Three Shell Game questions

Discussion in 'Magic Forum' started by Scodischarge, Oct 26, 2019.

  1. Hi guys,
    A few questions concerning the three shell game: 1. Which source would you recommend to learn it? From little snippets I've read at various forums I'm fairly sure I can piece together the basics, but it would be good to have some sources nevertheless.
    2. I'd like to learn to do it with bottlecaps, as well (for the street scam feel of it). However, I've read that the mechanics of that are quite different from the normal shell version. Is there any source that teaches this particular variant?

    Appreciate any help you can give me! :)
  2. I don’t know much about it but from what I’ve heard Sal Piacente has some work on that.
  3. The sources I know about are Sal Piacente and School For Scoundrels. I'm hoping on some insight which of these might be more useful, especially for the bottlecaps.
  4. As much as I disagree with a lot of what is on the Magic Cafe I cannot deny that both Phil Cass's and Gary ouellet are good for beginners.

    Supershells is the name of the routine by Gary ouellet.
  5. Gustav Dubh likes this.
  6. School for scoundrels is the way to go for sure. An introduction to the shell game is a good starter and the boot camp is the best way to learn the caps. There is also a book with patterns by Peter Woerde that i can recommend.
  7. Thanks for the suggestions, everybody! At the moment my biggest priority concerning the TSG is the bottle-cap version, so if there's any source that teaches only that, I'd take that as well. Is Bob's Bootcamp the only place to teach that version?
  8. As far as i know, Bob's bootcamp is the only one special for bottle-caps. It teaches you all you ever need and then some. It is not about the handling, bottle-caps are not easier or harder to handle then custom-made shells. The technique is easy enough, the venom is in the presentation.
    Magician situation: magician flashes, loses pea and makes a joke about it. Audience loves it.
    Bottle-cap situation: Hustler in shady pub flashes, loses pea, gets knifed and bet the shit out of him if he is lucky. Broken fingers are almost traditional.
    If you want to be a gambler: buy Bob's bootcamp and a gun.
    If you are a magician: buy Bob's bootcamp. Gun optional.
    Mr_ARPY likes this.
  9. I'm surprised that the bottle-caps are no harder. From what little I know about custom-made shells I thought it would be quite a lot harder. At the Magic Café I also read that the sleights required for the bottle-caps are quite different from the sleights for the shells, and sleights for matchboxes are again something different.
    Don't worry, I don't plan to use anything I learn for dishonest purposes (at least, nothing more dishonest than a magic presentation). But I like making the presentations for street-cons as authentic as possible, and bottle-caps are just more "streety" than shells.

    Again, thanks for suggesting Bob's Bootcamp. Being the miser that I am, I'll first try to figure it out on my own, but if all else fails, I'll get it.
  10. I just wanted to give my input on this. I suggest that you actually learn the real trick instead of trying to figure it out on your own.
    When it comes to tricks such as this one, I always learn the trick first, then change the prop to something else to see just what I can get away with in some cases I usually make the prop myself). The prop you do the trick with, doesn't change the trick, or how it's done.

    Off the top of my head, if I wanted to do this trick at a kids party, I would create a Pokemon version of it (Using the Pokeball the Pokemon come in) and having a miniature Pikachu to represent the pea or nut. I could also do something even more practical by making hearthstone card boxes. You get the idea.
  11. Thanks for the input. The main reason for my unwillingness to spend money on this (and I know it's not constructive if I want to get really good at this) is that the three shell game isn't my main priority, but more of a side project at the moment.

    The reason I thought it would be (at least subtly) different is because the design of professionally made shells facilitate the stealing of the pea. Changing bottle caps in a similar way would be far more conspicuous. (Not trying to argue here (you know more about the trick than me), just trying to make my reasoning clear.)
  12. Actually I don't know the trick at all. in fact I never had a desire to even learn this. The information I was giving you, was coming from understanding how magic works and the industry in general.
  13. Just get a vernet-set. They work very well, cost around a tenner and come with peas and instructions for the basic moves. Learn them. That will take about 15-20 minutes. Practise with shells for a while until you get the 'feel' for it, then get three bottle-caps and use them. See what happens. I can't think of a cheaper way than that. The bottle-caps are not modified, it is the way you handle them that makes the difference. A shell is pushed, while a cap is tilted slightly forwards and then pushed, if you get me. This creates the gap that shells have built-in.
  14. Thanks. I was thinking along those lines myself, but hadn't gotten round to trying it yet.

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