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Tuesday, May 28, 2024    


Poker Chip Tricks

They might not help your online poker game very much, but chip tricks are still cool!  Here are some instructions and video clips (coming soon) to help you on your way to becoming a master of chip tricks.

The Basics
When you attempt your first chip trick, you will probably feel very clumsy and chips might be flying all over the place.  This is nothing to worry about, as every chip trick master has felt this when first attempting a new trick.  The key is repetition.  Learn the right way to perform the trick, and repeat it over and over and over.  Before you know it, your muscles will learn, and you'll be an expert in no time.  Eventually, you won't even have to think to perform a trick flawlessly.  I often find myself sitting at a poker table shuffling stacks of chips, without even realizing I'm doing it.

Keep in mind, these instructions are only suggestions for how to perform these tricks (and are all written based on using your right hand).  If you are more comfortable doing a trick with a different grip, for example, go for it.  If you think a trick looks better performed in a different way, make it your own!

Chip Trick #1: The Shuffle
The Shuffle is the first chip trick I ever learned.  It's a simple trick, but done properly, it's a thing of beauty.  The trick consists of shuffling together two stacks of chips, using one hand.  Theoretically, any amount of chips could be used, but I suggest you start with three in each pile (six total).  After you get that down, move to four and then to five and so on.  If you use two different colors of chips, you will easily be able to see if you are shuffling properly.

First, grab your single stack of chips and cut it in half, moving the top half of the chips in front and to the right of the bottom half (I find it easiest to shuffle with the chips on about a 45% angle, making them perpendicular to my right arm).  If you use an odd number of chips, keep the odd chip on the right pile.

Next, grip both stacks of chips with your right hand.  Different people use different grips, but the grip I use has my thumb against the middle of the left stack (meaning the point farthest away from the right stack), and my middle, ring, and pinky fingers spread around the right stack (the ring finger is in the middle, directly across from the thumb).  Your index finger should be between the two stacks of chips, facing the left stack, but also touching the right.

Here comes the tricky part.  While slightly squeezing he stacks together, pull upward slightly with your index finger.  The stacks of chips will mound upwards toward each other, and by slowly raising all your fingers, with slight pressure still on the chips, you will be able to shuffle the stacks together.  Once the shuffling starts, the index finger isn't really even used.  The bottom chip of the new shuffled pile will be from the right stack, and they will alternate the rest of the way up.  When you have one shuffled stack sitting in front of you, simply squeeze all your fingers together and square up the stack.  Now you're ready to cut the stack again and repeat the process.

This will feel clumsy at first, but you'll learn quicker than you think.  Like any other physical skill, repetition is the key to success.

Chip Trick #2: The Chip Twirl
The Chip Twirl is a little hard to describe, but it consists of holding a stack of three chips with one hand, dropping the middle chip out of the stack, twirling it 180 degrees, and then reinserting it into the middle of the stack.   This trick looks very impressive, but like most chip tricks, it's really not all that hard to learn.  It will feel awkward at first, but after practice, practice, practice and then a little more practice, you'll be an expert!

Start by holding three chips in your right hand, gripping them slightly above center, about 1/3 of the way between the tip and the first line on your index finger and your thumb (I've seen this trick started with a different grip, but this is how I do it).  While you are still a beginner, I recommend pre-stacking the chips so the middle one is slightly off center (lower) then the outside two.  One of the hardest parts of this trick is dropping only the middle chip, and this will make your life much easier until you get a better feel for the chips.

Once you have the correct grip on the chips, use your middle finger to "pull" the middle chip out of the stack.  You can achieve this by touching the side of your middle finger to the middle chip close to your thumb and then extending it back toward your index finger.  As the chip "drops" out of the stack, "catch" it with your ring finger (again, about 1/3 of the way between the tip of the finger and the side of the first knuckle).  I use these terms loosely, because you're not actually dropping the chip, only guiding it into place.  When dropped properly, the outer two chips will still be in the original positions, and the middle chip will be held between the sides of your index and ring fingers (Tip: Position the chip so it's center of gravity is *slightly* towards the back of your hand - this will make the "twirl" easier).

Because your middle finger came off the middle chip immediately after sliding it into position, it can now be used to "twirl" the middle chip.  Simply use your middle finger to rotate the middle chip 180 degrees.  This is going to feel awkward for a while, but the more you do it, the more natural it will feel.

Now that you've dropped and twirled the middle chip, all that is left is to return it to the stack.  With the chips lined up properly (the result of a good twirl), place your middle finger on middle chip, halfway between your index and ring fingers, and push the chip towards your thumb, back into it's starting position.

I'm know this sounds complicated (believe me, it's hard to describe), and I'm sure it will feel very awkward at first and you'll be dropping a lot of chips for a while, but with enough repetition, you'll be able to maneuver the chips through the motions of this trick almost effortlessly.

Chip Trick #3: The Chip Flip
To begin the Chip Flip, start by griping five chips (give or take) with the fingers of your right hand.  You'll want most of the pressure to be between your index and ring fingers.  Your pinky doesn't need to be used at all.   Now, take your thumb and slide the outermost chip (the one on the left) up on top of the stack and then quickly pull it down into place on the right side of the stack.  The key to this relatively simple trick is applying just the right amount of pressure with your fingers so the stack won't fall over.


More Chip Tricks Coming Very Soon...



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