Routine for You: Giant Three Card Monte (By Duane Laflin)

Routine_ Giant Three Card Monte

This is another routine that fits the category of “professional presentation.”  It involves a prop that is comparatively expensive ($159.00), yet, in light of the value it offers for those who truly want to work with their magic, it is a bargain.

Even those who do not do many shows will find the prop to be a great value (if it fits the budget).  It allows for an entertaining routine that is amazing and fun.  Beyond that, it fills an expectation most audiences have that the magician will do some kind of big trick with cards.


This is a trick some have avoided because they believe it should be done with an assistant who can help hold the giant cards.  I do perform it with an assistant and know of others who do the same.  However, an assistant is not necessary.  What you are about to read explains how the trick can be used by a solo performer.

What happens?

The magician shows the audience three giant cards.  Two are identical (King of clubs).  One is different (Queen of Hearts).

A guessing game is played with these three cards wherein the cards are turned so the backs are toward the audience and the audience is then asked to find the location of the Queen card.

The audience never finds the Queen.  After the game is played three times, the magician reveals that the Queen has completely vanished.  All he has are three cards that are exactly the same (King of Clubs).

How is it done?

This is a time when an incredibly good trick is also incredibly easy.  The cards are gimmicked so they change by themselves when turned end for end.  In other words, each of the three cards can either be a King of Queen.  It all depends on which way the card is turned over.

There is nothing complicated or difficult about the handling.  Anyone can do it.



The key to doing the trick as a solo presentation is having a place to stand up the cards.  Dollar Stores almost always carry “plate stands” which are small wire holders that allow plates to be displayed in an upright position.  They work perfectly for standing up the giant cards.  You only need two of the stands because the third card will be held in your hands.


Turn the cards so that two of them are Kings and one is a Queen.


“It is time to play a game.  It is guessing game, actually a gambling game that teaches us a good lesson.  The lesson is, do not ever take the gamble called ‘Three Card Monte.’”

Show the giant cards.  Show each one individually.

“The game is played with only three cards. That is why so many people are deceived by it.  They think, How can I not win when the game only has three cards.

“What makes it seem even easier is two cards are the same.  The game is played with a King of Clubs and another King of Clubs.  Only one card is different, the Queen of Hearts.

“Here is how the game happens.  The gambler puts the two Kings on display, but turns them so the backs only can be seen.

“Next, he takes the Queen and switches her with one of the Kings.  Like this.”

Put the two Kings on the stands with backs outwards.  When you do this, turn one of the Kings so it becomes a Queen.

When you exchange the Queen with one of the Kings, turn her so she becomes a King (back is outwards so audience does not see this.)  Switch the Queen, which is now a King, with the King that you turned into a Queen.

“The gamble happens. Onlookers are asked to bet a dollar they can find the queen.  People always do it because they think, iI is obvious, I know right where she is.

“However, onlookers always get it wrong!”

Show that the Queen is not where expected.  In fact, she is back again in your hand.

Repeat this another time. Move the cards around and, in the process, turn them over as necessary so the Queen is not where expected.  Ask the audience to guess the location of the Queen and they will be incorrect.

The third time you do this, turn all the cards so none of them will be a Queen.  Ask the audience to guess the location and show them there was no way they could get it right.

“You see, the gambler cheats.  The chosen card will never been seen for actually…there is no Queen!  That is why it is not good to play Three Card Monte!”


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