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!
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