The Basic Move

The basic move is used to steal the pea from the shell, and also used in reverse to load the pea back into the shell.    

Note: It is important for the move to look the same; stealing the pea from the shell and loading the pea into the shell. Place the pea under the shell with the point of the shell facing the spectator. Your right thumb is positioned in back of the shell on the left side. The ball of the right index finger touches the right side of the shell, opposite the thumb. The right middle finger is lying down in back of the shell so that the ball of the finger touches the first joint of the thumb, see Fig. 1.

Push the shell forward about an inch pressing down very gently.  The pea will ride back and out of the shell at the point where the middle finger and thumb meet, see Fig. 2 and Fig. 3.

You can pinch the pea in this position and move the hand to any other shell without it being seen, see Fig. 4. Note: Always move the shells in this finger position even when there is no pea hidden underneath!
To load a pea under the shell, you simply reverse the direction.  With the pea hidden in the fingers, simply move any shell back an inch against the pea and it quietly goes under the shell.  When done correctly, even the trained eye of most magicians cannot follow the move. Practice this loading and unloading until you are confident with it.