Vietnamese Monte

Just over a week ago I was in a boat off the west coast of Vietnam and in the evening was playing cards with some friends. It was a small boat with a crew of about 6 young Vietnamese guys who also live on board. Living on a boat doesn’t provide them with much to do in the evenings so they play a lot of cards. In fact this is something I found all through Vietnam – everywhere you look there are playing cards scattered in the street and it doesn’t take more than five minutes to find a group huddled around a table on the street playing cards.

Anyway, I was asked to do some card tricks for some people we’d just met and after a couple of minutes the Vietnamese guys began to crowd around. One of them asked for the cards and removed two black and one red spot card. He them proceeded to do the 3 Card Monte! He did it without the cards bent and just did one throwing phase. His friends were going crazy, literally screaming and clapping as loud as they could when they turned over what they thought was the red card only to discover it was in fact black.

They play cards every day of their lives but have no idea what other things can be done with them. Not only to they not know card tricks (I’m not sure who taught this one guy the monte throw) but they have no access to any information with which to learn any. I was gobsmacked when he started to do the monte. I showed him how bending the cards helps to pick them up off the table and then the little bit where you can show all the cards as black. Just a little nugget which this guy was incredibly grateful for.



One Response to Vietnamese Monte

  1. Cardman says:

    Great story. I love the lesson of simplicity again.

    Sometimes we take for granted how fortunate we are eith our knowlege and access to it.

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