Article on the Three Shell Game

by Doug A  

Last Update: 07 Dec 2007

The Three Shell Game is a very old swindle. The game seems simple enough. A small green pea is placed under one of three walnut shells. The shells are mixed up, and the spectator (sucker) simply has to pick the shell that has the pea under it. From the spectator's point of view, even a 1 in 3 chance should provide a winner now and then. However, since the game is rigged, the spectator never wins (unless the performer allows it to happen).

The Shells can be anything from genuine Walnut shells, to the plastic and metal specially designed shells available today.

The Three Shell Game reference guide lists many routines, videos, and props for the shell game.

Interesting related links and Web Sites include: School for Scoundrels Forum by Whit Haydn and Chef Anton School for Scoundrels Store  Andrew Pinard's "La Maggorie" shells and other products  Preacher Charles Spurgeon mentions "thimble rigging" in his sermon on Soul Winning!

Magic Home Page           Magic Reference Page          Magic Links