Keith R.A. DeCandido (kradical) wrote,
Keith R.A. DeCandido

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Schott's Miscellany 31 August 2009

Summer Bank Holiday (Engl., Wales, N. Ire.)


Three-card monte--otherwise known as find the lady or bonneteau--is one of the oldest scams. Three cards, usually two black cards and a red queen, are placed (by the tosser) on a table and shuffled before your eyes. You (the punter) have to find the lady. Although to most players it seems that only the tosser is involved, all such scams employ ropers who crowd the table, shills who pretend to be winning punters, and scouts who keep a lookout for the law. Sometimes the shills or ropers will "help" a punter by covertly turning down the corner of the queen when the tosser is not looking--only for the tosser to sneakily straighten that card and bend the corner of another. Clearly, the only reliable way to win this game is never to play. However, if you are tempted, the best advice is this: Follow the dealer's hands very closely until you are absolutely certain beyond any doubt that you have identified the queen. Then, bet on one of the other two cards, thus increasing your chance of winning from 0 to 50 percent. That said, if by chance you do win, there is a high probability that a scout will raise the alarm and the game will be abandoned before you have collected your money, or that you will be pursued and "relieved" of your winnings.

MODULAMINOUS--having a pleasing melody
"50 Cent? Hardly modulaminous."
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