What does a card shuffler do?
While many people love to play cards, not everyone is adept at pulling off a thorough manual shuffle. A card shuffler is designed to help people who might struggle with this feat. It’s an affordable, portable device that enhances gameplay.
However, there are a few things you’ll need to know before purchasing the best card shuffler for you. For instance, it’s important to know how many decks a card shuffler can handle. Our top choice, Brybelly 6-Deck Automatic Card Shuffler, can handle up to six decks in a matter of seconds. To learn more about card shufflers, keep reading.
What to know before you buy a card shuffler
Who is a card shuffler for?
An automatic card shuffler intersperses two separate piles of cards to create one objectively shuffled deck. It’s ideal for anyone who doesn’t possess the ability to easily manipulate one or several decks of cards.
What are the benefits of using a card shuffler?
While not all card shufflers operate more quickly than manual shuffling, in general, a card shuffler speeds up gameplay. Additionally, using a card shuffler guarantees the decks will be shuffled both fairly and thoroughly so no player has an advantage. Lastly, whether you’re an adult or a child, it’s just fun to watch a card shuffler do its thing.
What to look for in a quality card shuffler
Automatic vs. continuous shuffling machine
There are two types of card shuffling machines: automatic and continuous. Each shuffles cards using a slightly different method.
Automatic shuffling machine: An automatic shuffler takes two piles of cards and intermixes them into a single pile. This operation is performed prior to gameplay.
Continuous shuffling machine: With a continuous card shuffler, as the discard pile begins to grow, those cards are reshuffled into the remaining draw cards. While this speeds up gameplay, it also greatly diminishes the effectiveness of any card counting strategies.
Manual vs. electric shuffler
One of the inherent problems with card shufflers is that most require batteries. Not only is this less kind to the earth, it’s also a hidden expense. On the plus side, it’s much more convenient (just press a button to shuffle), and the batteries tend to have a long life because the machine is only operating for a few seconds at a time. However, if you’d like to use a manual machine, these operate with a crank, are quieter than their electronic counterparts and will never run out of power.
Types of cards a card shuffler can handle
Most card shufflers are designed to accommodate standard-sized playing cards (2.5 x 3.5 inches). Some may also be suitable for slimmer, Bridge-size playing cards (2.25 x 3.5 inches). If you play with other types of cards, such as “Uno” cards or “Magic: The Gathering” cards, make sure the machine you’re considering will handle different-sized cards, thicker cards or cards in sleeves without jamming the machine.
Number of decks a card shuffler can handle
While this may seem like a non-issue on the surface, it may actually be a make-or-break feature. If you’re playing Blackjack with six decks and your card shuffler can only shuffle two decks at a time, you’re not going to be happy. Conversely, some models may feature a recommended lower limit for optimal performance. If you purchase a model that works best with four to six decks and you’re only shuffling a single deck, you may not be satisfied with the unit’s performance.
How much you can expect to spend on a card shuffler
The best price range to look for a home-use card shuffler is $15-$30. If you desire a professional-quality card shuffler, however, you’ll likely spend over $100.
Card shuffler FAQ
Do card shufflers come with batteries?
A. Card shufflers do not typically include batteries. Even if you find a model that comes with batteries, they’re likely not the highest quality, so it won’t add much value to your purchase.
Do card shufflers come with cards?
A. There are a few companies that include one or more decks of cards with your purchase. If you’re just starting out and you need both cards and a shuffler, this is an excellent option.
What is a cut card?
A. A cut card is a solid-color plastic card that’s inserted into a deck after shuffling. To reduce the likelihood of cheating, when gameplay reaches this card, the dealer must reshuffle after the current hand has been completed.
What’s the best card shuffler to buy?
Top card shuffler
What you need to know: This six-deck shuffler is ideal for any card-based game, whether it’s Blackjack or “Magic: The Gathering.”
What you’ll love: You’re able to shuffle up to six standard-size card decks in seconds. The model is powered by four C batteries, and it’s easy to operate.
What you should consider: Rarely, a card might resist being pulled into the chute, but it’s often an easy fix.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top card shuffler for the money
What you need to know: A shuffler for the individual who needs help shuffling but doesn’t want to use a battery-powered machine.
What you’ll love: This model is quieter than a powered shuffler. It makes shuffling fun and easy and it can be used by the whole family.
What you should consider: When cranking, take your time or the handle may come loose.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This budget-friendly card shuffler is designed for the person who has difficulty manually shuffling cards.
What you’ll love: The two-sided loader accepts up to six decks of standard poker-size cards or narrow Bridge-style cards. The machine is designed to reduce wear on cards and is manufactured to be portable.
What you should consider: Like other battery-powered card shufflers, this model can be loud.
Allen Foster is a writer for BestReviews. BestReviews is a product review company with a singular mission: to help simplify your purchasing decisions and save you time and money.
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