How to cheat at flipping coins

I had known that some people could call a coin toss correctly far more than was likely by chance alone but thought that they somehow knew how to take advantage of the slight asymmetry between the heads and tails sides in coins. Maybe some do have that skill but others take advantage of an optical illusion as shown in this video.

It looks like it could be easy to learn so beware of betting on coin tosses unless you are the one doing the tossing and thus can be sure that there is no cheating.


  1. Curt Sampson says

    The beautiful thing about this, beyond the technique itself, is that you use a “fair coin.” In fact, it probably wouldn’t work as well without a fair coin.

  2. Mobius says


    I am reminded of Rosencrans and Gildenstern Are Dead, where Rosencrans (or was it Gildenstern?) keeps tossing a coin and gets heads every time.

  3. says

    They were talking about how putting the spin on the coin gives it that wobble that makes it look like it is tumbling end over end. More importantly, that spin gives it an angular momentum that prevents the coin from accidentally flipping over.

  4. consciousness razor says

    It was Guildenstern. Rosencrantz is calling it when it lands. But … which is which?
    Maybe it’s sort of like a Mobius strip, with just a single side/edge, not two.

  5. ridana says

    Omg, do you think this was what Cheato was trying to do with that Army-Navy coin toss fail? Hard to see, but he definitely starts out with his thumb on top.

    I bet he learned it from one of his casino mafia minions but could never grasp how it worked or gain the skill to actually do it.

  6. Owlmirror says

    The way I learned to coin toss was to catch it and slap it on the back of your opposite hand. The cheat — which I learned much much later in life — is that the toss doesn’t matter. Once the coin falls back into your hand, you just fold your fingers around it and feel which side is heads or tails, and roll the coin as appropriate to get whatever you want when you slap it down. Your fingers are loaded with sensory nerves, and they can detect the differences of each side.

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