malone on YouTube performing it, you'll be in for a treat! Now, I thought this was the last word in Monte effects and then I discovered Paul Gordon's incredible "Corner of Piccadilly"! In my opinion this is as good as it gets! Not a 3 Card Monte but a 4 Card Monte that is great fun, ends clean and does not need a table! I perform it at every gig I do and it continues to blow audience away every time! Paul Gordon is not only a great Card Magician but also an incredible creature of tricks and routines and was a great inspiration to me when I was starting to perform for money as he was a very busy Professional Magician who only performs Card Magic! I now perform other magic but when I started it was only cards so it was reassuring to know it could be done! I have recently been playing around with Garret Thomas's "Stand Up Monte" routine and although it's very good and also does not need a table, I still think the Paul Gordon Monte has the edge!

So, if you meet me at a party, wedding or event please ask me to show you a 3 Card Monte effect but remember never play for money!

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