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  • Writer's pictureNicholas J. Johnson

Scamapalooza 60 - The Shell Game with Nick Stein

Every other week, I am sent a video of someone playing The Shell Game. Maybe it's a cat finding a single treat under three cups, or maybe it's a magician impressing audiences with hand-carved replica walnuts and silicone peas.

However, despite being one of the most famous scams in the world, The Shell Game is also one of the most misunderstood. Even the name is misleading, as it is rarely performed with actual shells and it is definitely not a game. It's a scam that you cannot win.

Every year, tourists lose hundreds of thousands of dollars on this simple wager. In this episode of Scamapalooza, I talk to Nick Stein, a.k.a. The Crooked Croupier, about how the scam works, why it's so profitable, and why, despite its notoriety, it still manages to take so much money.


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