Chip tricks

Chip tricks

Chip tricks are manipulations of poker chips. Unlike in magic, chip "tricks" are not demonstrated to fool a spectator. Rather, in the poker community, chip tricks are a way of passing time, fidgeting, showing off, looking impressive or intimidating other players.

History of chip tricks

Since the beginning of organized gambling, people have fidgeted with their money, gold nuggets, chips, etc.[citation needed] Only in the 20th century, with the development of better stacking and uniform chips, have modern chip tricks become more popular. Dealers and players passing the time would inadvertently play with their chips. Of course, after years of practice, one little and unbecoming skill becomes quite smooth and interesting. To help build popularity in this art form, others would try a technique or two that they might have seen someone do.[citation needed]

This slow process continued in casinos and private games for years. Only magicians and performers would ever take the time to try to master multiple stunts with coins or chips as part of a demonstration. After all, tricks were subtle at the table and not meant for being flashy or intimidating. However, times do change. Since 1970, it has definitely become less of an etiquette issue to do fancy things at a table. In fact, players, spectators and dealers welcome unique skills at a table and consider anyone able to do masterful chip tricks and card handling as someone who “really knows how to play!" It is now part of the game and part of ones poker image. On the same note a casino dealer's skill is reflected in their ability to handle chips that are known to them as "cheques". Players and dealers alike have been known to practice chip tricks while at live games.[citation needed]

Examples of chip tricks

  • The Butterfly

The butterfly is a technique in which 4 chips are used. With one hand, a stack of four chips can be divided evenly between the five fingers, clamping the sides of each chip in between. They are basically 'spread out'.

  • The Flip

The objective of this trick is to flip the front chip in a stack to the back of the stack.

  • The Twirl

With one hand, the middle chip in a stack of three is pushed out, turned, and put back in between the other two.

  • The Riffle AKA "Shuffling Chips"

Two stacks of at least 3 chips (but mostly 5, up to 10 or more) are pushed together, so that the two stacks will become one like a zipper.

  • The Knuckle Roll

One of the more difficult techniques, in the knuckle roll a chip is clamped between the thumb and index, and from there moved to the other side of the hand, clamping it three times between the fingers. The chip does not actually roll, but is flipped over each time.

  • Around the clock

The aim of Around the Clock is to take a poker chip right around your index finger and then flip the chip back to its starting position. The trick begins in the same way as the twirl trick. The middle chip is held with the middle and ring finger. The chip is then taken around the index finger by moving the middle and ring fingers up as the index finger is moved down. The middle chip is then rolled above the index finger, which is then used to put pressure on the chip. This should make the chip spin back into position with a slight jump.

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