What Is The Importance Of Shuffling And Cutting?

Why should you bother shuffing and cutting a deck of playing cards?

Shuffling is a procedure used to randomize a deck of playing cards to provide an element of chance in card games. Shuffling is often followed by a cut, to ensure that the shuffler has not manipulated the outcome.

If a deck was never shuffled, it would simply remain in whatever order it happened to be in at the end of the last hand. In the case of a Rummy game, and un-shuffled deck would likely include a number of melds and near-melds. If the deck were dealt in an un-shuffled state, players would know, based on the state of the cards at the end of the previous hand, how they were picked up, and how they were dealt out, which cards were dealt to whiuch player. Clearly, that would take a lot of the fun and challenge out of the game.

So a shuffle is necessary.

But what kind of a shuffle? See What is the best way to shuffle cards? for an answer to that.

But what about the cut - why is it necessary?

Simply put, cutting the deck prevents cheating. If someone is skillful enough at card manipulation, he may very well be able to put the cards into a particular order, even if he appears to be shuffling the cards at random. Obviously, this is more of issue when playing with strangers than with family and friends, but still, cutting the deck is a good habit to get into.

Also, cutting the deck can be used to avoid anyone knowing the last card (bottom) of the deck, in case it was revealed by a careless shuffle. Of course, the dealer must also take care not to show the bottom of the deck as he's dealign the hand.

In most card game - including most Rummy games - any player may shuffle the deck, but the dealer has the right and obligation to shuffle last. The shuffled deck is then presented to the player at the dealer's right for cutting. If that player chooses to cut the deck, he must cut at least four cards from the top of the deck, and place them on the table, leaving at least four cards remaining in the original stack. The dealer then closes the cut by adding the remnants of the original stack to the cut portion.

Additional Information