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How to Deal Cards

Professional dealers can shuffle a deck of cards in seconds.
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When playing a card game, the art of dealing the cards can mean the difference between a fair game and an unfair game, as an inexperienced card dealer can inadvertently reveal cards that shouldn't be revealed. However, there is a proper way to deal cards. With this method in practice, you can ensure that everyone at the table gets a fair shake.

Shuffle the cards. To get a good mix, shuffle a minimum of four times. If you like, you may ask the player to your right to cut the deck, and place the cards from the bottom half of the deck on top of the other half. Then, shuffle again.

Hold the deck in your left hand, with the bottom of the deck fully in your palm. Place your thumb on top of the deck and place your index, middle and ring fingers along the right-facing side of the deck.

Slide the top card to the right, using your thumb. Take it with your right hand. Use your left hand index, middle and ring fingers to help guide the card and ensure that you are only handing off one card at a time.

Begin dealing with the person to your immediate left. Glide the card face-down across the table to her. It is also acceptable to lay the card directly onto the table and slide it to the player.

Repeat this process around the table in a clockwise direction. If you are dealing yourself into the game, always deal to yourself last.

Continue dealing cards, one at a time and in a clockwise direction, until every player has the number of cards he should have in his hand.


When gliding a card across the table to a player, be sure to pass the card gently and as low to table as possible. The more elevated you pass the card, the greater chance there is of air catching the movement of the card and flipping it over, revealing its value. Don't be afraid to reach across the table to get as close to the player as possible when dealing. This isn't considered rude; in fact, the player would appreciate your efforts to keep her cards concealed.

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