stab back

Knife game

The knife game, or 5-finger fillet, is a trick wherein a person places the palm of his or her hand down on a table with fingers apart, using a knife, or sharp object, the performer attempts to stab back and forth between their fingers, moving the object back and forth, trying to not hit them. This was first seen in the 1962 Roman Polanski film Knife in the Water. The trick can be seen in James Cameron's Aliens. It was later shown in an episode of the television series Alias. Many people use a safer version with less harmful objects.

The order in which the spaces between the fingers are stabbed varies. In North America, the most popular version is to simply stab all the spaces in order, starting from behind the thumb to after the little finger, and back again. In Europe, a more complex order is used. With the spaces numbered 1 (behind the thumb) through 6 (after the little finger), the order would be as follows:

1-2-1-3-1-4-1-5-1-6-2-6-3-6-4-6-5-6-4-6-3-6-2-6-1 (repeats)

as opposed to the American version, which would be thus:

1-2-3-4-5-6-5-4-3-2-1 (repeats).

It is the European ordering which is shown on camera in Aliens.

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