Prof. Nilsson

Cardsharp and speaker

Find the lady

3-card monte is not a game, it’s robbery. If you choose the right card, they still take your money.

The game that is robbery

You’ll find the game on the streets of most big cities – you’re supposed to find the black lady or the little paper ball under the match-box.

There are different variations but the secret is always the same. If you manage to choose the right card, they still take your money and run with it.

Everyone you see on the street belongs to the mob, except the victim. Often it’s a little frail 70-year-old lady who brought her travel funds in cash.

A young women often acts as a barker. Her job is to push people into the game and “help” them bet, that is, snatching bills from the hands of polite Japanese tourists.

Why don't they simply rob people right off? In this way, it’s difficult to prove more than illegal gambling – and for that you only get a slap on the wrist.

Stay away, take a detour and read Whit Haydn’s fascinating story about the game’s checkered history.