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7 September 2017

How To Win The ‘Which Hand?’ Coin Game

By Adam Patel

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Coin Game Street Leeds

In this footage which ended up not making the final cut of ‘Adam Patel: Real Magic’, but did get circulated by a couple of media outlets, I play the famous ‘Which Hand?’ coin game and win five out of five times.

If you’re not familiar with it, the premise is this:

A participant is asked to enclose a coin inside one of their hands behind their back and then present their two identical looking hands in front of them. My job is then to determine which hand contains the coin. Every. Single.Time.

For such a simple game, it’s extremely fascinating.

In this article, I let you behind the curtain as I share some of the techniques I use.

The Nose

The nose knows. And the nose very often tells. If you ask the participant to slowly separate their fists, the participant’s nose will very often move in the direction of the guilty hand, betraying where the coin is. It’s the slightest micro-movement, but it’s surprisingly consistent. And usually the technique I use in the first round of the game.

Arm Resistance

If you lightly move both arms from side to side, the arm holding the coin almost always has more resistance than the other. This is extremely consistent and always my double check, no matter what other techniques I’m trying to employ.

Reverse Psychology

Tell somebody that they keep going for the same hand over and over again, and they almost always follow that up by breaking the pattern and changing hands the next time round.

The Glance

I have not yet found a way to cause this to happen, but people don’t like being watched. So when you look at them in an analytical way, they become uneasy and will often glance very quickly at the hand with the coin on it.


Now you too can have a go at playing the Which Hand? coin game with your friends.

Enjoy. And let me know how you get on…

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