The idea behind the thumb chip flip is to lift a chip with your thumb and flip it over a number of chips that are lined up behind this chip. You may have seen several poker players on the World Poker Tour or World Series of Poker doing this trick. It is one of the easiest tricks to learn. Other popular names for the thumb chip flip are “front to back,” “thump chip flip,” or simply “chip flip.”
Before you begin
Trick Difficulty - 1
Chips needed - 3 or more
5 or 6 chips seem to work best in order to provide a strong base.
Setup the trick by placing the chips in between your index and ring fingers in a perpendicular fashion. The middle finger is used as a backstop to prevent the chips from falling. Apply pressure to the chips with your index and ring fingers so that the chips do not fall over.
This trick is also commonly done by holding the chips in between the middle and pinky fingers, using the ring finger as the backstop. This variation should be more difficult for most people because the pinky is the weakest finger of the hand, which makes it hard to apply pressure to the line of chips.
To get started, place your thumb near the bottom of the chip closest to the tips of your fingers. Loosen this chip by pulling it towards your body and away from the ring finger. Keep holding the remaining chips tightly with the index and ring fingers.
With your thumb, roll the loosened chip up onto the index finger. Once the chip is 1/2 to 3/4 of the way above the line of chips, slide your thumb towards your palm and the chip should follow so that it is now perpendicular to the other chips and on top of them. The thumb should be on the top side of the chip at this point.
Pull your thumb down, letting the chip fall behind the line of chips and into place. During this phase, the pressure applied to the line of chips by the index and ring fingers must be enough to keep them from falling over, but not so much that the chip cannot fall into place.
When the chip is on the way down and into place, the thumb is actually nothing more than a guide because gravity takes over.