How to shuffle multiple decks of cards

Six decks of Denexa 100% Plastic Playing Cards, shuffled together

While two-deck card games are somewhat common, there are some games out there that require the use of more decks of cards than that. The most frequently-played of these are casino games: blackjack, which typically uses six decks, and baccarat, which uses eight. If you’ve ever thought about playing these games at home, you soon run into the conundrum of how one goes about shuffling 312 cards. Casinos, of course, have expensive shuffling machines to speed this process, but even those break down sometimes, so every dealer is still trained on how to shuffle multiple decks of cards by hand.

So how do you do it?

  1. First, grab a cut card and sit it in the center of the table. Break the deck into four more-or-less equal stacks, placing two to the left of the cut card and two to the right of it. We’ll refer to these as stacks 1 through 4 (from left to right).
  2. Grab about one deck’s worth of cards from stack 1 and an equal amount from stack 3. Shuffle these two stacks together and place them on the cut card.
  3. Repeat with stacks 2 and 4, placing the newly-shuffled cards on top of the previously-shuffled cards resting on the cut card.
  4. Continue alternating shuffling cards from stacks 1 and 3 and stacks 2 and 4 until the entire deck has been shuffled.

Now you have a completely shuffled deck with a cut card on the bottom, ready to be cut by another player.

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