Dictionary

shell game

noun

: a dishonest betting game in which someone hides a ball under one of three cups or shells, moves the cups or shells around quickly, and asks an observer to guess which one the ball is under

Full Definition of SHELL GAME

1
:  thimblerig played especially with three walnut shells
2
:  fraud; especially :  a swindle involving the substitution of something of little or no value for a valuable item

Examples of SHELL GAME

  1. <it's amazing how intelligent people fall for that investment-fund shell game>

First Known Use of SHELL GAME

1890

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