hgazette.com, Haverhill, MA


October 18, 2012

In Vegas, the hand is quicker than the eye


Back and forth went the cards, in and out, up and down, over and under. My eyes were glued to the rotation.

“It’s the left card,” I told an observer. “Trust me.”

He did — and pocked a cool hundred. The guy thanked me and the game went on.

The card shark went through his routine once more with the three cards. One hand crossed another and the cards moved around deftly. The red card stopped in the middle. So it seemed.

“It’s right there, between the others,” I told the bystander, who whipped out the $100 bill he had won previously.

Bingo! He hit the jackpot again. The crowd let out an astonished gasp. Some even cheered. Whatever this guy’s game happened to be, I was on top of it. But why should he be winning all that money? It was then that I took matters into my own hands. Let the cash go into my pocket.

When the cards stopped a third time, no doubt about it. I had the red card pegged from the start.

“Right on.” I said. “Card on the right.”

The man turned them over and my guess was wrong. It was the card in the middle. I never lost a hundred bucks so quickly in my life.

“Let’s walk away,” my wife urged. “The guy’s a con artist. He’ll have you walking over a barrel in no time at all.”

I watched again as he repeated the routine. The red card went from left to right, middle to left, over to the right and into his hand before settling on the table. Back and forth it traveled as I watched with deep concentration.

When the motion stopped, the bets were being placed. According to my calculations, it was the card on the left. A correct choice would pull me even.

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