alsothree-card mollie, three-card molly[Sp. monte, a 19C game of chance, played with 45 cards. The modern game is played only by confidence tricksters. There is no gambling and unless the trickster desires otherwise – to entice a new victim – the house invariably wins; however, note Asbury Sucker’s Progress (1938): ‘Three-Card Monte was a Mexican invention, and a misnomer if ever there was one, for it had no more actual relationship to Monte than to Old Maid.’]
[late 19C+] (orig. US) the three-card trick.
2. attrib. use of sense 1.
one who conducts the game.
three-card (monte) man