Best card shufflers to buy
Playing a game of cards is a great way to pass the time, especially if you, your household or your group of friends like to take some time away from screens and socialize over a card game.
Regardless of the type of card game you play, shuffling the cards is a common practice in almost all games. This is why many people opt to use a card shuffling machine rather than shuffling by hand.
There are a few options out there when it comes to card shufflers, so it’s important to understand the different components before deciding which one is best for you.
What is a card shuffler?
A card shuffler is a mechanical device that automatically shuffles playing cards rather than mixing them by hand. With a card shuffler, the deck of cards is loaded into the device. Some shufflers are automatic and shuffle the cards with the push of a button. Others are operated manually, typically by using a hand crank.
To use a card shuffler, you usually split the deck in two and add each half to a different side of the shuffler. The shuffler then pulls the two halves together into the middle of the machine at the same time, resulting in a fully shuffled deck.
Card shuffler uses
A card shuffler can be used for almost any type of card game to ensure the cards are properly mixed up before you begin to play. Not only do they ensure that your cards are properly shuffled, they can make the process a lot faster than shuffling by hand.
They’re particularly useful if you or your fellow players at the card table are not adept at shuffling by hand, or if you are playing a game that requires frequent shuffling. In those instances, card shufflers keep all the cards neat and tidy, and they keep shuffling times to a minimum, so you can get on with playing.
If you’ve got kids at home, card shufflers can also make it quick and easy for them, especially if the playing cards are too big for their hands. For elderly people or anyone with reduced mobility in their hands, card shuffling can be awkward or even painful. Card shufflers make the process a lot easier in these scenarios, too.
Types of card shufflers
Continuous card shufflers
Continuous shuffling machines do as the name suggests: they constantly shuffle a deck as cards are added back into the machine by a dealer. One of the main benefits of this is that it reduces the ability of players to gain an advantage through card counting. Continuous shufflers usually only have the capacity for up to two decks at a time, though, and they are not as fast as automatic card shufflers.
Automatic card shufflers
With automatic card shufflers, several decks can be loaded at the same time and shuffled quickly and efficiently with the push of a button. They are usually battery-operated machines and come in different sizes and capacities.
Which card shuffler type is best?
The best card shuffler for you really depends on your individual needs. However, there are a few different factors you should consider.
Card size and material
While there is a standardized size for playing cards such as those used in casinos — 3.5 inches by 2.5 inches — some people may have a few sets of novelty playing cards at home that fall outside those dimensions. Other specialized games, such as bridge, use a slightly narrower playing card.
Most card shufflers will be built to handle standard playing cards and bridge cards, but if the decks you have at home fall outside those dimensions, you may want to check whether the machine will work with them before you buy.
Some playing cards also come in thicker or more flimsy material, depending on the make and quality. Less expensive or robust card shufflers may struggle with cards that are either too thin or too thick.
Like most products, card shufflers can vary pretty widely in price and quality. Less expensive manual shufflers are more budget-friendly, but they may not operate as well. For example, cards getting stuck or not shuffled correctly may be more frequent.
Automatic shufflers are often more expensive, but they tend to perform better and last longer. If you’re a regular card player, a good quality automatic shuffler is probably your best bet.
Most card games are played with a single deck. However, you might be playing multiple hands across multiple tables if you have a big group. In these scenarios, a card shuffler with a large capacity may be best. This allows you to always have a freshly shuffled deck on hand to deal out for a new hand.
While you can get many card machines that can handle one or two decks at a time, others are available that can handle up to six decks.
The best card shufflers
This plastic, manual card shuffler is operated by hand and can handle up to two decks. A highly affordable option, it features a fun and colorful design and is perfect for casual home use.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Operated by C batteries, this automatic shuffler can handle up to six decks of cards, which is ideal for large groups at poker night or those who take part in amateur tournaments.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
If you need the ease of automatic shuffling but don’t require something as robust as a six-deck shuffler, this two-deck capacity automatic shuffler is a happy medium for people who only use standard-sized cards. It also operates pretty quietly.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Lauren Farrell writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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