How to shuffle cards

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The possibility of a gambling club mix is to not allow the cards to fall off the table with the goal that nobody sees their countenances.

We prepared an easy step by steop on how to shuffle cards. Now, let´s talk about the different ways to shuffle.


Riffle Strip riffle

The most common method for shuffling cards between poker hands is the riffle-strip-riffle-cut procedure.

  1. The dealer collects the cards from the previous hand
  2. Riffle the deck two or three times (it depends on the casino)
  3. Strip shuffle the cards
  4. Riffle the cards once or twice more
  5. Cut the deck
  6. The dealer should also wash the cards from time to time and will definitely wash the cards for all new decks brought to the table.

Did you find it too complicated? Well, an alternative is to opt for online casinos, that way you don´t need to shuffle cards. Everything is done automatically by the system.

How to riffle shuffle a deck of cards

  1. Place the deck face down in front of you on the table.
  2. Place both thumbs on the near long edge of the deck. Place both middle and ring fingers on the far long edge of the deck. Place your pinky fingers on the outside short edges of the deck.
  3. Cut the deck in half by lifting the top half of the deck slightly off the table and to the right. Move the lower half of the cards slightly to the left.
  4. Angle the two halves of the deck so that the outside short edges come closer to you by about 20%.
  5. Using your pinky fingers, move the cards closer together and using your thumbs, lightly bend up the two intersecting corners. Your thumbs (and the two decks) should almost be touching each other.
  6. Release some of the pressure on your thumbs and allow the corners of each card to fall into one another as they drop to the table. Try to make the cards alternate between the two decks as they fall.
  7. Leaving the cards on the table, square the deck by using your fingers (especially your pinky fingers) to push the two halves together. Refrain from lifting the cards off the table in a bridging motion.
  8. After riffling, you will probably strip shuffle the deck of cards.

How to strip shuffle

  1. Lay the cards face down in landscape mode in front of you on the table.
  2. Using your left hand, place your thumb on the near long edge, your index finger on top of the cards, your pinky finger on the outside short edge of the deck, and your two middle fingers on the far long edge. Lift the cards slightly off the table,
  3. Place your right thumb on the near long edge, your index finger on top, and your middle fingers on the far long edge. Pinch 10-20 cards off the top of the deck.
  4. Move your left hand to the left.
  5. Allow the cards held in your right hand to drop to the table, using your right index finger to guide the drop.
  6. Move your left hand to the right and repeat steps 3 to 5 until all the cards are lying on the table.
  7. After strip shuffling, you will probably riffle shuffle the cards one or two more times and then cut the cards.

How to wash a deck of playing cards

wash shuffle cards
  1. Place the cards face down in two rows (or in one or more piles) in front of you on the table.
  2. Using the fingertips and palms of both hands, move the cards around the table in circular motions for several seconds, mixing the cards as much as possible. Lift your hands up from the cards and repeat this same procedure several times.
  3. New decks should be washed for one to two minutes. Between hands, cards may be washed for as little as 10 to 15 seconds.
  4. Collect the cards off the table and prepare to shuffle the deck with a standard riffle-strip-riffle-cut.

Automatic Card Shufflers: are they worthy?

I will be blunt … the cheap automatic card shufflers are not worth the time and money. The common automatic card shuffling machines that you can purchase for $10-25 do not function well enough to make them a wise purchase.

The cheaper automatic card shufflers are rather poorly constructed. They are noisy and somewhat unreliable. They sometimes “eat” or damage playing cards. They sometimes wear grooves into your playing cards. The automatic card shufflers jam, sometimes damaging a playing card. They don’t really save all that much time compared to shuffling by hand. Most run on batteries that do not last all that long because of the moving parts in the machine.

Shuffle Master

Shuffle Master are professional shuffling machines that were only available to casinos until a couple years ago. They are usually leased to the casino by Shuffle Master at a cost of a couple thousand dollars per month. For security reasons, they were not available outside of casinos. They are now available to the general public for a price of only USD$15,795. I’m not sure if they throw in a free deck of used casino playing cards!

The Shuffle Master shuffling machines are the complete opposite of the cheapo shuffling machines – they work extremely well. They are quick, quiet, and reliable. They don’t destroy cards or jam very often. They have a life of years and years if treated well and properly serviced.

The Shuffle Master shufflers are sunk into the top of the poker table and extend about six inches below the table-top. The in-table shufflers are located in front of the dealer station (seat) at the poker table. The top lid of the shuffler extends about an eighth of inch above the felt of the poker table and it is slightly possible for playing cards to accidentally catch the edge of the shuffler. For this reason, the dealer and all other players must make a bit of an effort to pitch (throw) cards over the shuffler, but it is not usually a problem.

The shuffling procedure using an automatic card shuffling machine differs from casino to casino. After a hand is complete the dealer collects all the cards and (optionally) riffles and/or cuts the deck. The dealer then presses a recessed button on the top of the shuffler that opens the lid of the shuffler and exposes the previously shuffled deck of cards. The dealer places the used deck in the shuffler and removes the previously shuffled deck. The dealer presses a button and the lid of the shuffler closes and the shuffling process begins on the newly inserted deck. The shuffler also counts the cards to ensure that 52 cards are present in the deck.

Paper vs. Plastic Playing Cards

The type of playing cards you use will have a great impact on your poker game. There’s nothing worse than playing poker with bad cards on a bad playing surface. You should probably use one or two decks of plastic playing cards, rather than paper (plastic coated) cards. Plastic cards will last for months or years compared to lasting only one or two tournaments for paper cards.

Paper (coated plastic) playing cards

Available from Bicycle, Bee, Tally-ho, Aviator, WPT, WSOP and various other manufacturers. They are made of paper surrounded by a plastic coating. They may be purchased for a dollar or two per deck and are also sold by the dozen. Don’t open the seal of a new deck, leave it in its plastic in the middle of your poker table and let the players open the seal at the beginning of the game. It’s always reassuring to know that the deck of cards is new and (hopefully) unaltered or marked.

Coated paper cards will bend and crease and rip and chip and tear. They will only be ‘good’ for one tournament or less. Paper cards mark easily and don’t bend back into shape. They become dirty and sticky and don’t slide as well as they did when they were new. They cannot be washed when they do become sticky. The colors are bright but fade as the cards wear out. If you spill a beer on a paper card, you might as well reach for a new deck. They can be easily smudged or marked with a fingernail. It is easy to crease or bend a corner.

Plastic playing cards

Are much more durable and long-lasting than paper cards. They will not crease, rip, or tear as easily as a coated plastic card. Plastic cards will last longer, shuffle better, and slide across the table better. You will never want to play with anything else! Plastic cards may be washed using a damp cloth when they begin to get dirty and stick together. And we all know that accidents do happen.

Remember, a beer is a terrible thing to waste … especially when spilled on your poker table and cards! Plastic cards can get wet and soiled and are easy to clean. Plastic playing cards are usually sold in sets of two decks and are available from KEM Cards, Royal, A Plus Cards, Copag, Gemaco, Dal Negro and others. Plastic cards cost anywhere from about $4 per deck of Royal cards to $8 per deck of COPAG cards and about $12 per deck of Gemaco, A+ or KEM cards.

Plastic cards are easier to handle and shuffle. They bend back into shape better than a paper card and are much harder to mark or smudge than a paper card. They are more expensive than paper cards but are worth the extra money in the long run. Experienced poker players have a tendency to leave their hole cards on the table and simply bend a portion of the card up to view it – this has a tendency to warp or bow the cards over time. Corners can become curved and cards can appear bowed at the middle. Plastic cards help to minimize this nuisance because they ‘remember’ their shape better than paper cards. Placing a cut card and a weight on top of your unused cards also helps!

Plastic cards slide very easily on just about any playing surface. They feel strange to shuffle at first but once you start using them, you’ll never want to go back to a paper card. Plastic cards may smell when you first open a new deck. The smell will go away with use but you may want to leave your cards spread out on a table for a few days to make the smell go away quicker.

In the long run, plastic playing cards will probably cost you less than paper playing cards. Paper cards will be good for one tournament and barely playable for the second tournament. They may get marked or soiled after only a couple hands! If you use paper cards, plan on buying them by the dozen.

On the other hand, plastic playing cards will last dozens of tournaments, with a little cleaning needed now and then. When the cards get a little sticky, simply wipe them clean with a damp towel and let them dry. This will save you money in the long run.

How to Clean Playing Cards

Cleaning plastic playing cards:

  • Your cards will last longer if you keep them clean.
  • To wash your cards, use cold water, mild neutral soap and a soft cloth. Do not use hot water.
  • Clean only a few cards at a time.
  • Rub very lightly on both sides of the card and rinse quickly.
  • Dry thoroughly at once using a clean, soft cloth.
  • Spread your washed cards on a table and allow up to one hour on each side to dry. Avoid direct sunshine or artificial heating elements.
  • Occasionally wipe your plastic cards with a damp cloth and let dry thoroughly.
  • Never use detergent or alkaline soap.
  • Never wash cards in a washing machine.
  • Never put cards away damp, either from washing or perspiration.
  • Never store cards where they will be exposed to sunshine or any other source of heat.
  • Play on a clean felt table. Playing on poor quality or dirty surfaces will result in scratches which will allow dirt to accumulate on the cards.

Storage of playing cards

Store your cards in a consistently cool and dry environment. It is best to place a cut card and small weight on top of decks of stored playing cards, this will help prevent warping or bowing. Do not leave your playing cards in a hot car or exposed to direct sunlight.


Do not store Kem cards without placing a weight on top of the deck. Every single Kem card that I have ever owned has eventually bowed if I did not flatten the deck with a weight in between use. I love Kem cards, and they may still be the best playing card, but they will bow if you do not weigh them down.

Talcum powder

No mater how good your deck of cards, they will eventually accumulate dirt, grime, and oils and begin to stick together. Some players say that sprinkling talcum powder on the cards will take away some of the stickiness. I say it leaves you with a deck of cards that will be shedding talcum powder all over your table and hands, no matter how good you clean them. It does however, help make the cards less sticky.

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