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How to shuffle and deal playing cards

Automatic Card Shufflers

I will be blunt ... the cheap automatic card shufflers are not worth the time and money. The common automatic card shuffling machines that you can purchase for $10-25 do not function well enough to make them a wise purchase.

The cheaper automatic card shufflers are rather poorly constructed. They are noisy and somewhat unreliable. They sometimes "eat" or damage playing cards. They sometimes wear grooves into your playing cards. The automatic card shufflers jam, sometimes damaging a playing card. They don't really save all that much time compared to shuffling by hand. Most run on batteries that do not last all that long because of the moving parts in the machine.

Shuffle Master

Shuffle Master are professional shuffling machines that were only available to casinos until a couple years ago. They are usually leased to the casino by Shuffle Master at a cost of a couple thousand dollars per month. For security reasons, they were not available outside of casinos. They are now available to the general public for a price of only USD$15,795. I'm not sure if they throw in a free deck of used casino playing cards!

The Shuffle Master shuffling machines are the complete opposite of the cheapo shuffling machines - they work extremely well. They are quick, quiet, and reliable. They don't destroy cards or jam very often. They have a life of years and years if treated well and properly serviced.

The Shuffle Master shufflers are sunk into the top of the poker table and extend about six inches below the table-top. The in-table shufflers are located in front of the dealer station (seat) at the poker table. The top lid of the shuffler extends about an eighth of inch above the felt of the poker table and it is slightly possible for playing cards to accidentally catch the edge of the shuffler. For this reason, the dealer and all other players must make a bit of an effort to pitch (throw) cards over the shuffler, but it is not usually a problem.

The shuffling procedure using an automatic card shuffling machine differs from casino to casino. After a hand is complete the dealer collects all the cards and (optionally) riffles and/or cuts the deck. The dealer then presses a recessed button on the top of the shuffler that opens the lid of the shuffler and exposes the previously shuffled deck of cards. The dealer places the used deck in the shuffler and removes the previously shuffled deck. The dealer presses a button and the lid of the shuffler closes and the shuffling process begins on the newly inserted deck. The shuffler also counts the cards to ensure that 52 cards are present in the deck.

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