Reputation is everything in the world of poker. In the beginning, it will be intimidating to play the pros. They have stone-cold poker faces, they can bluff, and they can even do poker chip tricks.
Now, this might sound like a joke to some, but poker tricks actually play a big part in the reputation of a player. Have you tried doing some as a casual player? We bet it never ends well. Don’t worry, though – it will come to you with experience.
Are Poker Tricks So Important?
Yes, they are. These tricks are a very big part of the game and a player’s reputation. Of course, they also add a fun element to the game which can get pretty serious at high-stakes tournaments. Players use poker chip tricks as a way to focus or just to show off (we’re not judging).
That being said, doing tricks with your chips is much harder than it sounds. Pros weren’t born with the ability to shuffle them like that – they learned that with a lot of playtime and experience.
Everyone can do poker tricks that come in all shapes and sizes. A chip bounce, for example, is easy even for beginners. The Knuckle Roll, however, requires a lot more pizzazz.
Different Types of Poker Chip Tricks
There are dozens of chip tricks you can learn, but not all of them are equal in difficulty. We can loosely separate them into 3 categories:
- Level 1 – Finger Flip, Thumb Flip, Chip Bounce
- Level 2 – Johnny Chan, Shuffle, Back to Front or Switch
- Level 3 – Chip Twirl, Muscle Pass, Knuckle Roll, Butterfly Trick
You must know that none of these poker tricks can be earned in minutes. Well, OK, there are some you could learn pretty quickly, but if you want to be like the pros, you’ll have to find tricks and practice.
Then practice some more and more. Why? Well, would you like to be seen on a stream or TV failing a trick in crunch time at big-money tournaments? No, we didn’t think so as well.
Just like any other trick, these things take time. When you finally learn how to do poker chip tricks, though, it’ll be a relief and a massive sense of satisfaction.
After a while, you’ll know how to perform them without looking. As soon as the Knuckle Roll becomes second nature to you, congratulations – you can call yourself a pro.
1. How to Do the Chip Bounce
One of the easier poker chip tricks on this list, the chip bounce involves bouncing a chip off the felt and onto your stack. There’s no special technique involved in it – you just need practice. Feel the weight of the chip and practice the bounce to get it right.
Remember – the angle is key. Just make sure you get it accurately to bag one of the easiest poker tricks of all.
2. How to Do the Finger Flip
You’ve surely seen this trick on TV one too many times. It’s pretty similar to the thumb flip, except you’re using the index finger.
Make sure your ring finger is under the index finger. Keep the middle finger pulled backed out of the way so you can flip the chip. Loosen the chips and pull them down and away from your ring finger when doing the trick.
Just like the Chip Bounce, this one requires a lot of patience and practice. We strongly suggest watching a YouTube tutorial – it will explain things better.
3. How to Do the Shuffle
Ah, the old shuffle. Many new players are anxious to learn this age-old trick that involves shuffling two smaller stacks. You need to lift them off the felt light and shuffle them together like a kind of a tower.
Of course, you’ll need two identical stacks of at least 3-4 chips. Although it looks pretty complicated, watch a YouTube video of how the poker pros shuffle chips. One of the easiest poker chip tricks on this list is pretty simple once you get the hang off it.
4. How to Do the Johnny Chan
Poker legend Johnny Chan invented this trick which looks like an optical illusion. In reality, it’s anything but. It might take you a few tries before you know it by heart, but you’ll eventually get there.
We can rank the Johnny Chan trick into the group of advanced poker chip tricks. You’ll need 6 or more chips to start with depending on how big your hand is. Instead of going step by step, we strongly recommend you watch a video of it.
Or watch the movie Rounders if you haven’t already – it has the great Matt Damon in the lead role. Chan popularized the best of his poker tricks in this movie where he does it a few times.
It really looks cool, to be honest.
5. How to Do the Knuckle Roll
The Knuckle Roll is one of the best poker chip tricks ever. Period. It’s cool even if you’re not a poker player. When done properly and fast, it looks like the chips are floating over your fingers.
Now, let’s say it right off the bat – this one’s probably the hardest trick to learn. It requires only one chip and as the term explains, it involves the use of your knuckles.
The trick is to roll the chip over your knuckles without it falling. It sounds complicated and it is, so this is one of those poker tricks you’ll need to watch video tutorials for.
But it’s 100% cool. Learn it and everyone will think you’re a pro.
Although poker chip tricks won’t bring you any money, they look great and are a trademark of a pro. Learn the aforementioned and more and you’ll put the fear of God into others.
Or, you know, you’ll look cool at a table even if you lose. That’s something.