The act of shuffling cards was first recorded in history by Emperor Mu-Tsung during the Tang Dynasty of the 9th century AD. In the modern world, shuffling has become a form of art. There are different ways of doing so, and cardists have been working tirelessly to invent new shuffling techniques to further showcase the beauty of playing cards.
We all know the classic overhand shuffle. It’s simple, it’s quick, and does the job decently.
Put the entire deck within your right palm with your index finger placed vertically and the rest of your fingers gripping the sides. Face it upside down so your left hand would also grip the sides of the deck. Pull away your right hand backwards while your left hand keeps the top portion of the deck. Repeat until you have gone through the entire deck.
Arguably the most common alternative way to shuffle, Riffle Shuffle is a quick easy way to get a deck of cards ready for a poker game due to its reliable randomisation.
Simply divide your deck into 2 smaller sets of cards (packets) and hold one in each hand. Bend each packet by pulling one side up with your thumb and pressing down the middle with your index finger joint simultaneously to join them together, 2 cards at one time. Afterwards, bend the deck the other way to clump it together. The faster it goes, the easier it gets!
Faro Shuffle earns a special place in the shuffling world due to its precision. It is a precise rearrangement of a deck into two 26-cards packets and interwoven one card at a time. When done right, you can end up having the exact same order of cards after doing it 4 times!
It’s not as difficult as it sounds, separate the deck into 2 packs and interwoven them. After that, it’s just a matter of bending the deck in an upside-down U-shape with one hand and loosening your grip to let the cards fall.
An extension of Faro Shuffle, Waterfall Shuffle has an iconic finish worthy of its name. After joining the two packets together, tilt it slightly and hold with one hand. Your thumb and ring finger will hold the deck from falling. Slowly loosen your grip and admire the cards flowing down to your other hand like a waterfall.
One handed shuffle
Last but definitely not least, the one-handed shuffle, a.k.a the writer’s personal favourite shuffling technique!
Grip the deck with one hand and separate to two packets using primarily your index finger. The moving packet is gripped by only your index finger and thumb, whilst the other packet is gripped by your index finger and the rest of your fingers. Push the first packet into the other with your thumb to intertwine the cards. Then, bend the two packets together, forming a U-shape and slightly loosen your grip to let the cards flow.
Extra: Charlier Cut + Revolution Cut
Technically not a shuffle, but it adds an extra bit of flair when cutting your deck in two!
The Charlier cut is the simpler of the two. Separate the deck by pushing up your thumb, and pull the bottom packet towards your body with your index finger to swap the two. With Revolution cut however, after lifting up a packet off the deck, hold the upper side with your index finger and grab the other side with your ring finger. Twist the packet around until your thumb can reach the side your index finger is touching and push the bottom packet with your middle finger.
Once you master these cuts, it’s going to become your go-to activity to fidget!