Three Card Monte: Learn How to Avoid Getting Cheated Out of Your Money

Three Card Monte: Learn How to Avoid Getting Cheated Out of Your Money

Did you know that there are some casino-style gambling games that are impossible to win?

No matter what strategies, tips, and techniques you think you know – you just can’t win. Want to know the name of biggest loser game of all?

Three-card monte – a favorite of the con man. Maybe you’ve walked down the side streets of Las Vegas, Atlantic City, or your local casino district. You’ve seen this game being played and you saw someone winning some money and thought, “Damn, I want to get in on that – looks easy!” Read this article before you jump in – it just might save you some money.

The 3 Card Monte Scam: How it Works


The game of three-card monte has only one objective: to trick or delude you into believing that a simple bet you makes can earn you a lot of money. That’s it – nothing else! There is no three-card monte system you can learn or a three-card monte strategy guide to help you win. The way you get fooled is due to what is going on behind the scenes in this con game. The biggest con is that the audience is in on this game. There’s an outside man, who might look to you like just another man or woman checking out the three-card monte game. Looks can be deceiving though. This guy is part of the con and he’s trying to make you believe that he’s just an ordinary guy. Two other people are also involved, usually part of the audience as well that help to portray the image that this game is a legitimate casino-style game. In fact, that’s one of the ways they try to trick you into playing the game – this is called the hook.

In any con, the hook is the words that the con man will tell you in order to convince you to get involved by using your money. Part of the hook is maybe giving you a free bet (similar to a drug dealer that gives you the drug for free the first time – he knows you’ll get hooked on the drug and be willing to pay the second time you want it). In the three-card monte, the con man will tell you about how the casino is a big con because you never win due to the house edge. By setting the casino across the street as the con, it subconsciously makes you believe that his game is actually the easier game to win compared to the casino – and that the casino is the con man, not him. Of course, he’ll throw out some jokes to get you laughing so you get relaxed and think, “Hey, this is a cool guy – he wouldn’t con me". The outside man (which is part of the audience but is actually in on the con) may pressure you to bet as well saying, “What are you scared of betting? Just bet a little dude!”

The 3 Card Monte Scam: The Con-Man Setup


Now that we’ve talked about the setup of the con, let’s talk about how the game is played and the way these con-man learn how to cheat casino players using three-card monte. They first find a location with a lot of foot traffic – and obviously the foot traffic must be largely consisting of people conducive to gambling. The location must have good foot traffic yet be far enough from the police – the police will always break up a three-card monte game. Once the prime location has been chosen, the con men put up a small table with three cards on top of it. The lead 3 card monte conman (the one handling the cards who is behind the table) tells the crowd that has formed that one of these cards is a queen. The crowd is then instructed to follow the queen as he shuffles the cards around the three spots. If he gets a mark (the one falling for the con that will soon lose his money) that person must point at one of those three cards – choosing the one he thinks is the queen. If the mark would ever win he would get 1:1 payment – meaning he gets the money he bet plus that amount (he bets $100 – he gets his original $100 back plus an extra $100). This seems so easy – yet this is exactly why so many people fall for this trap.

Another way people get hooked is that one of the co-conspirators bets and he wins a few times. The crowd thinks he’s just a regular guy winning money, so they start to bet. Of course, they all lose – only the ones involved in this crime ever “win”. What to know what makes it even worse? Let’s say you’re betting in 3-card monte, you put down a $20 bet and you actually pick the right card. One of the co-conspirators will put down $50 on the wrong card and lead con-man will say, “Whoa, I gotta go with the larger bet sorry” and you lose again.

Here’s a video on con-men cheating people using 3 card monte and how to avoid getting duped: