As people play poker, of course the main use of a chip set is to place their bets during the game itself. But many players also enjoy becoming proficient at another entertaining activity connected to the game, which is doing tricks with the poker chips. You may think this is just a casual by-product of the game, something minor that people do to keep themselves interested during lulls in the play, but doing tricks with chips is becoming a gaming discipline all its own.
These tricks are something like coin tricks done by magicians, except that now and then other poker accessories are used to add dimensions that are particular to poker alone. Many of the tricks even have their own names, such as the “3-Fly,” “Drifter,” or “Grandma’s Shawl,” for example. Some involve twirling a chip around the fingers, the same way magicians make quarters roll over and over around their knuckles. Others are tricks of shuffling and re-shuffling. The “Grandma’s Shawl” uses Chinese-style chips, which involves threading something through the holes in their centers, and then managing to interchange them with chips that don’t have holes.
Not only do these poker chip tricks have their own names and special moves, but people write and illustrate books teaching novices how to do them, and people snap up these volumes as soon as they are published. The books are almost as popular as those that teach people how to play the game of poker itself. And with the advent of the internet and video tools, many trick experts have also created videos in which they can demonstrate the moves as well as teach the techniques. And some designers go so far as to create a special little chip set for particular tricks.
Those particular chip sets may contain chips that are notched or rigged (a practice known as “gaffing”) in order to perform specific tricks, but there’s a wide range of poker accessories that can cover every aspect of this entertaining part of the game. The number of resources available to the learner grows day by day, whether those involve illustrated books by experts, internet articles and video demonstrations, or even the acquisition of a special chip set containing chips specially designed for the more elaborate tricks.
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