This shuffling video demonstrates how to spread a deck of playing cards. Every new deck
should be checked for accuracy, completeness, and imperfections each time it enters a table.
The dealer accomplishes this by spreading the deck - taking the deck in one hand and
laying all the playing cards on the table in an arcing motion that results in a half-circle.
This enables the dealer to visually verify that the deck consists of 52 cards and that there are
no marked or imperfect cards, cards with different colored backs or designs, or any other problem.
How to spread a deck of cards
Lay the deck face up on the table near your left elbow (the 9 o'clock position).
Using your right hand, slide the cards in a half-circle from the 9 o'clock position to the 3
o'clock position. Try to distribute the playing cards on the table as evenly as possible.
There are two methods to hold the cards while spreading the deck ...
Hold the cards with your thumb on the near short edge and your two middle fingers on the far
short edge of the deck. Use your index finger to regulate the flow of cards by applying pressure
on the trailing long edge of the deck as you slide the cards across the table.
Hold the cards with your thumb on the near long edge and all or some of your fingers on the
far long edge of the deck. Use your thumb to regulate the flow of cards by applying pressure on
the trailing long edge of the deck as you slide the cards across the table. (This is the
method that is used by Regan in the HowToShuffle video shown above)
Inspect the deck to ensure that all 52 cards, and only 52 cards, are present. Check the cards
for marks, discolorations, dents, bends, cracks, or misprints.
Using your left hand, scoop the cards from the 9 o'clock position to the 3 o'clock
position by placing your fingers under the first card and using your thumb on top of the
cards to guide their movement into your palm. When you reach the 3 o'clock position, you might be
able to lift the cards completely off the table using only your left hand or you might have
to use your right hand to help cradle the cards into your left hand.
Using your right hand, lay the deck face down on the table near your left elbow (the 9
Using the same method described above, spread the cards in a half-circle on the table in front
Inspect the backs of the cards to ensure that their are no marks, discolorations, dents,
bends, cracks, or misprints.
Using the same method described above, scoop the cards using your left hand.
Have you ever noticed that the ace of spades is always the card that is
visible on the bottom of a brand new deck of playing cards? A new deck of playing cards is ordered
as follows - ace of hearts (the top card in the deck) to the king of hearts, ace of clubs to the
king of clubs, king of diamonds to the ace of diamonds, and the king of spades to the ace of spades
(the bottom card in the deck).