Are you wondering, how do dealers shuffle the cards at the WSOP? The WSOP is the World Series of Poker, and if you want to elevate the level of your home poker game, then you should learn the basics which start every hand the pros play. Good dealers make for good, consistent games of poker. Follow these simple steps and you’ll be on your way to playing poker just like the WSOP pros.
- Start with a clean, complete deck of cards. WSOP rules demand that dealers check that each new deck is correctly counted and free of marked or damaged cards before the first hand. If you play poker with typical paper cards, replace them regularly to avoid sticky, dog-eared decks.
- Scramble the deck. Since new decks deliver the cards in order by rank and suit, breaking this pattern is crucial to a fair poker game. Scramble (wash) the deck by spreading the cards face down on the table and mixing up their order in a circular motion.
- Shuffle the deck. World Series of Poker dealers follow a strict method to ensure decks are neither over- nor under-shuffled: shuffle, shuffle, box, shuffle. A correct, consistent shuffle is most important to ensuring good poker by breaking up card patterns in the deck after every hand. Keep the deck on the table, cut it in half and gently shuffle the cards back together by lifting your thumbs and pushing down with your index finger. Do not bend the cards more than necessary. Push the interlocked stacks back together to square the deck again. Do not finish with a bridge riffle, it risks exposing cards to players and is just unnecessary flair. This is a casino-style table shuffle like you see at the WSOP. Repeat a second table shuffle.
- Box the deck. Perform a running cut of the cards, essentially dividing it into fourths and reversing its order. Hold the deck from above by the thumb and middle fingers of both hands. Pull the top fourth of the deck away with one hand and place that stack face down on the table. Repeat this cut with the second quarter of the remaining deck, placing it on the tabled stack. Repeat the cut again for the third quarter and place on the tabled stack. Finally, put the remaining quarter-deck atop the tabled stack. Square the deck again.
- Shuffle and cut. Repeat a table shuffle for the third and last time. If you own a cut card, place it on the table away from you in front the deck. With one hand, pick up the top half of the deck and place it on the cut card. Now pick up the remaining half of the deck and place it atop the cut stack.
You are now ready to deal a professionally-shuffled deck of cards to your poker buddies, just like dealers do at the World Series of Poker in Las Vegas. Practice this WSOP shuffling method and never again will a player at your home game ask, “Who dealt this mess?”
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