How to shuffle cards – the top seven techniques

Shuffling cards is nothing but a human’s best attempt at becoming a random number generator, designed to create an unplanned chaos in an orderly deck of cards.

Seven cool ways to shuffle
Shuffling is both vital and a cool skill to learn

Once cards are shuffled, unless you are dealing with a cheater, there is no way for anyone to tell in which order they’ll be dealt out.

And, unless you are superstitious, it doesn’t really matter that much how you’ll shuffle cards. As long as you give them a few good riffles, you’ll create a new random pattern, whichever it may be.

However, there are many card shuffling techniques. Some of them are convenient because they’ll save you time.

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Others are great if your playing space is limited and people in your game insist on cards being shuffled well. And then there are those that just look damn cool and you can impress your friends with. Let’s take a look.

Overhand shuffle

This is the one we all learned when we first started playing any type of a card game.

Simply hold the deck of cards in your right hand (or left, if you are a lefty). Place the deck in the palm of your other hand, vertically, lift a portion of cards from the bottom of the deck, and bring them back on top of the deck.

Most serious players don’t even count this as shuffling, but it will still change the cards’ positions, so it’s something.

The riffle shuffle

The riffle shuffle is fairly simple to do, and you’ve probably seen it quite a few times. Despite it being simple, it serves the purpose quite well.

Hold the deck in one hand, pushing the top of the deck with your thumb. Fold the index finger behind the deck, and rest the bottom of the deck on your other three fingers.

Hold the cards tightly, but not too tight, and push the back of the deck forward using your index finger. Apply pressure bending the deck and slowly release the pressure from your thumb, allowing about half of the deck to separate and fall into your other hand.

Now, you’ll have two parts of the deck in both of your hands, and you need to grab them the same way you did initially. Now, just use the same move you used to separate the deck, but with the both parts at the same time, close to each other, so that cards fall one on top of the other on the edges.

Finally, apply pressure to create the bridge and push the cards together.

The strip shuffle

This one is fairly easy, but can be effective enough. Put the deck on the table, face down. Hold them with your thumbs on the side closer to you and the rest of your fingers on the opposite side. Use the right hand to take a small portion of the cards and remove it from the deck. Then, put it back inside the deck, wherever you like.

One handed shuffle

The one handed shuffle is somewhat complicated, and it will require a lot of practice. However, it is that much more impressive once you do get the hang of it.

First, hold the deck in your hand with your thumb and pinky on the side closer to you, and the other three fingers holding the far side of the deck. Use your thumb to try and lift up about half of the deck. Release the pressure from your ring and middle fingers and push the half of the deck out using your thumb, while leaning it onto the index finger. Push it out until two halves of the deck are parallel to each other. Then, finally, you bring the halves together, weaving them in.

Again, this will take some practice, but it really looks awesome.

Smooshing (casino) shuffle

In a casino, you’ll often see dealers use the “smooshing” method. It is usually used at poker tables, and there is really not much to it. The dealer will spread the deck across the table, face down, and shuffle them all the way across the table. Simple and unimpressive, but effective.

Pile shuffle

This is another simple way to shuffle cards if you want to spread a game with friends, but everyone’s new to all the shenanigans.

Cards are placed in a few separate piles, and the piles are put one on top of the other, in no particular order. By doing a pile shuffle a few times, you’ll achieve a decent randomization, although it isn’t as effective as the riffle shuffle, for example.

The weave shuffle

The weave shuffle contains elements from the riffle shuffle, but it avoids all the complications of theatrically separating the deck into two parts. To prepare, split the deck into two halves, push them together so that edges of the cards intertwine.

Next, grab the deck with your left hand and gently bend the cards, so they fall into place. Finally, straighten the cards up, and there you have it. Simple and effective. It takes a bit of practice, but it is fairly easy to master.

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