1(also three-card monte)A game traditionally associated with con men, in which the dealer shows the player three cards then moves them around face-down, the player being obliged to pick the specified card from among the three.Also called three-card trick
- ‘Before seeing the monte, the bidder discards up to four unwanted cards face down.’
2A Spanish game of chance played with forty-five cards.‘This game is often called three-card monte in America, a name taken from monte, a Spanish game using 45 playing cards, which was once common in Mexico and California.’
- ‘In truth, he was a card cheat of remarkable dexterity who routinely cleaned out the sophisticates in games of three-card monte.’
- ‘Part of his plan is to develop the same skills at three-card monte that Lincoln, who has given up cards, used to have.’
- ‘On the sidewalk he sees a man playing three-card monte.’
Early 19th century Spanish, literally ‘mountain’, also ‘heap of cards left after dealing’.
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