Poker chips aren’t just the currency you use at the table, and while this may be their primary purpose, chips have become much more over the years.
If you enter any poker room today, you’ll be met by constant noise created by the players as they perform simpler and more complex poker chip tricks.
Playing with your chips while in the hand or while patiently waiting for the next poker hand to begin has become the norm.
Almost all live players have at least one poker chip trick they use to pass the time. Shuffling chips is something most players do without even thinking about it.
As long as there is a stack of chips in front of you, it’d be rude to leave it alone.
While poker chip tricks aren’t at all important for your success at the table, they’ve become somewhat of a status symbol.
More experienced players often have a myriad of different tricks in their arsenal and use them to impress and even intimidate their lesser-skilled opponents.
If you’ve ever felt at a disadvantage being the only “uncool” guy at the table who can’t make magic with chips, this article is for you.
It will teach you techniques behind some of the best poker chip tricks.
It’ll still take some practice to get the handle of it, but most of these tricks aren’t that complicated at all. If you’re willing to spend some time practicing, you’ll join the ranks of cool chip-shuffling magicians in no time.
Poker Chip Trick #1: Standard Chip Shuffle
Of all the different poker chip tricks out there, the standard shuffle is the simplest and by far the easiest one to learn.
After getting the basics down and practicing it for a bit, you’ll be able to shuffle chips without even thinking about it.
The best way to start is with two smaller stacks of five chips each, preferably of different poker chip values and colors so you can easily see if you’re doing it right.
Push two stacks closely next to each other and bring them together tightly. Hold one stack with your thumb and index finger and the second stack using your little and ring fingers.
Use the middle finger to gently lift both stacks upwards and push them from both sides. You should keep a tight hold on the chips but make sure your hand is still relaxed enough chips have enough space to move.
If you do it right, chips from the two stacks will fall together, one on top of the other. To finish the move, simply push two stacks together.
The reason why I suggested using chips of two different colors is because it will let you see if you’re doing the shuffle technique right.
If everything goes the way you want it to, chips of different colors will come on top of one another (green, red, green, red, etc.).
This poker chip trick actually works best with more chips, and you’ll find it is easier to do with seven, eight, or even ten chips in each stack. However, to start with, five chips on both sides should be just enough to master the technique.
After that, the biggest challenge will be the size of your hand, as shuffling large stacks requires more “breathing room.”
Top Poker Chip Tricks #2: Chip Thumb Flip
Another relatively easy poker chip trick you can learn in a few minutes is the thumb flip.
You’ll need just three or four chips to master this technique, so you don’t even need to have the full poker chip set at home.
A few chips you can borrow from a friend or get from your local casino will do the trick.
Take the chips in your hand, placing them between the index finger, ring finger, and middle finger. Use your thumb to apply some pressure to the first chip on the outside and roll it upwards.
As it gets on top of other chips, guide it towards the back of the stack over other chips and let it land on the other side.
This poker chip trick isn’t hard to learn, and once you master the basics of the thumb flip, you can start working on the speed.
As you get better at it, you’ll be able to move chips from one side to another swiftly. While not all that complicated, thumb flip can look really cool and impressive once you develop the speed.
Best Poker Chip Tricks #3: Knuckle Roll
This is a really cool poker chip trick as it will make your chips “walk” across your hand from one side to another.
This one does require a bit more practice and skill, but it also looks cool and will definitely get the attention of your opponents, especially the less experienced ones.
To start, take a single chip and pinch it just below the knuckle of your thumb and index finger. Slide the chip on top of the index finger and let it slide naturally to the next position.
Use the index finger and middle finger to hold the chip and stop it from slipping down. Repeat the process until the chip gets all the way across and then catch it with your thumb to get it back in the original position.
This is one of those poker chip tricks that will take a while to learn, and it can be a bit frustrating at first.
The chip will initially keep falling off. Don’t let these initial failures discourage you, though. Just like learning Texas Holdem strategy, keep at it, and you’ll eventually get better.
Poker Chip Tricks #4: Chip Twirl
The chip twirl is a poker trick that’s somewhat similar to thumb flip, and if you master thumb flip, it will be much easier to learn to this one.
You also need to just three chips for this trick, so it’s not logistically demanding.
To start, take three chips and hold them between the thumb and the index finger. Slightly loosen the grip on the chips and let the chip from the middle fall out.
Catch it with the middle finger, move it back towards the small finger. Pinch the chip between the small finger and the thumb. Finally, use your ring finger to roll the chip and get it back in the original position in the middle.
The chip twirl will also take some practice before you get the technique right.
It is easy for the chip to slip out of your hand as you need to hold it relatively loosely for this poker chip trick to work.
Don’t get frustrated about it, and just keep practicing. Once you get the hang of it, it’ll come naturally to you.
Poker Chip Tricks #5: Chip Bounce
This poker chip trick is best practiced at a casino or home, provided you have a proper poker table.
Trying to make this trick work on a wooden or plastic table will be very difficult, and at the very least, you’ll struggle to get the results you’re after.
The goal of this trick is to bounce the chip off of the felt surface and get it on top of one of your stacks.
Doing it right will require some exercise, and it’ll require some adjustments every time you play at a new table or with a new set of chips.
The key to this trick is figuring out just the right height and angle at which you need to drop the chip, so it bounces just right and lands on the top of the stack instead of going over or falling short.
While you’re practicing, it might be a good idea to hold the palm of your hand on the opposite side, so if the chip goes slightly over, it will bounce off of your hand and land on the stack.
This one may not be as impressive as other poker chip tricks described in this article, but it’s actually quite difficult to master.
Even once you figure it out, it is still hard to get the height and the angle right every time.
On the other hand, this poker chip trick is the one that can keep you busy in a boring game as you can challenge yourself trying different stack heights.
Summary: Learn Some of These Amazing Poker Chip Tricks
Learning these poker chip tricks is fun, and it won’t take any of your precious time. Once you get the basics, which shouldn’t take you more than a few minutes per trick, you can practice them while watching the best poker movies, listening to music, or doing any other activity you enjoy.
Most of these tricks don’t require too much focus once you figure out the moves, so it’s more about mechanics.
It’s true that you don’t need to know any poker tricks to win. You could be a big winning player without ever learning to shuffle chips.
But the live poker experience isn’t the same without the sound of chips, and I can hardly imagine playing in a game where everyone only ever touches their chips when it’s their turn to act.
And that’s all there is to it!
Mastering poker chip tricks is a cool way to keep yourself entertained at the tables, and figuring out some of the more complicated ones will likely earn you some respect from your peers as well.