Two Stack Shuffle


Description This trick involves using one hand to pick up two stacks of coins and dropping them into one stack, with the two coin types interleaved.

It is probably most well known as a poker chip trick as many poker players perform it and it probably originated there. I find it easier to do with poker chips than with coins.

The video above isnt that good but should give you an idea how the trick works.
Start Start with two stacks of three chips next to each other on a table in front of you, one to the right and one to the left.
  1. Place the right hand against the two stacks. This is done by moving the hand in from above. Place the thumb and index finger against the left stack, the ring and pinkie fingers against the right stack and the middle finger against the far side of both stacks..
  2. Pull up on both stacks slightly with the middle finger while at the same time pushing inwards on both stacks with the other four fingers.
  3. Run the middle finger up the stack of coins so that the chips fall down to the table one after the other from alternating stacks.
  4. You should now have a (messy) stack of six chips which can be pushed together into a smooth stack.
Comments Step 3 and 4 are the most important steps so work on the timing and speed of the coin drops until you can drop all coins in one smooth motion.

This trick takes a fair while to work out the method. The inwards pressure on the two stacks is fairly subtle. Too much or too less and it wont work. Also the movement of the middle finger as it pulles up the stack is critical and takes a while to learn.

There are other ways the tricks can be done but the only difference is the hand positioning. Some use the index finger to pull up both stacks etc. Experiment with different finger positions to find the method that works best for you.

I have trouble picking up the coins when they are on a smooth surface. It is easier when you have a rough surface such as a tablecloth, carpet etc.

This trick is also known as the Poker Chip Shuffle.

Variations Once you can do the trick with 3 coins start increasing the number of coins per stack. I have seen people do it with two stacks of 12 poker chips. Its worth practicing with more chips than you can comfortably handle because this will make doing it with less chips feel a lot easier.

Shuffle on Stack:
Pick up the top 3 coins of a tall stack with the middle, ring and pinkie fingers. Place them against the stack so they are beside the top three coins on the remaining stack. Perform the shuffle type move with the three coins in your hand and the three coins on op of the stack. You use the thumb and index finger to support the three coins on the stack during the shuffle.
I find this harder than the normal shuffle move and cant do more than three at the moment but I have seen people doing it with 6-7 chips.

Three Stacks:
I have seen videos of people doing a shuffle with three stacks. Basically the thumb holds one stack, the index and middle finger hold the second stack and the ring and pinkie fingers hold the third stack. Each stack is pushed into the others to get them to all tilt inwards and upwards then the pressure is released letting the chips fall down as for the two stack shuffle. Its a lot harder and I have never practiced it much.

Pyramid Structure:
While learning the shuffle with coins I accidently managed to create a nice looking pyramid structure. Here is an image of the result.

Basically I was trying to do a normal shuffle but didnt quite push in the bottom coins properly. Its not too hard if you have a solid 6 chip/coin shuffle.