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Shuffling is a procedure used to randomize a deck of playing cards to provide an element of chance in card games. Shuffling is often followed by a cut, to ensure that the shuffler has not manipulated the outcome.


Shuffling techniques

Several techniques are used to shuffle a deck of cards. Some techniques are easy to learn while others achieve better randomization or are better suited to special decks.


A common shuffling technique is called the riffle or dovetail shuffle, in which half of the deck is held in each hand with the thumbs inward, then cards are released by the thumbs so that they fall to the table interleaved. Many also lift the cards up after a riffle, forming what is called a bridge which puts the cards back into place. This can also be done by placing the halves flat on the table with their rear corners touching, then lifting the back edges with the thumbs while pushing the halves together. While this method is more difficult, it is often used in casinos because it minimizes the risk of exposing cards during the shuffle. There are two types of perfect riffle shuffles: if the top card moves to be 2nd from the top then it is an in shuffle, otherwise it is known as an out shuffle (which preserves both the top and bottom cards).

Stripping or overhand

Another procedure is called stripping, overhand, or slide shuffle, where small groups of cards are removed from the top of a deck and placed in the opposite hand (or just assembled on the table) in reverse order.

Hindu shuffle

Also known as "Kattar" or "Kenchi" (Hindi for scissor). The deck is held face down, with the middle finger on one long edge and the thumb on the other on the bottom half of the deck. The other hand draws off a packet from the top of the deck. This packet is allowed to drop into the palm. The maneuver is repeated over and over, with newly drawn packets dropping onto previous ones, until the deck is all in the second hand. Hindu shuffle differs from stripping in that all the action is in the hand taking the cards, whereas in stripping, the action is performed by the hand with the original deck, giving the cards to the resulting pile. This is the most common shuffling technique in Asia and other parts of the world, while the overhand shuffle is primarily used in Western countries.

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