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Two Takes on Three Card Monte

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Two Takes on Three Card Monte

Wolfgang Moser’s “Miracle Monte”

Whether it’s a routine that mimics an actual monte scam session or a presentation that emphasizes the transposition of cards without making spectators “lose,” the Three Card Monte is always a popular theme in close-up card magic. Two takes on the Monte, “Miracle Monte” by Wolfgang Moser and “Stand Up Monte” by Garrett Thomas, both offer entertaining but different experiences.

Miracle Monte
Wolfgang Moser’s “Miracle Monte” builds largely on the Michael Skinner’s “Ultimate 3 Card Monte” method and routine. Like a great Monte routine that magicians can perform for lay people, the routine features deliberate motions without the fast moves that are designed to confuse spectators. The result, as in the Skinner routine, are some excellent transpositions where the “money” card changes places with one of the other cards. (The “money” card is the different card among the three that spectators are trying to follow and identify.)

I like the addition of the paper clip in one phase to “mark” the “money” card - something that I had seen used in a more traditional Monte-style routine by Steve Draun from his “Standing Room Only: Vol. 1" (please click here to read my review). Moser’s ending features a powerful transposition where by tearing a corner of a card, it turns into another one. I like the way that Moser’s routine creates a culmination and climax to a Monte routine which makes this one well worth performing.

Like the Skinner routine, “Miracle Monte” relies on a similarly gaffed card. With each performance you will be tearing and discarding a gaff (although it makes a good souvenir for a spectator), and the kit comes with 20 cards for 20 performances.

If you perform “Miracle Monte” a lot, you’ll quickly go through the supply of gimmicked cards - a definite consideration before buying the product and investing the time to learn and perform it. Unfortunately, I see no options offered by the magic dealers to just purchase replacement cards. At $25 for 20 cards in the kit, you’ll be spending a little over a dollar for each performance.

The moves aren’t difficult, but as with most Monte magic routines, this one is all about learning a sequence of moves and gaining confidence so you may execute the sequence flawlessly in front of spectators. By the way, unlike the Skinner routine, Moser’s does employ a couple of foundational card skills, but it’s still appropriate for most skill levels, which includes beginners. Unlike most Monte routines where all the action occurs on the table, Moser’s routine has segments that are performed above the table which allows it to be seen by larger crowds.

The DVD offers good instructions to effectively teach the effect. One downside, the audio was rather poor and hard to understand. Also, with a routine this complex, I would have liked the addition of written instructions because I have to write down the sequences anyway to learn the routine.

Overall, “Miracle Monte” has the potential to be a fun, worker effect that you can always turn to (just as long as you have a supply of the gaffed cards).

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