Poker Chip Tricks

    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      Pokerstrategy is a great site with many informations about poker psychology, theory about different forms of poker – from limit, mtt, sng, no limit holdem to omaha. I think this site is a great foundation for any rookie player and also for someone who really wants to dig in and exponently make poker progress and understanding of poker in every aspect of it. Despite everything written I still think something is missing here. Being site of constant improvement I don't think that as a critique but just as an observation from someone who has been here (on and off) for almost three years.

      Poker is not only about knowledge it's also about image of poker player and I think every pokerstrategy player should not only impress with his/her knowledge and correct play but also with some flashy CHIP TRICKS. I agree they're not as vital as other fundamentals of poker but they sure are fun.

      I finally found a way to give something back to this great community (it's not much but hey better something than nothing). I'm going to share with you all chip tricks that I mastered or at least learnt during my »career«. I'm going to show you over 30 chip tricks and will write my advices and important details so you could master it faster or better than you would otherwise. I'm open to every question, critique and will try to answer the best way I know.

      Here are few facts you should remember before starting practising chip tricks.

      1. Never play poker while practising chip tricks! This is super ---EV because your attention isn't fully commited to the tables and you might overlook some read of a donkey or miss some action that will make you tilt or lose $$$. In the beginning you must pay attention how your chip tricks are done so you can't be 100% concentrated on your tables. The same goes for poker videos! You won't be able to follow the video and hear everything it's said and that's definitely not as EV+ as should be.

      Lesson number 1 would be – practise chip tricks when you find some time (watching movies, tv, surfing the net).

      2. When you decide to buy poker chips don't buy the cheapest ones because they aren't user friendly. They're usually too light and they're not made as they should be.

      3. Don't lose your patience and be persistent because nothing comes too easy. In the beginning your fingers could be aching because your finger muscles aren't used to this kind of movement. Don't overdo it and rather take some time outs if needed.

      4. It's not a good idea practising chip tricks on a wooden table. I mean just table, put something softer on it like notebook.

      Everyone is welcome to show us his chip skills or give some advices about it. I hope we will see at least 55 chip tricks in here :f_cool:

      @edited...25.11.2010.

      I gathered all of my chip tricks so here is the list of them:

      1. Shuffle
      2. Thumb flip
      3. Mexican jump
      4. Scoop (Sweep)
      5. Finger flip
      6. Twirl
      7. Swirl
      8. Pick
      9. »Thumb to finger flip«
      10. Rundown
      11. »Under front to back«
      12. J-Factor
      13. Finger to finger twirl
      14. Bounce
      15. Aerial shuffle
      16. Pick over
      17. »Back to front twirl«
      18. »Under reversed flip«
      19. Roll & Rest
      20. »Knock«
      21. 2 Stage twirl
      22. Switch
      23. Finger roll
      24. Knuckle roll
      25. Finger flip #1
      26. Reversed twirl
      27. Lookout
      28. Abduction
      29. Danish twirl
      30. Run around
      31. Triangle
      32. Scissor twirl
      33. Yax
      34. Lift twirl (Finger rest)
      35. Butterfly
      36. Floater
      37. Snap
      38. Step up
      39. 5-star


      I would also like to explain the ratings of difficulties. For me most of this tricks are quite easy right now and since I learned them about two years ago I don't remember exactly how much time and effort I needed for particular chip trick. I rated them the way I have and I went through every chip trick twice and I think the rating should be ok. Have in mind that one trick will be easier and some harder than it's rating says. Any comment is welcome :)

      SHOW YOUR CHIP TRICKS :s_cool:
  • 36 replies
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      1. the SHUFFLE

      Difficulty: 1/5 (1 being the easiest)
      I like: 5/5 (my subjective judgement)



      Start with 6 chips. It's easier to handle 6 chips in the beginning when you're not fully used to its shape. I think the video below is quite clear.



      Starting position is very important so watch carefully how my fingers are positioned.
      1. Thumb, middle finger and little finger control all the chips (time in video: 3 second). Index and ring finger don't do anything at this moment.
      2. Lift middle finger (20 sec) and after that push the chips simulthaneusly with other four fingers towards one another (29 sec).

      This is probably the easiest trick around and is probably the one which will be used more than any other. After you see your fingers got the right feeling how this trick is done start adding additional chips to your shuffle. This fundamental trick will give you good base for other chip tricks.

      2. the THUMB FLIP

      Difficulty: 1/5
      I like: 4/5


      This trick is also a must for every player. It's not only fast and flashy it's also practical in live game because you can manage your chips with only one hand.

      This trick is performed with 3 chips.



      Perform the trick in the following way:

      - Chips are held by thumb, ring and middle finger; thumb and middle finger must be in horizontal position (they should be holding the chip under imaginary half of the chip). The starting position is showed in the video – 10 sec.

      - Index finger helps holding the chips but more importantly it is essential for performing the trick because the chip is rolled over the chips with thumb through index finger.

      - When everything is in its place the thumb flips the chip over (12 sec). Again the repetitions will be necessary to perform this trick smoothly but I don't see many problems with it. (In the beginning fingers are not fully used to width of chips so don't get frustrated, your thumb should be able to roll only first chip on the index finger when you try it few/many times).
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      3. the MEXICAN JUMP

      Difficulty: 1/5
      I like: 2/5




      Everything should be clear from the video. It's an easy trick but as always you'll have to try it few times.

      I would only mention few things:

      - Thumb and middle finger should be slightly bend so there can be enough place for chip to land

      - The position of index finger – it can be behind thumb and middle finger or as I rather do it, to be above middle finger.

      - Take 3-4 chips from the stack, don't do it with only one or two chips in the hand. The force you hit the hanging chip shouldn't be too big because you will also move the whole stack and the goal is just to move the hanging chip. Important thing to know is where you should connect and that is on the edge of the chip.

      4. the SCOOP

      Difficulty: 1/5
      I like: 4/5




      The most important thing with this »trick« is the way you push the chips. You must feel the lowest chip while pushing it aside. You'll have to try it many times until the pushed chips will be arranged in a good way (this means there are no holes between chips). When you succeed in pushing the chips everything else is a piece of cake.

      Take the last chip and guide it over other chips and when you come to the end dig it under first chip (you need soft material underneath). – 8sec onwards.
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      5. the FINGER FLIP

      Difficulty: 2/5
      I like: 2/5




      Holding the chips with thumb and index finger is similar like in the thumb flip (as you can see in 3rd sec). The finger flip starts with little finger grabbing rear two chips (4th sec) and continues separating them from the upper one. After separation the upper chip needs a support and it gets it via middle finger (7th sec). Fliping the chip behind other two chips should be piece of cake. It's not a fluent one but it's a chip trick.
    • arisko
      arisko
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.09.2009 Posts: 392
      is this YOU doing the chip tricks? very professional videos if it is :) This is very cool idea and is needed for those trying to learn them

      I look forward to practicing some when I just don't feel like playing
    • nibbana
      nibbana
      Bronze
      Joined: 04.12.2009 Posts: 1,186
      Why do you have the difficulty as 1 on all of them ? I personally found that finger flip was slightly harder than thumb flip and that shuffling >12chips is harder than both.

      Good job on the vids though, nice work :)
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      @arisko...yep, that's me:D
      I'll try my best although the tricks are not so smooth as they used to be which will be seen in some harder chip tricks.

      @nibbana...I'll take it into consideration. I agree this trick probably deserves 2:)
      16 chip shuffling cannot be done before you shuffle the chips at least 1000 times. It wasn't meant to start with that many chips because that would be very frustrating for a beginner. First try with 6, then with 8, after you master 8 chip shuffling adding extra chips won't be a problem (until 16, after that it depends how long fingers you've got:P )

      Now you're ready for first quite cool move. Next trick is definitely gonna impress your friends in a live game.

      6. the TWIRL

      Difficulty: 2/5
      I like: 5/5




      Position of your fingers for this trick is very important so find the one which fits you. I usually hold chips as can be seen in 8th sec. Thumb and index finger hold chips a bit higher than imaginary middle of the chip. Holding it too low will cause you problems with performing the trick because you won't be able to get the middle chip out so my advice would be to hold it as mentioned. When you think you're holding the chips right you can test it by removing other fingers (middle and ring) and shake your hand if chips stayed in the position you're doing ok.

      Getting the chip out with your middle finger is very troublesome in the beginning (8th sec). Again give the time to your finger until it gets used to it. If it won't come out, place the middle chip in the way that its bottom end looks a bit out so you can get it out. Don't hold it too tight or too light; in the beginning your fingers will be stiff so it's better to hold it looser than tighter.

      When that's done the main thing is to be done…(9th sec)
      You got the chip out and now you must take it over with your ring and index finger. The pressure should be firm. Now try to rotate the chip by pushing the edge of the chip with middle finger fingertips. Obviously one try won't be enough. (Tip: try just rotating the chip without holding two chips between thumb and index finger. Rotating will appear easy but try doing it 3 times in a row…then 5…when you can do it at least 7 times you found the right way how to rotate. After that try the trick from the start).

      Returning the chip to his starting position isn't hard but you'll need few attempts to do it correctly. You shouldn't try to lift your ring finger instead bring upper chips down.

      Mastering this chip trick is a must if you want to practice more complex tricks.
    • EagleStar88
      EagleStar88
      Bronze
      Joined: 06.10.2008 Posts: 7,359
      Nice blog yax, very interesting.

      I've only viewed one video so far but will check out the others when I'm back home on a more stable broadband connection.

      Can't wait to practise ;)

      Keep up the great work,


      Bart
    • Ribbo
      Ribbo
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.06.2010 Posts: 6,157
      Originally posted by EagleStar88
      Nice blog yax, very interesting.

      I've only viewed one video so far but will check out the others when I'm back home on a more stable broadband connection.

      Can't wait to practise ;)

      Keep up the great work,


      Bart
      Now you broke his post train with your comment :f_p:
    • arisko
      arisko
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.09.2009 Posts: 392
      the twirl is only difficulty 2??? just getting the middle chip out and trying to make it look effortless is really hard... I wonder what kind of chip trick is a 5 star difficulty

      What kind of weight do the better quality chips usually have?
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      @eaglestar...there will be many more tricks, your fingers won't be happy believe me ;)

      @arisko...difficulty 2 doesn't mean you'll be able to master the trick in a day or two. When your fingers get use to the movement of this trick it will be a piece of cake trust me. Difficulty 5 are really sick tricks - most of us can't do them (at least most of them).
      About the chips...It depends how seriously you want to be involved with chip tricks. If you play live poker regularly you should first look here http://www.21ace.com/Poker-Chips-Reviews.html . I remember I read somewhere that you can buy 10+ of different sets of chips for 20-30$ to see which one suits you the best. If you're just an average person don't bother with that too much, just don't buy the cheapest one and pay attention to the weight of chips - heavier are usually better.

      Yesterday I went through all of my recorded chip tricks and wrote descriptions for every single one. In the following days all of them should be published. I hope you will enjoy watching and practising them. I couldn't organize the tricks from least difficult to the hardest (it's harder than it looks) but every chip trick will be marked so you'll be able to see immediatelly which level of chip trick are you dealing with.
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      7. the SWIRL

      Difficulty: 2/5
      I like: 3/5




      This trick is like twirl but instead of returning the chip to its original place you put the chip in place before first chip.

      It starts like twirl and everything is the same until the rotation of the chip. Performing the twirl rotated chip must be in a line with chips above so you can normally put it back in. When performing swirl you should rotate chip more than 360 degrees (10th second) and then slide it before first chip. Middle finger shouldn't just push the chip up but also help finding right path until it comes in front of first chip.

      This trick looks useless but it can be interesting for some chip trick combination.

      8. the PICK

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 2/5




      Hold the chips the similar way as you do in thumb flip. The difference is that in this trick the fingers holding the chips are thumb and ring finger while index and middle finger have different roles. At the beginning you won't be able to get just the first chip out, don't worry your fingers will adapt and with repetition you'll eventually going to do it – 9th second.

      After holding the chip – 10th sec – you have to extend your index and middle finger as far as you can and at the same time you have to hold firmly the remaining two chips. Putting the chip behind other two shouldn't be a problem.

      9. the THUMB TO FINGER FLIP

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like it: 3/5




      Correct starting position for this chip trick is shown in 3rd second. Ring and middle finger should grip chips very tight so they can't move. The continuation of this trick is fairly easy and shouldn't be too hard to master.

      Video is quite clear so any comments would be unnecessary.
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      10. the RUNDOWN

      Difficulty: 1/5
      I like: 4/5




      Unfortunately this video is not as instructional as it should be I apologize for that. The trick is fairly easy and I hope video and my explanation will help you master it.

      Again pushing the chips in the right way is very important. After that place your ring and little finger behind last chip, slightly bend those fingers but at the same time they should be firm. Then just pull towards the rest of the chips and a stack should appear :) .
      (You can't perform this trick on o normal wooden table, put something soft on because your fingers have to »dig in«. When practising this trick there can (will) appear burning like feeling behind your fingers – don't worry, you're doing it right)

      This trick is quite practical after mastering it your fingers will be familiar with that kind of movement and as a result you'll be able to collect your chips faster than you used to. I don't mean you'll be able to get them all this way but with time you should be able to gather them more than three at the time.

      11. the »UNDER FRONT TO BACK«

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 3/5




      Hold chips firmly with four fingers – 2nd sec – then let go of first chip and hold only the rear two (chips should still be in the starting position since you haven't move the middle and ring finger). Lift two chips up and when top of the waiting chip (this chip should be held by middle and ring fingers) – 5th second – touches index finger you just twirl it behind two chips.

      ("Under front to back" - I call it like that since I don't know the correct one. If anybody finds it, please share with us)
    • Ribbo
      Ribbo
      Bronze
      Joined: 25.06.2010 Posts: 6,157
      yaxkukmian, Have sent you an email to the address you have on file. Make sure you read it :f_biggrin:
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      If you see somewhere a chip trick you like, post it here and I'll try to learn it and show how to perform it.

      12. the J-FACTOR

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 2/5




      Starting position for this trick is the same as the one for previous trick. The biggest problem when performing this trick will probably be getting only the middle chip out (in the beginning you can put the chips in the way that middle chip is already a bit out so you won't have problems getting it out).

      The rest of this trick is not so hard. In the beginning there might be some problems with rotating chip and holding the other two but with practice you'll be able to see what kind of grip is good for you to perform this trick.

      13. the FINGER TO FINGER TWIRL

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 4/5




      This one is one of those who looks easy and when you try it it really is. Look at the video for several times to see which finger takes over and which finger rotates the chip. After few tries you will get the point and then it all depends First twirl shouldn't cause any troubles, second is easy too, third will take some time. And that's just because ring finger is usually really stiff and doesn't want to cooperate (at least that was the case with me). Try practising just third twirl when you get used to it, go from the start. Going back will also take some time.

      Be patient and don't overdo it. That's my only advice I can give you since everything is shown in the video.

      There is also variation of this trick which is done with two chips. The biggest problem in the beginning is taking the rear chip (blue) out – this is done with ring finger. After that practice is needed to complete it very smoothly.



      I recommend mastering this trick because twirls like that can be implemented in some combo moves.
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      14. the BOUNCE

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 3/5






      This one is harder than it looks. Videos posted are not really tutorials but they'll have to be ok. There are many factors which influence on execution of this trick. The most important is the table you want to bounce the chip off – in first video there is paper one and underneath is wooden table so I had to let the chip go from higher position than in second where I have poker table felt. You'll have to see how high your chip bounces when you let him go off your table.

      Secondly, start with fewer chips (video 1) because it's obviously easier to addapt how the chip bounces. In the beginning just let the chip go, don't throw it down.

      Thirdly, the angle of throwing the chip is important! Getting the correct angle is the hardest thing to figure out. .It can't be seen in the videos but I don't hold chip in totally vertical position, turn it towards stack (upper side of the chip should form 85 degrees instead of 90 upon the table; that's not an absolute rule it depends also from which height are you letting the chip down, how high is the stack of chips where the chip must land)

      One hint: In second video it looks like I'm throwing the chip down with great power but that's actually not true. I'm just »escorting« and guiding the chip. I hope I didn't write it too complicated

      15. the AERIAL SHUFFLE

      Difficulty: 4/5
      I like: 3/5




      This one looks fairly easy but it's actually harder than it looks. You shouldn't try this trick until you aren't comfortably shuffling 12 chips. Why? Shuffling isn't that hard but when you can do it really fast and good you're really feeling the chips and how they react. In the beginning you're pressing too much and chips could be flying in all directions if you try aerial shuffle too soon.

      Of course this trick isn't too hard but it definitely needs subtle touch and lots of feeling. Start with three chips and gradually you'll be able to do it with four chips.

      This trick is rarely seen and there is a reason for that – it's not fast, flashy nor practical. But maybe somebody will like it.

      16. the PICKOVER

      Difficulty: 2/5
      I like: 2/5






      I apologize for lower quality of this video. I did this with my old camera and also forgot to do it with the new one. Again it's not a tutorial like video but it will have to be ok.

      The most important thing with this one is the firm grip of all three chips with ring and middle finger (wave up and down with your hand and if they're still in the same position it's ok). Then roll the last chip over middle finger and take it over with index finger (thumb and index finger should be holding the chip right now) and place it before chips.

      Variation of this chip trick is returning the chip back to it's original place. It's a bit harder because in the beginning the remaining two chips might move and fall. In time also the variation shouldn't be too troublesome.
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      17. the »BACK TO FRONT TWIRL«

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 5/5




      Now here is one video that I'm proud of – here is the first tutorial, that deserves its name and doesn't need any explanations.

      I really like this trick I don't know why but I do. There are only few (practical) back to front chip tricks that can be used in a combo so that's probably one of the reasons.

      18. the »UNDER REVERSED FLIP«

      Difficulty: 4/5
      I like: 1/5




      This is difficult trick and I don't like it because no matter how many times I do it it's very slow trick. I'm not sure if it's worth of your time but I'm going to show you anyway.

      It's very difficult to hold first two chips and not holding the third one. When you succeed letting the chip down and catching it with index and ring finger you will automatically perform normal twirl. That's an ok trick too and I advise you to perform normal twirl instead of reversed. The one I'm showing you here is reversed that means middle finger moves in unusual way – opposite of ordinary twirl move.

      I tried this move on my own, didn't see it anywhere but I'm sure many performed it before me.

      19. the ROLL&REST

      Difficulty: 4/5
      I like: 5/5




      This trick can be performed only if the twirl is a piece of cake for you. Unfortunatelly this trick wasn't shot from behind where more things could be seen I'll try to explain it to you.

      Starting with 8th second…Normal twirl and then – 9th second – shift the chip between index and middle finger. When you come this far stop. Repeat it few times so your finger remembers it.

      After that middle finger should thrust the chip up on other two chips – 10th sec. And that's it…I'm kidding it's not over yet. You'll repeat that more than few times and when you finally succeed in fliping the chip so it stays on top of your index finger and chips you're really on a good way. All you have to do is spread the holding chips with index finger and fling the chip in. Lots of repetitions will be necessary to perform this smoothly and reliably but when you learn, this trick will succeed almost every time.
    • arisko
      arisko
      Bronze
      Joined: 23.09.2009 Posts: 392
      U should really get your own video section purely dedicated to chip tricks. It just adds variety to all the content we are already offered here. It's a fun thing and definately poker-related.
    • stevegold87
      stevegold87
      Bronze
      Joined: 18.06.2009 Posts: 2,640
      Dude, watched all the tricks, it's awesome.
      Really great job and keep on going!
      5*
    • yaxkukmian
      yaxkukmian
      Bronze
      Joined: 24.12.2007 Posts: 2,020
      @arisko...good idea! But I think there should be more people publishing their tricks :) cmon people, show me your skills :D

      @stevegold87...tnx. There will be lots of new videos I hope they'll meet your expectations.

      20. the »KNOCK«

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 3/5




      I call this trick that way but actually I didn't see it anywhere so let it stay »knock« until somebody finds the proper name.

      This trick starts exactly like »under front to back« but instead of placing it behind the chips it goes under and knocks middle chip out. I think video is clear enough.

      21. the 2 STAGE TWIRL

      Difficulty: 4/5
      I like: 4/5




      This trick is basicaly combination of twirl and finger to finger twirl. So if you're good at those two, this trick shouldn't be too hard to master.

      I don't recommend practising this trick if you're not really good at twirl. Because even if you are there might appear some troubles in the beginning. Watch out while practising this trick if you overdo it you might get cramps in your ring finger.

      22. the SWITCH

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 2/5




      In this video this trick is really poorly performed but for presentation of the trick it will be enough.

      Starting position is shown in 7th second (chips must be placed between ring and middle finger but shouldn't be too low – important – and index finger should support them). Roll the last chip on the little finger and then stretch the finger as far as you can and then return the chip before chips.

      Why is this trick in the video poorly performed? When you roll the chip on the little finger the remaining two chips should stand vertically and they're obviosly not. Chips have to be supported not only by middle and ring finger but also index finger has to help.

      While practising this trick little finger may ache you so don't overdo it.

      23. the FINGER ROLL

      Difficulty: 3/5
      I like: 5/5




      Starting position for this trick is showed in 5th sec – holding the chip with thumb and index finger. Handing over the chip to index and middle finger shouldn't be too hard since those three fingers we use the most in various other chip tricks. (Hint: Watch carefully when this trick is performed for the second time and you'll see that chip rolls over the finger starting from the place where your fingernail starts. If you put chip too high on the finger you won't be able to roll it the whole way). When you succeeded handing it forward, don't try handing it to next finger instead you should return it back to starting position. When you do that a couple of times and think you've got the idea then you could go on.

      Handing the chip forward to middle and ring finger is much harder since ring finger is the stiffest finger. Doing it many times over will help you find the right way to do it. You should then return the chip way back to the starting position. Practising back and forth should give you better grip on chips and definitely better control of it.

      This is the easier example of finger roll – if I'm precise this isn't the finger roll because the chip doesn't actually go between ring and little finger. When I finish describing all of my tricks I will shoot things I forgot to show the first time and this will be shown then.
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