Introduction: Coin Roll

So you just watched a movie where some hotshot is in a casino, playing a game of high-stakes blackjack. As they wait for cards to be dealt our gambler leans back and calmly begins to roll a poker chip across their knuckles and smirks as lady luck blesses them with the winning hand.

Lets be honest rolling a coin or chip across your knuckles is just plain old cool. It's not incredibly complicated to learn, but it will take practice. When I started learning, I dropped coins an unbelievable amount and learned quickly that a quarter hitting a hard surface leaves people feeling like a nail had just been driven through their eardrum.

Before I get started here are a few things you should have before you begin.

1) A coin, kind of important.... I prefer using a quarter or half dollar. Play around with different coin sizes to see what works best for you!

2) A soft surface for your coin to hit when it does inevitably fall. While learning this in high school I would use my notebook to deaden the sound. Hoodies, backpacks, mouse pads, small animals, or your friend who passed out on your couch are great substitutes though!

Step 1: Hopefully by the End You Can Do This Too!

Step 2: Balance Is Key

Ok very first thing you should learn is to balance the coin on your thumb like so. This will come in handy when you start or reset.

PROTIP: As you are learning, coins may start to slip between your fingers, feel free to push them back up with your thumb. Don't worry, I won't judge you...much.

Step 3: Thumb Hugging

Begin by moving your thumb so it kind of smacks up against the side of your index finger, like a really aggressive hug.

Step 4: Let Your Thumb Climb

Now you are going to want to slide your thumb up and over your index finger. Similar to how you would get out of a pool from the side, because you were too cool to take the stairs. This will place the coin on top of your index finger.

Step 5: Prepping the First Scissor

Once your coin is balanced on top of the index finger, move your thumb out of the way and let your coin enjoy the view. As your coin absorbs its surroundings, slyly raise your middle finger up and over the unsuspecting coin.

Step 6: Scissoring Time!

When your coin least expects it, bring your middle finger down pinching the corner between your index and middle.

I know circles don't have corners but you get the idea.

Step 7: Kicking Your Fingers

Bring your index finger up and your middle finger down, much like you would kick your legs while swimming. Prepare yourself, there may be more pool analogies coming.

Step 8: Oh How the Mighty Fall

When you get to this point, just raise your index finger a little bit and to the side as well. This should topple the once mighty coin onto its back.
 

Step 9: Here We Go Again

As your coin helplessly lays on its back, like a little turtle that you could exchange for goods and services, raise your ring finger to help the little guy out. He's having a rough time today.

Step 10: The Sideways Grab

Your ring finger should now be in a great position to come down on the corner of the coin, so you should probably do that.

Step 11: More Kicking

Just like before, you are now going to kick your fingers, much like you would kick your legs in a pool filled with sharks, but less panicky. Middle finger goes up and the ring goes down.

Step 12: Might Need a Flick of the Wrist

Sometimes I find turning my hand over very very very slightly can help out with this stage, as you get better with it you will need to twist less. Be careful though, this usually about the time that coins will want to fall. Get your soft landing surface ready!

Also remember you can use your thumb to prevent falls, as you master it try to rely less on these things though.

Step 13: Grabbing That Coin

Now that the coin has gone a full 360 its time to do the biggest scissor move, excited? earlier, we wanted to aim for 1/4-1/3 the side of the coin, this time aim as far in as you can!

Again this area is really prone to coin droppage, so be careful and if you do drop the coin don't beat yourself up. It takes a good amount of time to get decent at this. If you stick to it you will be able to roll coins for the rest of your life with ease.

Step 14: Seriously, Aim Far!

If you can grab about as much of the coin as I did in this pic you should be on the right track!

Step 15: Stuff Is About to Get Weird in Here

Remember all those scissory moves before? This will be kind of similar but mixed with what happens when you cut really thick material with really crappy scissors.

Step 16: Top of the "Too Much Material Scissor Move"

Ring finger goes up, but the pinky squeezes and moves in and under the ring finger. Again that scissor analogy is the best way I can describe this.

Step 17: Under the "Too Much Material Scissor Move"

From the beneath your fingers should be doing something like this, with about that much coin sticking out. Starting out, you will probably either grab too much and have the coin fall or too little and not be able to do the next moves. Feeling out how to do these parts just comes with practice.

Since your coin is a little freaked out due to how far away the ground is, bring your thumb under the coin to comfort it.

Step 18: The Reset

Now that your coin is calming down once again, pinch the coin between your thumb and ring finger.

Step 19: Sliding Away

Start to slide your thumb across the underside of your fingers as you rotate your wrist vertical. We are aiming to reach the balance point that was in the very first step.

Step 20: Insert Coin to Play Again

Congratulations! You made it! Even if you didn't just keep trying, I am proud of you regardless. In fact I am high-fiving you through the internet!

If you want to keep going, go back to the beginning and repeat the steps until your hand hurts, then try the other hand, then both hands at the same time, then two coins on each hand, then 5 coins on each hand.

Good luck with practice! If there are any questions you have, please let me know!

Comments

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MandalorianMaker made it! (author)2015-11-23

Oddly enough, I tried this and I'm actually better with my non-dominant (left) hand. Great ible!

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pauljason18 made it! (author)2015-05-11

wow this is incredible

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ðjíhàd made it! (author)2015-04-29

You realley increateble.

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Charlestrh made it! (author)2015-04-13

is there a way to role it back all on top?

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zman1204 made it! (author)2015-02-08

I've used this trick to impress girls

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goober771 made it! (author)2014-11-30

I have wanted to do this since I first saw it on Fringe, and this instructable really helped! Thanks!

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nottingham atlatl made it! (author)2014-11-26

Awesome dude!!

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akshay567 made it! (author)2014-10-11

it's not right trick

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akshay567 made it! (author)2014-10-10

vary nice

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alex worden made it! (author)2014-07-20

Very thorough thanks!

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misquito made it! (author)2014-03-19

At this step my coin started to truly have a panic attack and was flailing about wildly in an effort to right itself. Does the coin need to be concious or can I knock it out while using it for this trick?

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-21

Good question! When I began practicing I made sure to have a jar of chloroform at my side just in case the coin became unruly.

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Soup Sammich made it! (author)Soup Sammich2014-06-19

ha, birds

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Mrasore made it! (author)2014-06-15

Such a well made tutorial. Very helpful and humorous. Hope to really master this skill

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clockworkfish made it! (author)2014-04-02

Thanks! Glad I could help, now go show off to everyone!

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jjardine made it! (author)2014-03-17

Well done! Thank you for the great tutorial. I was able to do it in three tries (incredibly slow ....for now). Have a great day!

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-21

Awesome man! Keep it up!

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laith mohamed made it! (author)2014-03-21

amazing

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Cueball21 made it! (author)2014-03-16

I learned the finger roll about 55 years ago. I carried different sized foreign coins to demonstrate that it could be done with almost any sized coin. Using foreign coins drew more attention from those who watched. I never developed my left hand skills, even though I tried. I can do almost nothing with my left hand that requires fine motor skills.

Great Instructable!!

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dadswoodshop made it! (author)dadswoodshop2014-03-20

Interesting you say that. I am a righty and am the same as you. However, my first attempt at this was with my left! Never even considered my right hand until now.

So, thank you Cueball for that! And thanks for this great lesson!

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dansdoc made it! (author)2014-03-17

That was in Pirates Of The Caribean!

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mwacuff made it! (author)2014-03-16

Good job!

Did you know that perhaps the most famous performance of the Coin Roll was done in a movie by W. C. Fields (IIRC "The Old Fashioned Way," 1934)?

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bananav237 made it! (author)2014-03-16

this is really cool

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Horef made it! (author)2014-03-16

...

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-16

...

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tobyjug3 made it! (author)2014-03-16

I have always wanted to be able to do this coin roll but my hands are now too old and stiff. Thank you for an enjoyable instructable.

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-16

I could be, and probably am wrong, but this might be a great way to limber up your hands. Its pretty similar to some techniques that magicians use to increase their manual dexterity. Reagardless thanks for the feedback!

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pdub77 made it! (author)2014-03-16

Good work. Did you see mine? https://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-Knuckle-Roll-a-Coin-Like-Doc-Holliday/

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-16

Now I have lol, You did an awesome job of detailing the coin selection process!

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clippergear made it! (author)2014-03-16

Cool. Thanks for sharing this trick. I've always wanted to learn it but never knew where to begin. Now I do. That's great.

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ncoleman2 made it! (author)2014-03-13

This is really cool! Could you post the video so we can play it in slow motion to follow along with?

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-13

I have a video that the gif was taken from that I can be found here, but if you want one of me going slower I can do that in the morning. let me know if there is anything else I can do to help!

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ncoleman2 made it! (author)ncoleman22014-03-14

Thanks so much! That video was super helpful!

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-14

Not a problem! Good luck on your coin rolling journey!

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Plo Koon made it! (author)2014-03-12

Nice instructable. I love the tone and voice. Hopefully, I too will eventually excell at the art of coin rolling.

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-13

Thanks! You deffinatly will, just keep at it!

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Plo Koon made it! (author)Plo Koon2014-03-13

are you left-handed? In the GIF you are using your left hand, and i think it would be difficult to do something so dexterous with your non-dominant hand.

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-13

Yupp, I can do it in both though, but the same ideas apply.

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-13

It should also be noted that I am worse with my non dominate hand though lol

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Zenki made it! (author)2014-03-12

Amusing, i've made it... but just once for now XD

Gonna have to train ! Thank you for this instructables

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-13

We all start someplace, so just put on the Rocky theme music and go for it!

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QuyetTran vs Wild made it! (author)2014-03-13

Check it out :)

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Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)2014-03-10

Nice directions! Do you have a video of you doing it?

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-10

I can make one!

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Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-03-10

Awesome! Ping me when it's up :)

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Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-03-10

You're quick! Looks good :)

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-10

Thanks!

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Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-03-12

Gif for you!

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clockworkfish made it! (author)clockworkfish2014-03-12

updated!

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Penolopy Bulnick made it! (author)Penolopy Bulnick2014-03-12

Very nice :)

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Bio: Hey there! Ive got a BFA in designed objects from SAIC, i've worked in the high end fabrication shops, as an industrial designer, a ... More »
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