The Art of Shuffling Cards



Staff member
May 3, 2008
If you’re like most people, you grew up learning one type of method when it came to shuffling cards. Did you know that there are official techniques to card shuffling,
and that they each have names? Read over the information below to learn more about types of shuffling and the role shuffling plays in gambling.

The Common Method

The most popular method of card shuffling is commonly referred to as the riffle. It may also be called the dovetail in some geographical locations. For this method, take half the deck in each hand.
You can approximate how much of the deck is half; there is no need to count out each card. Hold each half of the deck with your thumbs pointed inward, toward each other. Place the two deck halves
near each other and slowly let some of the pressure off of your thumbs, allowing the cards to “riffle” into place, overlapping one another.

Casinos and other gambling establishments often use a variation of the riffle in order to protect the card faces from view. In this more difficult method of the riffle you make a bridge type structure with
the cards following the completed riffling of the cards. A simple way to practice the advanced riffle shuffle: try placing both halves of the deck on a table the back corners brushing against each other.
Raise the hind edges with your thumbs and simultaneously press the halves together.

The downside of riffle shuffling? It may cause a great deal of damage to your cards after a lot of games (and a lot of shuffles). If you decide to continue using the riffle as a shuffle method, you may want to
buy plenty of replacement decks for when your current cards bend beyond usability.

The Fancy Method

The next method discussed is known as the Hindu shuffle. No one knows the real reason it goes by this name; however, one can only assume that it originated somewhere in India. To begin the Hindu shuffle,
hold the deck end with your thumb and your middle finger, using the other fingers for support. Bring your right hand beneath the deck and make contact points with your thumb, middle finger, and ring finger
at the side of the deck. As you begin to softly remove small packets of cards from the top deck with your right hand, focus on “catching” the falling cards with your right palm. Your index finger should remain
at the ready to keep the cards from escaping. As you keep this up, return your right hand under the deck for more cards. Repeat until there are no or very few cards remaining. Any remaining cards may be
placed on the top of the card deck. You’re almost done! Use both hands to tidy up any loose cards and square the deck in preparation for the next round.

The Fanciest Method

The faro weave shuffle is one of the most difficult shuffles to perform and is held in high esteem by master card players and card magicians. Interestingly, when the faro shuffle is done correctly it totally
realigns itself - the point isn’t to shuffle the cards, it’s to look cool. If you ever see the faro shuffle is done with perfect accuracy, you’ll know what we mean. Someone who can perform a flawless faro shuffle
is someone who immediately wins the respect of everyone at the table.

In order to complete the faro shuffle, you will have to spend hours practicing. You must first learn how to cut the deck exactly in half (not a single card off). The second skill you must master involves
understanding the card weight so masterfully that you can apply the precise amount of pressure needed to complete the faro shuffle. Learning how to perform a faro shuffle would be very difficult to learn
from a written description. Instead, we encourage you to learn this cool trick from someone who knows it already. Hands on is the best approach to learning, especially when it comes to cards. In the end,
you should end up with a deck of cards that has been more or less “zipped” together, seemingly with little effort exerted. The next time you feel like shuffling purely for show, pull out your card deck and
do a long sequence of the faro shuffle. You’re sure to impress.

So why is shuffling important? Well, there’s the obvious reason: randomization of the card deck. However, by reading about these different methods, hopefully you’ve picked up on another purpose behind shuffling.
A card master knows that shuffling is as practical as it is beautiful; card shuffling in the hands of a card lover is a beautiful piece of art to behold. If you’re interested in the art of card shuffling, try looking into some
other available resources or asking a seasoned gambler. You’ll never regret learning the little extra flourishes a good shuffle can add to your game.


Well-Known Member
May 5, 2008
I would love to become a Professional Shuffler. There really is some skill involved.
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