Coolest Card Shuffles You’ll See at Poker Tables

min read
A close-up shot of a man’s hands shuffling cards.
BetMGM Nov 19, 2023, 4:18 AM

Online casino games provide a lot of convenience. In many ways, the platforms that provide these games become online communities for people who share a common interest in table games and online slots. But sometimes the real thing just hits differently, doesn’t it?

Whether you love a game of roulette or the chimes of the jackpot slots, there’s no doubt that the energy experienced at the actual casino is on a level of its own. The velvet touch of the games tables, feeling the chips in your hands, and the adrenaline of live action are enough reasons to get you off your couch.

But there’s also the element of flair to how things are done in a live casino that you won’t get anywhere else. One of these standout elements you’ve probably come to love is watching a dealer expertly shuffle the cards. Much like a magician on stage, various shuffling tricks with cards can add more magic to a poker game. Here are five cool ways to shuffle a deck of cards you’ll likely see at a casino.

The Wild West Shuffle

While this isn’t necessarily the coolest card shuffle out there, it’ll likely be the first shuffling card trick you learn. This shuffle, also known as the overhand shuffle, is a basic yet neat shuffle with an old-school charm.

The shuffle involves holding the deck in one hand and using the other to lift a portion of cards away from the bottom and drop them back onto the top of the deck. The movement is reminiscent of cowboys playing poker in old Western films, reinforcing its timeless appeal in popular culture.

The Classic Riffle Shuffle

You can never discuss card shuffling without mentioning the riffle shuffle. This shuffle is arguably the most popular in home games and is renowned for its complexity and elegance. The riffle shuffle involves splitting the deck in two and riffling the cards together to weave them into each other. You’ll often see this used as a poker card shuffling trick in casinos.

The Bridge Shuffle

Also known as the cascade or table shuffle, this technique is more of an add-on than its own shuffling card trick. But that doesn’t take it out of the list of coolest card shuffles. Basically, this shuffle is the grand finale to the classic riffle shuffle. After the deck is riffled, halves are held onto their backs, thumbs pulling inward, index fingers push down, and the other fingers bow the halves outward. This creates the bridge effect as the halves fall into each other.

The Faro Shuffle

The Faro Shuffle is a unique, precise, and complex card shuffling technique with an old-world charm. Named after the 19th-century pharaoh poker games where it was widely used, the Faro Shuffle is admired for its mathematical perfection and elegance.

The shuffle involves splitting the deck of cards into two halves and perfectly interweaving them, causing every other card to come from each half. The result is a thorough and exact shuffle, creating a new card order that appears genuinely random.

The One-Handed Shuffle

The one-handed shuffle is a perfect example of fancy card shuffling. This distinctive and sophisticated method of card mixing is widely appreciated for its efficiency and flair in its execution. As the name suggests, this shuffle technique works using one hand.

It’s performed by dividing the deck into two packs in one hand, magically weaving the halves together, and then re-stacking them using a combination of finger movements. This is easily one of the coolest card shuffles you can learn, and you can even complete the shuffle using a one-handed bridge-styled execution.

Things To Know About Card Shuffling

If you’re interested in learning new cool ways to shuffle a deck of cards, there are some important things to remember. Whether you want to impress your friends playing cards at home or become a dealer at a casino, it’s useful to know some basics about cards and shuffling.

Optimal Number of Shuffles To Randomize a Deck

Seven shuffles are generally considered enough to randomize a 52-card deck completely. This is supported by various mathematical research works, particularly one by mathematician Persi Diaconis. He confirmed that seven riffle shuffles provided an excellent mixing of cards to randomize a 52-card deck.

Does Shuffling Cause Wear and Tear on Cards?

Shuffling will eventually cause some damage to the cards. Wear will vary depending on the kind of shuffling card tricks you use and how often you use them. But something like a riffle shuffle could cause bending along the edges of the cards. It’s always best to set aside a deck specifically for practicing shuffling tricks with cards. That way, you keep your fancy cards in good shape

Can Someone Cheat When Shuffling Cards?

Yes, cheating is possible when shuffling cards. This is commonly called shuffle tracking or card manipulation and involves controlling the position of specific cards or sets during the shuffling process. But it takes quite a bit of skill to get this right. So, it shouldn’t be too high on your list of things to worry about.

Standard Card Shuffle in Casinos

Modern casinos usually use automatic card shufflers. Outside of this, a casino will choose a manual shuffling technique that they deem effective and secure, requiring dealers to only use that. These techniques are commonly a series of riffle shuffles interspersed with strip shuffles, but the exact sequence can differ from one casino to the next.

What Does Washing the Cards Mean?

Washing the cards refers to a specific type of shuffling, mostly only seen in casinos. A dealer spreads a whole deck of downward-facing cards out on the table and mixes the cards around with their hands flat. The motion you’ll see resembles washing or wiping a table.

This method comes out occasionally to ensure a thorough mix of the cards. It’s particularly useful in games where the deck order needs to change significantly from the previous game.

Keep Your Eyes on the Prize With BetMGM

Remember, the purpose of shuffling is to randomize the cards correctly. As impressive as these shuffles may be, they’re worthless if they don’t do the job. If you want to add flair to your poker game, these are great shuffles to learn, but always keep your eyes on the prize. If you’re ready to get back to winning that prize, register with BetMGM and check out the wide selection of games available.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.