Why do players very rarely win at the “shell game,” where they have to say which of three shuffled shells covers a pea?
Clue: The game is rigged. The dealer is fast, but it isn’t speed alone that deceives the player.
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Answer: The pea isn’t under any of the shells. It’s slipped under a shell by the operator as he lifts it. Sometimes the operator places the pea under a player’s choice to encourage dupes.