How to shuffle and deal playing cards

How to Riffle Shuffle a Deck of Cards

This shuffling video demonstrates how to riffle shuffle a deck of cards. This is a standard card shuffling technique that is one of the most common shuffles used in casinos and poker rooms. The riffle shuffle may be performed with the cards lying on the table (the Table Riffle Shuffle) or with the cards lifted off the table (the Off-table Riffle Shuffle). The table riffle shuffle is preferred due to the added security of leaving the cards lying on the table, making it less likely that any of the cards can be seen by the players. The riffle shuffle is very effective at randomizing the order of playing cards in a deck.

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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.

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Riffle shuffling tips

  • Always keep the cards low to the table. Lift as little of the card as possible.
  • Try to bend the cards as little as needed. Experienced dealers will be able to hardly bend the cards at all, using only a very small portion of the corners - this is sometimes referred to as a Dovetail shuffle. You can help bend the cards by applying a bit of downward pressure to the top of the cards using your index finger(s). Very little pressure is actually needed as the cards almost fall into place on their own.

    Closed riffle - Thumbs are held close to the intersecting corners so that only the very tips of the cards are bent. The closed riffle is used in most casinos due to the added security of having less of the card exposed.

    Open riffle - Thumbs are held further away from the intersecting corners. More of the card is exposed than when using a closed riffle shuffle but the cards tend to fall to the table more gently.

Finger placement

Now that you've learned how to riffle shuffle a deck of cards, it's time to give playing poker a try. Head over to Ozpoker for the latest poker news, online room reviews, tips and strategies!

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