How to Hold a Cigar: The Different Methods

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When you know how to hold a cigar properly, it elevates your overall smoking experience, making every puff a memory to cherish forever.

As Demi Moore said, “There’s something about smoking a cigar that feels like a celebration. It’s like a fine wine.

There’s a quality, a workmanship, a passion that goes into the smoking of a fine cigar.“, she added.

When most people buy their first cigar, they are clueless about how to smoke correctly without looking like amateurs.

How to Hold a Cigar: The Different Ways

Most cigar smokers will tell you that the ideal way to hold a cigar is between your thumb and the index finger, unlike how you would typically have your cigarette.

Nevertheless, you will see many cigar enthusiasts holding a cigar in their personal style.

To some cigar smokers, the art of how to hold a cigar in your mouth comes naturally, but there will always be a few people trying to figure out an exclusive technique.

Some questions that may run through your mind are:

  • Do you use your left hand or the right one? 
  • Thumb or middle finger?
  • Horizontal or vertical?

It’s not rocket science; it ultimately depends on what you are comfortable with and what you expect out of it.

Let’s see what the most common ways of holding a cigar are.

The Pinch

As the name suggests, this method involves gently pinching the cigar.

You hold the cigar between your thumb and forefinger, gently putting a little pressure on it. 

Be careful that your grip is just perfect, not tight enough to ruin it or gentle enough that it slips out of your hand.

Between Forefinger and Thumb

This is by far the most common way to hold a cigar: use your first finger to wrap the cigar and your thumb to support it.

What makes it the most popular way? You have a complete grip over your cigar, so it doesn’t slide down out of your hands, which is a smokers’ nightmare!

The Three-Fold Support

In this method, you hold your cigar between your index and first finger, simultaneously using your thumb to support its end.

Some smokers prefer removing the band from the cigar while they smoke, but if you aren’t one of them, then your fingers should rest on the band in this method.

Full Support 

Finally, we shall discuss how you can use all your fingers to gently hold your cigar while you bring it up to your mouth.

You place all four of your fingers on the top and your thumb on the bottom, holding your cigar in high esteem.

If you keep your cigar in high regard, this is how you pay homage to it.

tips on how to hold a cigar

Do You Hold Cigar Smoke In Your Mouth?

You probably think about lighting up your first cigar, or maybe you already did, but are not too sure whether your technique was perfect.

Let’s get to the point. When you take a puff from your cigar, hold the smoke for two to three seconds before you exhale it out of your mouth.

You might exhale a small amount of smoke right away, but keep the rest in your mouth and savor the flavor exhaling it out.

Most cigar connoisseurs stress that you must never inhale smoke in your lungs, or it will end in a fit of coughs or even suffocation.

How Do You Put Out a Cigar for Later Use

Yes, it has happened to everyone. You just lit up your cigar but are too tired to go through it till the end.

It will be a shame to see a perfect cigar go to waste, but how do you extinguish and store it without compromising on its flavor?

To be honest, you can’t preserve its original punch once you lit up the cigar, but it’s worth trying.

Step One: Purge the Cigar

Remove existing smoke out of the cigar by blowing it out thoroughly and wait for a few minutes to let it cool down.

Step Two: Cut the Cigar

Once your cigar is cool to touch, carefully use a cigar cutter to cut a tiny part off the end.

Step Three: Put It In a Plastic Bag

Keep a zip lock bag handy and keep the cigar in it; roll it tightly, so there is no air in the bag before sealing it tightly.

Don’t ever put a smoked cigar back in a humidor; just keep it somewhere cool, or you will end up spoiling all of the others.

However, if you don’t own a humidor, you must think about getting one for yourself since it will keep your cigars safe and protected.

Step Four: Don’t Wait Too Long

Don’t wait more than 24 hours to re-use the cigar, or it will lose its freshness. Purge it once more and slowly warm it up.

Top Five Beginner Cigar Habits to Avoid

Cigar smoking comes naturally for some, while others make basic mistakes that you can avoid easily.

Keep these pointers in mind to make your experience even more pleasurable.

Never Inhale Your Cigar Smoke

Cigars are not cigarettes, not even close to them. When you light up a cigar, all you need to do is taste the smoke and then blow it out without letting it reach your lungs.

Don’t Cut Too Deep

Cigars are designed to be held together by an adhesive at the cap. When you cut in too deep, you end up with a cigar that will unravel too quickly.

Make sure you use a proper tool and slash off just the cap, or your cigar will completely come apart.

Don’t Buy the Most Expensive One

Most beginners get ripped off by top-shops since they are made to believe the best cigars are those that cost the highest.

That’s not true! You can easily buy a premium quality cigar for under ten dollars with sufficient research.

Don’t Smoke Too Fast

Any regular cigar smoked at just the right pace will have its ash falling off straight horizontally.

On the other hand, when you smoke a cigar too fast, the ash at the top just falls off in clumps, and the end begins to look like a cone.

If you don’t want to end up looking like a novice, take your time to finish your cigar.

Don’t Light Only One Side of the Rim

One of the most common mistakes that even experienced smokers make is that they don’t light the cigar’s top properly.

When you light up just one corner of the cigar’s top, you won’t even come close to the blend’s flavor. 

So spend a few extra seconds, roll the cigar between your fingers, and light up the whole circular area.


It’s not easy to suggest exactly how to hold a cigar in your mouth. Whichever way you use it will make a significant difference in your experience.

We think by now you must have a fair idea about the topic, so spend some time discovering and finding the best fit for you.

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