three-card monte n.
1. (orig. US) the three-card trick.
|implied in three-card (monte) man|
|Artemus Ward, His Book 173: A party of bald heded cullered men who was playing 3 card monty on the stoop of the Red Eagle tavern.|
|Undeveloped West 140: I had the pleasure (?) of seeing at least a score of ‘smart Alecks’ relieved of their surplus cash by betting on the ‘strap galoe,’ ‘patent lock,’ ‘ten-die game,’ ‘three-card monte’ and other beautiful uncertainties.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 7 Mar. 13/2: Oh, we can only put up three-card monte and the themble in tents, and what with the friendly Harabs staken’ with coin what a bloke’s not up to there’s not much in it.|
|Forty Years a Gambler 295: When a sucker sees [...] a little spot on a card in three-card monte.|
|Confessions of a Con Man 13: I dallied with all the games – phony poker, three-card monte, gold bricks, [...] and a dozen others.|
|Microbes and Men 17: Nature chose to make the game a game of three card monte, leading people astray when they are most sure they are right.|
|Life of a Lumberman 28: These crooks explained the game of three card monte to us and, of course, it looked like a sure thing. It was. It always is. But not for the sucker.|
|Sucker’s Progress 42: A great many other games of chance, some of them downright swindles from start to finish, have enjoyed more or less lengthy periods of popularity in various sections of the United States [...]: Monte, Keno, Three-Card Monte.|
|Dead Ringer 21: Your pennypitch games that slide along the borderline of gambling would be shell games and three-card montes.|
|Men of the Und. 325: Three-card monte, A gambling-game in which three cards, usually one face card and two numbered cards, are shuffled and laid face down, the bettor then attempting to win by guessing which one is the face card.|
|Manchild in the Promised Land (1969) 170: He showed me the trick in three-card mollie.|
|(con. 1950s) Whoreson 36: Two slick old Negroes playing three card molly with four white men.|
|Texas Stories (1995) 140: They’d sheared the rubes and flapped the jays, flimflammed them at the jam auctions and suckered them at three-card monte.‘The Last Carousel’ (from Playboy) in|
|‘Broadway’ [lyrics] Running three-card monte over by the station.|
|Homeboy 26: Now he was reduced to hustling streetcorner threecard monte.|
|Cutman [ebook] I could read trouble the way a con-man [...] hustling three-card Monte [...] could read a mark.|
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
|On the Road to Riches 325: Three-Card Monte Trick. The three-card monte game is the best one to get the greenhorn’s money.|
|Big Con 2: The three-card monte grifter takes a few dollars from a willing farmer here and there.|
|Naked Lunch (1968) 218: With gambler fingers he shifts the photos in Three Card Monte Passes.|
|Tuff 152: The three-card monte con they’d all come to Brooklyn to learn.|
one who conducts the game.
|Mules and Men (1995) 173: De Jack is Three Card Charlie who played me for a goat.|
one who conducts the game.
|DA].in Weiss Life Theodore Parker II 134: Three-card-monte men, and gambling-house keepers [|
|Nat. Police Gaz. (NY) 15 Oct. 6/1: A three-card monte man plied his illegitimate craft near the steamboat landing at Rockaway.|
|Post to Finish I 7: Three-card men hoarsely vociferating that you do not name the Queen of Clubs for ‘a croon.’.|
|W.A. Sun. Times (Perth) 26 May 1/1: Being taken for a ‘three card’ man last week has not abashed ‘Mine Uncle’ in the least.|
|Bar-20 xxiii: The three-card-monte men on the street corners enriched themselves at the cost of venturesome know-it-alls.|
|Truth (Brisbane) 2 Aug. 9/7: Awl the clever devvil burglars, / Three card blokes, and trickkey men.|
|Enemy to Society 119: Through the various stages of piano-player, floor manager of dance halls, three-card-monte man.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 14 Nov. 2/4: In one business block in Melbourne there are four ‘dummy’ auctioneers. They all sell the same class of shoddy and have the same ‘gee-ers’. During the holiday week this class of rascal does roaring business. These auction rooms are the spieler’s haven of rest. The runners-up or ‘gee-ers’ are all well-known confidence and three-card men. [...] In the bogus auction rooms they act the parts of jewellers and dealers, and keep a look out for mugs who are fleeced for the auctioneer, and later on skinned for the crook’s own benefit, if their hides are worth the trouble.|
|Headless Lady (1987) 34: I want you to meet the dean of the broad tossers, the best three-card-monte man in the business.|