If you’re a Club 808 member, odds are you have a basic shuffling technique down pat. But haven’t you always wondered how to learn another way? A cooler way? Here we run through some shuffling techniques that are just different enough to be impressive, while still simple to learn. Check out the videos for a more fluid demonstration. If you’re a beginner shuffler, it may help to start with a deck that’s already been worn in.
A note on washing: To “wash” a deck of cards means you essentially do a scramble shuffle—that is, put the deck face-down on the table and spread it all around to mix up the cards, making sure that each card comes into contact with the surface of the table before putting the deck back together. Many dealers do this to ensure a well-shuffled deck. It’s up to you whether you’d like to wash or not, but doing so could ensure a better shuffle if you’re still a newbie to these new shuffles.
The Blackjack Shuffle
This is how the dealers do it, primarily because (after lots of practice) this is the shuffle that does the least damage to the cards. There’s minimal bending, but you get the same effect as an ordinary shuffle. With plenty of practice, this shuffle looks like you’re barely moving the cards at all.
- Square the deck (get it in a neat stack). Cut the deck so you have 2 stacks that are about equal in size, and square those. Lay the two stacks horizontally in front of you, with the two inside and bottom corners pointing directly at you.
- Put your thumbs against those two corners, and your index fingers against the opposite corners. Your other fingers should have a tight grip on the cards in place.
- Use your thumbs to draw the corners upward, draw the two halves of the deck closer together, then let the cards fall—like a regular shuffle, but only using a small corner of the deck. The very corners of the cards should now be shuffled together.
- Push the interconnected cards back together, square the deck, and repeat.
The Strip Shuffle (Running Cuts)
Ever seen anyone take sections of the deck, put it down, then place the other half on top—over and over again? That’s a strip shuffle, or what’s known as running cuts. The first step is to learn how to cut the deck to shuffle, a process a bit more dedicated than simply lifting off the top half of cards.
- Place the deck facedown in front of you horizontally. With both hands, grasp the side closest to you with your thumbs, and the far side with your fingers. It may help to keep the fingers of your left hand raised slightly off the table, so that the deck is also elevated.
- With your right hand, grasp a small section of cards with your thumb and index fingers, and remove from the deck. Use your left hand to keep the rest of the deck in place.
- Place the small section of cards back into the deck—in the middle, at the bottom, wherever you want. Square the deck. Repeat 4-5 times with a different section of the deck.
The Hindu Shuffle
This shuffle is a palmed version of the Strip Shuffle. It requires some practice to get it down correctly, but looks impressive once you have it right.
- Hold the deck pips-down in the palm of your left hand. Grip lightly. Your thumb and middle fingers should extend above the top of the deck.
- Using the index finger and thumb of your right hand, gently tug a section of the deck—about ¾ of the deck off the bottom—out in a single stack. Leave the remaining ¼ of the deck in your left hand.
- Hover the stack of cards in your right hand over the stack in your left hand. Using the middle finger and thumb of your left hand, pull a few cards from the stack in the top of your right hand. The right-hand cards should land on top of your left-hand stack.
- Continue taking out sections from the top of the stack in your right hand and placing it in your left hand. When you run out of cards in your right hand, take another ¾ of the bottom of the deck in your left hand, and repeat steps 1-4.