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Subject: Shuffling only a few cards rss

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Dave Johnson
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In a lot of games you need to shuffle a very short deck of cards, say 8 or 10 cards. What are people's preferred methods of doing that?

(Astute readers may see a connection here with my earlier post and a recent purchase of Citadels.)

A riffle shuffle is nearly impossible, of course, though maybe you can just manually interleave two fanned stacks to accomplish the same thing.

You can spread them out on the table and do the classic smear-shuffle, but that's a lot of wear on the cards and takes a lot of space.

Then there's the "cradle cards in one hand while using the other hand to grasp the cards from the ends and repeatedly pull out small clumps and replace them elsewhere" technique. Surely this has a shorter name, since everyone learns it at an early age.

What do people find easiest/best?
 
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Joel Glidden
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I use the third method you described and then ask another player to call out a number between 0 and 7. I then count down that many cards and cut the deck there.
 
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Joel Glidden
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The above was in reference to Citadels of course.
 
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David Boeren
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For a small number of cards, I will usually just do a strip shuffle a bunch of times. It only takes maybe 1-2 seconds per iteration.

Basically you have a stack of cards in one hand, and the other hand pulls off clumps of cards. Each clump goes on top of the previous clump. With such a small deck, a "clump" is probably 1-4 cards.

This shuffle is also known as a "running shuffle" and probably by other names, but it's not the same as what you are describing because you don't stuff cards back into the deck. The one you describe isn't any sort of official shuffle, but rather the sort of thing everyone makes up when they are a child and need to shuffle some cards but don't know any particular techniques. It's still a hundred times better than the "smear shuffle" which generally doesn't actually mix the cards much and can damage the edges pretty bad. I wince in pain and embarrasment every time I see someone over 8 years old doing that.

btw - For anyone who wants to learn how to shuffle, check out any decent book on card magic. Most include a pretty good section on different shuffling techniques.
 
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Mark Gallardo
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I use the "cradle" also and then maybe shuffle into three sepearte stacks, "cradle" again, then two seperate stacks, then "cradle" & cut.

It takes a little longer but it normally works for a "better" random distribution.

a little OT: TtR drives me nuts with the constant shuffling! yuk
 
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David Boeren
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Yeah, but Ticket to Ride has enough cards that you can riffle them. Plus, you can have someone shuffling them ahead of time when it's not their turn so it doesn't have to interrupt the game at all.
 
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Here's a good discussion of different methods for shuffling cards:

http://www.boardgamegeek.com/geekforum.php3?action=viewthrea...

Maybe it could help.
 
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Paul DeStefano
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We drop em on the floor and let the 2 year old gather em.
 
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Dave Johnson
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I found a nice site with poker shuffling techniques in video, but of course it's not specific to only a few cards:

http://www.pokerology.com/articles/howtoshuffle.htm

Strip shuffling and/or overhand shuffling (THAT'S what its called!) looks like the ticket. Strip shuffling on the table definitely has more panache than overhand, but they're functionally identical, and I'm lazy...
 
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Chris Shaffer
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I deal them somewhat randomly into two or three or four piles (depending on how many cards there are to shuffle). Then I randomly pick up those piles to make a single stack. Repeat 3+ times.
 
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Lyman Hurd
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See:

http://c2.com/cgi/wiki?PersiDiaconis

and

http://www.sciencenews.org/articles/20001021/mathtrek.asp

for some theory abut shuffling.

And of course for the unscrupulous I found:

http://www.mymagic.com/zarrow.htm

Amazing thing the Internet.
 
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Gerald Squelart
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dboeren wrote:
Yeah, but Ticket to Ride has enough cards that you can riffle them. Plus, you can have someone shuffling them ahead of time when it's not their turn so it doesn't have to interrupt the game at all.


One easy thing to do: Have 3 or more discard piles. When someone claims a route, discard the cards in those different piles, that gives them a good pre-shuffle, you'll then rarely draw 2 or more cards of the same color in a row.
 
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Warren Adams
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Re: Shuffling only a few cards - Ticket to Ride
Magnus the Blue wrote:
TtR drives me nuts with the constant shuffling! yuk


We no longer bother to shuffle in TtR because the cards you manage to separate during the shuffle can still end up together in the five cards to be drawn from.

They may not even be the identical cards but there is enough like cards to nullify the point of having a shuffle.

In a normal pack of cards you are shuffling 1 card amongst 52 so it has plenty of places to go, in TtR you essentially have seven different types of cards in multiples of themselves so there is a limit to how well shuffled they could ever become.

Then, even if you sorted (arranged) them so each card was as far apart from any like card, there is still a very high chance that two of the same card (or more) could end up in the five available 'draw from' cards anyway (assisted by the way that cards are taken out of the orignal shuffled order by the draw choice mechanism)..

We rarely shuffle in TtR (more out of habit than meaning to) because everyone is affected the same way - and even in a properly shuffled deck several cards of the same type can easily appear in the available five.
 
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