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Two Takes on Three Card Monte

Garrett Thomas' "Stand-Up Monte"

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Two Takes on Three Card Monte

Garrett Thomas' "Stand-Up Monte"

As the name implies, Garrett Thomas’ “Stand-Up Monte” offers a strong Monte-themed effect with transpositions, but interestingly, the action doesn’t require you to lay cards down onto a table. As a result, you can perform for spectators who are seated at tables, as well as spectators who are standing, as is the situation at most cocktail hour events. Since the action occurs as spectators are holding cards, the “magic” effectively happens in their hands, which taps into the strength of “in the hand” routines such as “sponge balls.“ By the way, despite the “stand up” in the name, this effect is not for stand-up magic performing situations, but for close-up.

The second notable aspect of Thomas’ routine is that unlike most Monte routines that don’t culminate in a true ending, this routine climaxes in a wild card effect where all of the cards change into a single card, and then change places with the other three cards in your pocket. While the title “Ultimate” Monte has already been taken by Michael Skinner’s excellent routine, Thomas’ is deserving of this designation as well.

Thomas’ routine relies on gaffed cards, and while the moves are basic and not difficult to learn and perform, you’ll have to practice this one to confidently carry out the sequences. Here, one mis-turn of a card and the gig is up. This one is great for strolling as it quickly resets - if you like, as you’re putting the cards away. Thomas works from a pocket on his vest that holds the cards, but this can easily be adapted and performed with a front shirt pocket. I would have to experiment a bit to see which pocket on a jacket would be optimal.

I’m planning to put in the time and learn this one. I already have a Monte style routine that I regularly perform at tables (Skinner’s “Ultimate 3 Card Monte”) and another that I perform at cocktail hours where people are standing (Bob Sheet’s “Killer Kitson Miracle” - based on the Patrick Page gimmick - click here to read my thoughts). And Thomas’ version can conceivably replace both routines in my repertoire. And it’s also got that killer ending.

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