THE GLOBAL POKER GUIDE TO POKER CHIP TRICKS
Chip tricks are commonplace at most poker tables, from the pros right down to the tables at your local casino. Some can be mastered with a steady hand and good reflexes, while the more advanced ones require a lot of practice. Regardless of your skill level, it's never too late to learn a few tricks to show off at the tables.
TYPES OF CHIP TRICKS
BEGINNER CHIP TRICKS
THE CHIP TWIRLOne of the easiest tricks to learn first, the chip twirl only requires three chips. To start, hold all three chips between your thumb and index finger. Take your middle finger and slide the middle chip out, using your ring finger to roll it out and hold between your thumb and little finger. To finish, use your ring finger to flip the chip around and slide it to the outside of the stack.
THUMB FLIPLike the chip twirl, the thumb flip is straightforward to learn and only requires three chips to start. Hold the stack between your first three fingers on one side with your thumb resting on them. Then roll the first chip on the outside of the pile upwards. Finish by flipping it over onto the side of the stack.
SHUFFLINGWhile shuffling chips may not seem like one of the more exciting tricks to learn, when it's done well, the shuffle can be just as impressive as the rest of them. It requires two stacks of equal size, aim for at least five chips. Put your thumb on the lower side of the left pile, your index finger in the middle of the two stacks, and your middle and ring fingers on the right stack. To shuffle them together, slowly push the two stacks together while lifting both them with your middle finger and thumb.
INTERMEDIATE CHIP TRICKS
THE KNUCKLE ROLLThe Knuckle Roll involves flipping a chip across each knuckle to the other side of your hand. To start, pinch a chip between your thumb and index finger. Lightly push the chip over your index finger with your thumb and pinch it between your index and middle finger. Repeat the process with your remaining fingers unit the chip reaches your ring and pinkie finger, then reverse the process, sending the chip back to the start. Start slowly, and build up speed once you've learned the movement, this trick takes time to learn.
THE CHIP FLIPExactly the same as flipping a coin, put the chip on top of your clenched fist with your thumb underneath it. Quickly snap your thumb upward and try to make it land in the initial starting position. Once you can flip and catch the coin with ease, increase the speed and string several flips together.
ADVANCED CHIP TRICKS
CHIP BOUNCESimple in theory but hard to do. It involves bouncing a chip off the table and making it land on a stack of chips. The key to the trick all comes down to the angle the chip bounces. There are no set instructions which is why it’s an advanced trick. It might take months of practice, but if you can pull off the chip bounce regularly, it is one of the more impressive ones to see.
SPIN & BOUNCELike the chip bounce, the spin and bounce involves holding a chip between your thumb and the rest of your fingers, spinning it in the air and making it bounce off the table and back into your hand. The key is figuring out how fast to spin it, and the right angle to hit the table that will make the chip return to your hand. This one is extremely difficult to learn and will take a lot of practice to get right.
THREE CONCEPTS TO REMEMBER WHEN LEARNING CHIP TRICKS
PRACTICE, PRACTICE, AND PRACTICE SOME MORE
Very few people can pick up a handful of chips and instantly master chip tricks. Maybe some freaks of nature certainly can, but for the rest of us, it takes time and practice. You can practice chip tricks anywhere—in front of the TV at the dinner table, even at the poker table—the more practice, the better.
DON'T GET DISCOURAGED
Chip tricks can be hard to learn, especially if your hands aren't overly dexterous to begin with. Don't get discouraged; realistically it may take you many months to get good at even the simplest tricks, but that doesn't matter, because nothing worth learning is easy. Be persistent.
When you first learn a new trick, start slow, and build up speed once you can do the movement flawlessly. It doesn't matter how slow you go at first, provided you get the movement right. As your skill improves, increase your speed and before you know it, you'll be able to show off your hard-won skills at the tables.
ARE THERE ANY BENEFITS TO POKER CHIP TRICKS?
Chip tricks can be a fun way to show off your skill and dexterity at the tables, but they can also provide several gameplay benefits.
SIZING UP THE COMPETITION
Chip tricks can be the perfect way to get a reaction out of an opponent. For example, if you are playing heads up and are first to act, playing with your chips before betting can sometimes build up enough suspense to get an opponent to react and give up vital information about their hand. Whether it be a nervous glance downward or a look of concern, it all provides crucial information that can help you make the best decision.
Pretending to be at ease during a tense moment at the poker table can be tough, especially if you are bluffing. Chip tricks can be a wonderful way to appear at ease while also using up nervous energy without being obvious.
Deceit and misdirection are crucial elements of poker. Chip tricks can be an excellent way to distract opponents and keep their focus off their cards. If your opponents are busy trying to figure out how you're flipping chips around the table, they are more likely to make silly mistakes you can take advantage of, it might only be a slight edge, but every little bit helps.