Normally, I'm not a fan of three-card monte routines. They normally seem to belie the whole reasoning of magic because of the dependence on dexterity. There's no magical explanation, the hands are just quicker than the eye. This is what street hustlers depend on. Well, that and accomplices. In any case, a project I'm working on needs some gambling-based routines, so I thought I'd revisit the plot. Being familiar with Lee Asher's other work, I know his attention to detail and quality is high. Catch 33 is no exception (aside from one thing I'll mention later).
This routine has the same basic plot - find the one different card and you win. Except Asher plays a bit with the construct, and adds a kicker that makes the routine more like magic and less like hustling.
The instruction and photography is clear throughout. In the section titled 'The Hype', though, I think some of the sentences were transposed, so following along requires some deciphering. It's nothing too challenging, but you should be aware of it. Hopefully Asher will edit this section for clarity in a later edition.
This is a routine for intermediate card handlers, and there's no instant reset, but if you're willing to put in the time and effort, you'll be rewarded. Asher provides some solid magical thinking and nuance to the routine. Some of the moves and subtleties are quite clever, and you may be able to migrate them to other routines. The 'out' Asher provides is extremely good as well - though you probably won't need it, it's good to have insurance. Finally, the background and references provided are good. Overall, it's a great handling of something that many others have failed to deliver.
Am I a convert to three-card-monte routines? Probably not. Will I incorporate Catch 33 into my project? Yes. Now, back to practicing the toss...