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Even if you play poker regularly it is nice to have a set of chips at home so that you can practice any time you wish.
Practicing poker chip tricks can make the most difficult tricks seem easy. Those that play enough poker have plenty of time to practice at the poker table. Those that do not play as often or want to concentrate on the game should have a set of chips at home to practice at other times. I have found that the best time to practice new tricks is while watching TV. Once I have a trick mastered I am then comfortable using it at the poker table.
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Note that there is a more difficult version of this trick illustrated by Dutch Boyd
in the World Series of Poker on ESPN. Check out our
Front To Back With Index Finger
steps to read about this method.
Front To Back Poker Chip Trick StepsLike most tricks, the front to back trick appears difficult at first. However, I think it is one of the easiest tricks once some practice is done. The idea is to hold 4 or 5 chips parallel to each other and move one from the front (or left) side of the stack to the back (or right) side of the stace. I do the trick right handed. I begin by placing 5 chips in my right hand in between my fingers, applying the most pressure with my pinky and middle finger as the top photo shows. I nudge the chip on the left loose before starting the trick. Once the left chip is loose (about one millimeter above the others), I apply heavy pressure to the 4 remaining chips with my pinky and middle finger. I then spin the left chip directly up using my thumb to roll it as the middle finger acts as a pivot point. Once the left chip is high enough, I pull it down and to the right using the thumb as the poker chip tricks photos show.
The key to this poker chip trick is to make sure the stack of chips is held firmly while the left chip is rotated up. Another important concept is to bring the left chip down and right quickly once it is in the correct position.
As with other poker chip tricks, the routine gets easier and easier over time. I recently saw an episode of The World Poker Tour where Scotty Nguyen appeared to combine a variation of this poker chip trick with the twirl poker chip trick, seemingly alternating between the two.
The trick is so easy once mastered that I've learned other ways to do it. Lately, my favorite method has been to use the most pressure on the pinky and the ring finger. It is interesting that for me the pinky is essential on this trick yet for the twirl poker chip trick it is the exact opposite, the pinky is not used. I really enjoy alternating this front to back trick with the twirl trick. In this way I can hold 4 chips in a hand and do both depending on how I feel. One thing I find myself doing lately is have the thumb and pinky touch each other just before the chip is spun upwards.
Occasionally I see people struggling with this front to back poker chip trick and I believe it is because they are not using their pinky properly. The pinky is key to holding the other chips in place while the one chip gets flipped. There should be plenty of space between the pink and the ring finger at all times so that the pinky can have enough pressure on the chips to keep them where they belong. The first few times I tried keeping the pinky in the proper position it did not feel natural but over time I got used to is and now it is second nature. Often when people do not have the pinky in place they knock over the other chips with the flipped chips and they have to bring their other hand over to straighten things out. When this trick is done properly only one hand is used at all times.
Front To Back With Finger StepsDoing this trick with the finger instead of the thumb is more difficult. Dutch Boyd can be seen doing it in the WSOP. I do it in my right hand by 3 to 5 chips with my thumb on one side and my index finger and ring finger on the other side. My middle finger starts off slightly off the chips so that it is not touching. I then apply extra pressure on all but the front chip with my ring finger pushing down. Simultaneously, I apply pressure on the front chip with my index finger pushing it up. The result is that the front chip gets elevated about half way over the stack. I then let the middle finger touch the stack while the index finger pulls the front chip to the back of the stack.
The Front to Back Finger Style Video near the upper right side of this page helps to show these steps in action.
Chip Shuffle - Use this link to view our photos and documentation on the Poker Chip Shuffle Trick.