Cups & Balls Shell Game - Free Brain Game

Shell Game
Play Cups & Balls (HTML5):
Play Tricky Cups (HTML5):
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Play Shell Game (Old Flash):
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Here's the classic Shell Game. Few games beats this one for improving eye coordination and concentration.

Pay close attention to which cup the ball is under as the cups are shuffled.

Played on the street, it is often a swindle or confidence game. Here it's just a brain game played for fun.

The HTML5 versions, Cups & Balls and Tricky Cups, are HTML5 games. They do not require the Adobe Flash player.

To begin, click the Small, Medium, or Large link or Very Large button under the picture at left. This opens the game in a pop-up window.

Shell Game Instructions

If you like this game, you might also enjoy my Flash Curve Ball page.

HOW TO PLAY. Click the upside down shell in the middle to start the shell game. Then you'll need to place a bet to play the first round (you start with $100).

Type your bet, such as "50", in the PLACE YOUR BET box and then click the OK button above the four shells. Then watch carefully and try to keep your eye on the ball the shell is under! This game is addictive.

Here's what Wikipedia says about the Shell Game:

The game requires three shells (thimbles, walnut shells, bottle caps, and even match boxes have been used), and a small, soft round ball, about the size of a pea, and often referred to as such. It can be played on almost any flat surface, but on the streets it is often seen played on a mat lying on the ground, or on a cardboard box.

The person perpetrating the swindle (called the thimblerigger, operator, or shell man) begins the game by placing the pea under one of the shells, then quickly shuffles the shells around. Once done shuffling, the operator takes bets from his audience on the location of the pea.

The audience is told that if a player bets and guesses correctly, the player will win back double his bet (that is, he will double his money); otherwise he/she loses the money. However, in the hands of a skilled operator, it is not possible for the game to be won, unless the operator wants the player to win.

So play this game online, but don't play it with strangers!

Published: 10/31/2007
Last Updated: 06/11/2020

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