How to Shuffle Cards: Techniques to Shuffle a Deck of Playing Cards

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Dennis Graham-ClarkeSeptember 8, 2022 at 11:37 PM

Shuffling cards seems easy, but nothing could be further from the truth. Shuffling cards like a professional casino dealer is way more difficult than one might think. For starters, you have to make sure no one at the table accidentally sees a card while shuffling. 

Below we will explain several ways to prevent this, so if you want to take your card dealing game to the next level, keep reading.

How to Shuffle Cards – Card Shuffling Techniques

Proper shuffling technique ensures that a card game runs smoothly and that players don’t get to see each other’s cards. Everyone hates it when this happens during poker home games and this can actually get you fired if you are a professional casino dealer. To prevent this from happening, let’s quickly start with the first card shuffling technique. Grab a set of cards and try it out right away!

The Riffle Shuffle

The riffle shuffle is one of the most popular card shuffling techniques, one that is used very often at the poker table.

First, you divide the cards into two piles and put them next to each other. You then proceed to lift the cards with your thumb and then let the cards fall on top of each other. You can then choose to repeat this process a couple of times or give someone else the deck to cut it.

The Overhand Shuffle

The second card shuffling technique we are going to discuss is the overhand shuffle. This playing card shuffling technique is used a lot by beginners.

To shuffle cards overhand, you put the complete deck of cards in one of your hands and then pull the bottom of the deck toward you, and proceed by placing the cards drawn on top of the deck. Eventually, you rinse and repeat this process, using your thumb to make sure that you keep increasing the pace at which you are shuffling the cards.

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The Pile Shuffle

The next shuffling technique is the pile shuffle, which is an easy technique to get your cards shuffled properly. It takes a little more time than the techniques listed above. With this card shuffling technique, you simply make several small piles from the complete deck of cards and you then proceed by putting the piles of cards one by one on top of each other.

The Hindu Shuffle

The Hindu shuffle isn’t that commonly used in the United States but is still an interesting way to shuffle cards. You shuffle with the Hindu shuffle by holding the end of the deck with your thumb and middle finger. You then place your thumb and middle finger on either side of the long side of the deck. Additionally, you can place your index finger lightly on the deck for extra support.

Continue shuffling by placing the deck over the palm of your other hand. Now use your free hand to lightly grip the side of the deck with your thumb on one side and your middle and ring fingers on the other. The index finger should stay in front. Carefully draw some cards from the top of the deck with your bottom hand. Use your bottom hand to take several cards — a dozen or so — and leave them in the palm of that hand.

You then move the deck away from your bottom hand. To do this, simply move the deck just one deck length of the small deck in the palm of the other hand. Continue shuffling until all the cards are in your palm. Once all the cards are in your palm, lift the deck back to the palm of the bottom hand, remove a few more cards from the deck, move the deck, and bring it back. 

Continue this process until all the cards in the deck are in the palm of the bottom hand. You can pick up the pile and repeat the shuffle a few times to get the best results or give the deck to another player when you’re done to cut it.

The Faro Shuffle

The faro shuffle is without a doubt the most precise card shuffle technique, but also the most difficult to perform. You shuffle a deck of cards with the faro shuffle by dividing the deck into two equal halves, one in each hand. You then proceed by bringing these halves together, starting at one of the corners, using pressure to push the cards together perfectly at the same time. 

If you do this the correct way, the cards should easily slide into each other forming a deck, just like a zipper. It might take a while to master this shuffling technique, but you’ll definitely receive some compliments from your friends or other players when you can execute it flawlessly. 

How to Shuffle Cards – Bottom Line

How you shuffle cards is totally up to you, but you can use any of the shuffling techniques described above. With a bit of practice, you might be able to shuffle cards with all these techniques and maybe in even other ways as well!

FAQs About How to Shuffle Cards

When to shuffle cards?

Playing cards should ideally be shuffled after every round or hand dealt, depending on which game is being played. In poker, cards are shuffled after players have placed their big and/or small blinds and/or ante bets.

What is the best way to shuffle cards?

According to most card players, the riffle shuffle is the best way to shuffle cards, followed by the overhand shuffle.

Who shuffles cards?

In casinos, only professional dealers get to shuffle cards. For home games, players can decide who shuffles the cards.

Are card shufflers rigged?

Card shufflers aren’t rigged in licensed casinos, but card shufflers can be rigged in home games. However, you shouldn’t assume this too easily. 

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