Five Card Shuffling Techniques to Wow Your Friends

Cards flying around

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Picture the scene: you're with a group of friends, and someone suggests a game of cards. One guy whips out a deck and, without pausing to think, shuffles them quickly and effortlessly. It's one of the coolest ways to impress people - and it's not that hard to become that guy. The key to an effortless shuffle is that there's actually a lot going on behind the scenes. It's not a case of just mashing cards together and hoping for the best. There are techniques involved, and you will have to put in a bit of work to master them. Like any skill, card shuffling requires a bit of practice. Not up for that? Don't worry, there's always online blackjack in Canada as a shuffle-free alternative!

Starting to shuffle

Nobody is born with the ability to shuffle cards; it's something you'll have to learn if you'd like to become good enough to impress your friends. You'll want to set aside a bit of time to practise. It helps to start slow, and gradually increase your speed. Trying to shuffle super quickly right off the bat is like trying to run before you can walk. Your materials are important. For a successful shuffling experience, you'll want to treat yourself to a brand new deck of cards as an old deck may be worn and damaged. Cards with bent corners will make shuffling more difficult, so it's best to start fresh. Beware, too: over time, shuffling will damage your cards. Keep any eye on their condition and replace them when necessary. Remember, you may want to use more than one shuffle. It's common to shuffle the deck completely in one style, then change to another technique. This way, you can be sure that the deck is fully shuffled - and you'll appear even more impressive to any onlookers!

The overhand shuffle

This is the most basic shuffle, and is a good place to start if you've never tried to shuffle cards before. Hold your deck with your dominant hand so that the cards are on their sides. You should hold the cards lightly, with your fingertips on the edges. Still holding the cards, place the deck in the palm of your other hand, so that it becomes a sort of base. Then you can start shuffling. Lift about half the deck at a time, then replace them at the front of the deck. You will be moving your non-dominant thumb on and off the cards all the time as you do this. The overhand shuffle is not difficult to master, and many people never venture beyond it. If you can do it fast, it will be quite impressive - but it doesn't have the same clout as some other shuffles. It's worth mastering first, to get a real feel for cards. Then you're ready to move on to more complex shuffles.

Riffle card shuffling

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The riffle shuffle

When you play online blackjack in Canada, you're sure to be familiar with this shuffle. In fact, it's also known as the blackjack shuffle, because it's so popular with dealers. It's fast, effective and, when done right, won't damage your cards too much. For this one, you'll want to start with your deck divided into two, with the halves side by side. Take one half of the deck in each hand, using the same position. You'll be holding the cards by the short ends, without your fingers touching the long sides. Gently bend each half of the deck. Be sure to keep this action soft, to avoid damage. Then use your thumbs to riffle the two halves together into one complete deck. In blackjack online in Canada, you may see dealers shuffling like this but only riffling the corners of the cards. This more advanced technique prevents cards from bending.

The Hindu shuffle

This is a nice and easy shuffle. You'll hold the deck in your non-dominant hand. You may choose to use just your thumb and middle finger to support it, although newcomers can add the index finger to make it easier. With your dominant hand, take about ten cards at a time from the top of the stack. Repeat this action until all the cards are now in your dominant hand. For best results, you'll want to do this shuffle two or three times. Although the Hindu shuffle is very easy to learn, it can look really impressive in comparison with a basic overhand shuffle. It's common in Asian countries, but it's not often seen in the west. Once you're doing it at speed, people will be dazzled.

The strip shuffle

The strip shuffle is often used as a method of finishing a shuffle, but it also works alone. Essentially, you'll be cutting the deck several times at speed. To do this quickly, use both hands. Secure the deck in place with your non-dominant hand, then repeatedly take small sections of cards - again, maybe about 10 at a time - out, then re-add them elsewhere (top, middle, bottom, as you choose). Do this several times. To get a good shuffle, mix it up: add cards to the top, then the bottom, then the middle, working at random. It's always best to avoid any patterns when shuffling. To make it easier, start off slow. You may also want to start by only taking cards from the top or the bottom, but in time you'll be able to go fast, and pull out a section from the middle.

A shuffling machine

Still not got the hang of it? All is not lost. If you just can't get to grips with shuffling cards, then you can always get yourself a shuffling machine. It won't be as dazzling as a hand shuffle, but it'll certainly get the job done!

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