How to Roll a Coin Across Your Knuckles- Then Vanish

To roll a coin on your knuckles is one of the most impressive flourishes you can do. It is also the hardest. I have been performing it for 20 years and will walk you through, step by step, exactly how to do it, how to practice the move, and how to get good at it.

  • Pick up the coin with your right thumb and 1st finger.
  • With your thumb slide the coin on top of the back of your 1st finger.
  • Raise your 2nd finger and use it to flip the coin onto the back of it.
  • Repeat with your 3rd finger.
  • Clip the coin with your 3rd and 4th and bring it into your hand.
  • Balance the coin underneath on the pad of your thumb and bring it back around on top of your 1st finger.

The key to a good coin roll is smoothness, speed, and consistency. I will teach you how to do an impressive coin roll on your knuckles.

How to Roll a Coin

sleight of hand

The coin roll is a one handed move. I am right handed so I use my right hand. If you are left handed just switch the hands.

coin roll 1

I am using a quarter here. Start with the quarter held between your right thumb, 1st, and 2nd fingers. Show the quarter. Slide the quarter with your right thumb along the side of your 1st finger all the way up onto the back of your right 1st finger between the knuckles of your hand and the knuckles of your fingers. The coin should be balanced here.

coin roll 2

Lift your 2nd finger and bring it down on the side of the coin clipping it. Use your 1st finger to flip the coin onto the back of your 2nd finger. Again the coin should be balanced here.

coin roll 3

Lift your 3rd finger and bring it down on the side of the coin clipping it. Use your 2nd finger to flip the coin onto the back of your 3rd finger. Again the coin should be balanced here. Clip the coin between your right 3rd and 4th fingers and bring it down into your hand. Balance the coin underneath on the pad of your thumb and bring it back around to the starting position on the back of your 1st finger.

Hand Size

I have small hands and usually use a half dollar. When performing close up coin magic the bigger the coin is the better. I perform most of my coin routines with half dollars. A silver dollar is too large for my hands. A quarter works perfectly for the coin roll. If you are learning the coin roll and you don’t use half dollars I highly recommend you use a quarter. Quarters are always around and easy to find. Use what is most practical.

The Goal

When done well this flourish looks incredible, like liquid pouring down your hand. The only way to get there is through extensive practice. Every question you will have the answer is PRACTICE!

Practice

I love practicing. I am results driven and I love when I learn and perfect something I wasn’t able to do. The coin roll has been the one move that I have put a ton of practice into and I am pretty good at yet “not amazing” at. The coin roll is a tough move. Practice, practice, practice. Have patience and don’t give up. I imagine it would take doing the coin roll all the time consistently for years to eventually do it really well.

When is the best time to practice? All the time. It is something that you can practice for hours and hours on end. That is the best way to master the move. Repetition and practice. Malcolm Gladwell says 10,000 hours of practice in his wonderful book The Tipping Point. Put in 10,000 hours of practice and I guarantee you will have an amazing coin roll.

Multiple Coin Rolls

I don’t see the point of doing the coin roll with multiple coins on one hand and I also don’t see the point of doing the coin roll with both hands. I believe you are better off spending your time getting good with one hand and one coin. You can tell when someone is really good at the coin roll. It will be super smooth and fluid and extremely impressive.

Coin Roll on Knuckles Vanish

vanish 4
  • Do the coin roll.
  • As you bring the coin down press it into finger palm with your thumb.
  • Do a fake toss into your left hand, relax your right hand.
  • Close your left hand as if you have the coin and focus attention.
  • Move your hand up, blow on it, and open it in one motion.
  • Show the coin has vanished.

This is a flashy yet effective vanish that can be used in any routine. It happens in action, right after the coin roll. Do the coin roll 2 times and then go into the vanish sequence. Bring the coin down through your hand and instead of balancing it on your thumb press it into finger palm position in your right hand. Do a fake toss into your left hand while retaining the coin. Move your left hand up, focus attention, and make the coin disappear.

FINGER PALM: You need to know this move. I will cover it here. Hold the coin at the base of your fingers, mostly on your 3rd finger, with it slightly overlapping your 2nd finger. Curl your fingers naturally and hold the coin gently in place with your 3rd finger against the skin at the base of your hand. That is it, simple! The finger palm is an easy, practical, and effective move.

  • Hold the coin lightly in place, there should be no tension in your hand.
  • Keep your fingers together at all times so there are no windows. 
  • Always relax your hand either at your side or on the table. 
  • You can rotate your hand palm up, the coin will remain hidden. 
  • You can still pick up and hold objects with your thumb, 1st, and 2nd. 

HOW TO PRACTICE:  Keep a coin in finger palm throughout the day as you go about your normal activity until you get used to it. Forget about the coin and just do whatever you normally do. Learn to relax your hand naturally as if you have nothing in it. Do this for a week. Get comfortable. Nobody knows you are hiding a coin.

PRO TIPS:  There are many ways to hide a coin in your hand. Most methods are unnatural and look suspicious. The finger palm is the easiest and most natural palm to use. Most coin tricks I perform use it. Practice and get comfortable with this move and it will serve you well.

Dry and Wet Hands

If your hands are dry or super cold, it makes the coin roll harder. If your hands are sweaty or sticky, it also makes the coin roll harder. Try to keep your hands in the best condition possible. The more you practice and perfect the coin roll the more you will be able to do it under any circumstance.

FINAL THOUGHTS

It is a good idea to mix up your tricks when performing. I usually do a coin trick, then a card trick, then a mind reading trick, etc. Check out this Free Video and learn my favorite 4 Ace Trick. It is easy to do and guaranteed to amaze. I perform it all the time at my paid events.

Matt
Matt

Hi, I'm Matt Furman. I have been a full time professional magician for over 20 years, ever since I left medical school to pursue my passion of magic tricks. I have a ton of real world experience and I am constantly practicing and performing new mind blowing magic.