how to shuffle cards

How to Shuffle Cards: The Key to Shuffling Like a Pro

Nobody wants to be that person at the casino game table who can’t shuffle a deck of cards. It feels like it says something about you. Those who do it with ease give off this air of being cool and calm. Meanwhile, those who get in there and are choppy and fumble along are simply not as coordinated.

If you’re not so handy with the cards in your hands, rest easy. There are so many easy methods for people to learn out there to be truly effective at doing so. For those who still aren’t sure what methods to use or which tricks to try, we are going to be giving you all the information you could possibly need so that you aren’t known as “that guy”.

The Basics of Shuffling

No matter if you want to play blackjack, baccarat or poker, before you can dive into the different ways to shuffle a deck of cards, you have to understand the basics of a standard shuffle. The first step would be how you hold the deck before you start shuffling.

You need your knuckle pushing down on the back of the deck with your thumb on one end, then your pinky, ring and middle finger on the other end. This is if you’re right-handed as well; it would be reversed if you are shuffling with your left hand.

At this point, you are going to want to split the deck. Start by putting some pressure on the cards with both your thumb and pinky/middle fingers while bending the back. Flip through the cards as they fly off the edge of your thumb until you get halfway. At that point, move one half of those cards to one pile and the remaining cards to the other.

The next thing you want to do is bend both smaller decks up and riffle through the two hands together while pointing them at each other. This is so the two decks overlap cards every couple of cards. While there are other steps of shuffling you can implement into your technique, this is the basic understanding of how to shuffle cards.

Then what you want to do is push the remaining cards together. It’s going to create a relatively loose interlocking of the deck as the cards meet. Then, you simply put your thumbs on top of the deck of cards and bend the deck in the middle to form a bit of a half circle. When you do that, it’s going to allow the cards to slide together and re-form the deck.

While some of this may be hard to envision by simply reading text, there are some great YouTube videos that show you exactly how to shuffle cards. Sometimes seeing the visual cues will help you get there.

Different Types Of Card Shuffling Methods

The first method that can be done is similar to a professional dealer. This is when you split two decks together and then riffle them with one another.  However, they are riffled together at the corners, rather than just being straight up bridged together.

Professional dealers usually do this three times to get the most out of this method, with any number less than that just not going to be enough. The last thing you want is for the players to think that the deck has not been shuffled enough.

The next method is the way that a Harlem Globetrotter shuffles their decks. You can utilize this method by taking individual cards and finding ways to twirl and spin them on your fingers just to show off a little bit. It’s not the most optimal way to shuffle a deck of cards, but it is entertaining.

If spinning or twirling a card isn’t something that you think you can pull off in front of a crowd, then you can start to pirouette the individual cards instead. You can use your hand to flip it around your fingers as you turn the card around multiple times as it moves across your hand. When done quickly enough, you can fling it around in an incredible fashion before placing it onto the table with ease.

The last method is messy, but effective and pretty when done correctly. You would take half the deck in each of your hands, and make sure to point your hands at one another when you’re doing this. It’s not a tough grip to make on each of your hands either, as all you need is to place your thumb in the upper corner of the split deck in both hands.

You push down on that corner for both at the same time as they begin to flip downward into a pile beneath your hands.

Shuffling Tricks

One trick that you can do to shuffle a deck is when you pick the entire deck up into your hands. You would use one hand to hold the deck and the other to take a small portion of the deck off the top and into a separate pile on the table.

You would repeat this motion all the way until the original deck doesn’t have any cards left to move into the newly created pile. Obviously, doing this incredibly slowly could ruin the purpose or impact of it and doesn’t really make it look professional. That is why the best way to get this shuffle done is by doing it swiftly and effectively. Once you get enough practice with it, this motion becomes incredibly easy and can be done quickly.

If you haven’t heard of the ribbon technique, that’s another method that some use. When it comes down to it, it probably isn’t technically classified as shuffling but it does look fascinating. And with this type of card handling, a lot of it is for show.

What you do is you hold the deck in one hand with your thumb at the bottom of it and your ring, middle and pinky toward the top. Your index finger would be placed toward the side of the deck to help you really spread the cards out and succeed in doing this trick. Next, what you want to do is find a place at the end of the table for the deck. Then you’re going to put a bit of pressure on the cards to spread them out all the way to the other corner of the table.

This really is for show, as it makes a nice layout of the cards. Once you get good at it, you can pull this off really fast. Then you can do different shapes. If the first is a line, you can do a kind of a wave by picking up one end of the ribbon with your index finger and slowly turning it around. It gives it a bit of a domino feel and adds some to the aesthetics.