Friday, June 14, 2013

Three-Card Monte Scam - Myth # 1 & # 2

Monte Myth # 1

The Three-Card Monte is an old street con game.
It works like this: the dealer holds a red queen and two black kings that he throws face down on a table or cardboard box. 
The rule is to guess which one is the queen. The victim puts his money down on the card he thinks is the winner, then the dealer turns it over to show which one it is. It appears to be a simple game to beat.
There is a general perception that street hustlers working the Three-Card Monte games always let you win the first time you play to get you hooked.
This myth grew from seeing money changing hands with other betters. The other betters are in fact part of the scam. It is their job to make you feel comfortable enough to take out your money and try to beat the dealer.
When you first walk up to the game, you see a guy who is winning most of the time with great enthusiasm. 
He makes the game feel like it’s a lot of fun and an easy way to make money. When he wins, you see how he did it. When he loses, you see where he went wrong. 
The dealer has a bag full of money stuffed in his pocket that he uses to keep his winnings and pay his losses. Since only one person bets at a time, the “other better” offers to let you play. If you accept, the dealer will hustle you out of twenty dollars on the first bet.
After a quick loss like this, you might take a step back to reassess your strategy. This allows our friend, the “other better,” to start betting again. He loses three times in a row and out of anger throws the losing card. When the dealer turns his back to retrieve the card, the “other better” bends the corner of the winning card. When the dealer returns, the game starts again. This time the other player picks the bent card and wins every time.
After sustaining several losses, the dealer says:
”That’s enough, let someone else play,” and he looks at you: “One last bet. Five hundred dollars limit. How much do you want to bet?” When you open your wallet, the “other better” excitedly snatches all your money and throws it on the bent card. The dealer turns the card over and you lose. He grabs the winnings, and puts it in his money bag that he stuffs back in his pocket. The dealer had secretly taken the bend out of the winning card.
When you start to argue to get your stolen money back, his partner, the “other better” screams “Police!” and takes off running. The dealer runs in the opposite direction. 
If you chase him he will throw his money bag. Once you get it, you’ll find that it’s a duplicate bag stuffed with newspaper and a rock. The rock adds enough weight to throw the bag far enough for the hustler to get away while you’re chasing the bag.

Monte Myth # 2

Three-Card Monte is one of the easiest sleights to learn. You only have to lift your middle finger first when throwing the cards onto the table. The simplicity of this trick means many people know how to do it. They know exactly where the winning card is, but they never win. If they pick the right card, the dealer says: “Double or nothing?” That is the cue for his partner to slap the money on the table first.
Since only one person is allowed to bet at a time,
this negates the deal.