Best way to shuffle your deck?

  • #1
    Just want to know how people prefer to shuffle their decks. I'm a horrible shuffler, and it usually shows cause I get mana screwed / mana flooded in about 25-30% of my games, which i think is to much to be just pure chance.

    I use to just separate my deck into 6 piles of ten and randomly pick each pile up and block shuffle. Just recently another player said that block shuffling doesn't really help at all and showed me a simple way how to rifle shuffle. I'm still trying to get the hang of it.

    However, my deck still seems to be pretty clumped up even after doing the 6 pile method and rifle shuffling.
  • #2
    Quote from chyneseguy
    Just want to know how people prefer to shuffle their decks. I'm a horrible shuffler, and it usually shows cause I get mana screwed / mana flooded in about 25-30% of my games, which i think is to much to be just pure chance.

    I use to just separate my deck into 6 piles of ten and randomly pick each pile up and block shuffle. Just recently another player said that block shuffling doesn't really help at all and showed me a simple way how to rifle shuffle. I'm still trying to get the hang of it.

    However, my deck still seems to be pretty clumped up even after doing the 6 pile method and rifle shuffling.


    If you are doing a rifle shuffle, the pile method (dealing out the cards in your deck into separate piles on at a time like dealing cards) and then do a rifle shuffle, and it still feels like it isn't random, it is all in your head.

    Remember random actually means random. 12345 has the same odds of showing up as 42513
  • #3
    Maybe its not the shuffling thats the problem maybe its the amount of mana your running or not running thats the problem.
  • #4
    Whenever I see people riffle shuffle, I always cringe. If someone ever tries to riffle shuffle my cards I tell them if they try it they'll be buying them. XD


    Anyway, I seperate into piles and block shuffle, cut and block shuffle again, then sometimes repeat. Usually works fine.
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  • #5
    I'm pretty sure it's not my mana base. It happens to often that I feel like it has something to do with my shuffling, which is what players at my FNM say as well. For example this past FNM, second round first game I drew 2 removal and 5 lands in my opening hand. I decided to keep and for the next 6 turns I drew land after land, even cracked fetches first in attempt at that small percentage of deck thinning. Second game I was stuck on 2 mana for the first 7 turns and I just conceded after he had a 9/9 scute mob with elspeth out. The guy I was playing is regarded as one of the best at our shop and he was amazed at my horrible luck. He even told me to shuffle a couple more times the second game just to make sure I don't get a repeat performance.
  • #6
    Could you post a deck list, just curious since I've heard people complain about bad shuffling before when it is really a problem with their mana base.

    If it is shuffling, this is what I usually do:
    Pile shuffle with 9 piles, switching up the pattern I place the cards on the piles.
    Then overhand shuffle 3-5 times.

    Overhand shuffling is very easy to do, it is also quick and fairly random. And unlike rifle shuffling it will not bend your cards and it also works better with cases than rifle shuffling. The overhand shuffle is easy, I'm sure you can find a video tutorial on the Internet.
  • #7
    Do you shuffle enough for your kind of deck?

    For instance if you play a ramp deck, chances are high that a big part of all your lands are together.

    Since I do ramp a lot, after a game, I always take the cards on the table, shuffle them with the graveyard and exile zones then again shuffle them in my library.

    Also, while still being reasonable, I always seem to shuffle more than my opponent, especially when I use ramp decks.
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  • #8
    Quote from chyneseguy
    Just want to know how people prefer to shuffle their decks. I'm a horrible shuffler, and it usually shows cause I get mana screwed / mana flooded in about 25-30% of my games, which i think is to much to be just pure chance.

    However, my deck still seems to be pretty clumped up even after doing the 6 pile method and rifle shuffling.


    6 piles of 10 and 5 piles of 12 are bad; there's articles about pile shuffling but I think the consensus is that 7 is the best (both for randomization + ease).

    Pile shuffle then riffle shuffle, repeat process 2 more times, then present for cut.

    You want to riffle shuffle with the horizontal (long) side interlacing because it's less damaging to the cards and easier to shuffle.

    Also, for g2 and g3, I like to place the played cards (lands, permanents, graveyard, exiled cards) mixed up back to the library. Otherwise you'll have a well-shuffled deck + lumps of categorized cards immediately prior to shuffling.

    Some people might call that cheating, but you're still going to pile+riffle shuffle several times afterwards.
  • #9
    Quote from chyneseguy
    I'm pretty sure it's not my mana base. It happens to often that I feel like it has something to do with my shuffling, which is what players at my FNM say as well. For example this past FNM, second round first game I drew 2 removal and 5 lands in my opening hand. I decided to keep and for the next 6 turns I drew land after land, even cracked fetches first in attempt at that small percentage of deck thinning. Second game I was stuck on 2 mana for the first 7 turns and I just conceded after he had a 9/9 scute mob with elspeth out. The guy I was playing is regarded as one of the best at our shop and he was amazed at my horrible luck. He even told me to shuffle a couple more times the second game just to make sure I don't get a repeat performance.


    There's your problem. Just don't keep bad hands.
  • #10
    riffle shuffling will only cause noticeable damage if its done with too much force. you don't have to press down hard on the cards to get them to shuffle, if you do it right the cards just sort of fall between themselves with just a very small amount of pressure to keep them moving.

    and by using good sleeves and deck boxes you can almost completely prevent cards from wearing at the corners or bending/warping in the middle.

    proper shuffling technique and card care will prevent almost all damage associated with riffle shuffling.

    and for what its worth, if i see my opponent ONLY pile shuffle then i don't consider his deck randomized. its an easy way to stack your deck. if my opponent piles but then doesn't riffle, i'll riffle it for him. if he complains about that i'll call a judge.
  • #11
    Quote from Madoushi
    Whenever I see people riffle shuffle, I always cringe. If someone ever tries to riffle shuffle my cards I tell them if they try it they'll be buying them. XD


    Anyway, I seperate into piles and block shuffle, cut and block shuffle again, then sometimes repeat. Usually works fine.


    I always riffle shuffle. With my friends in casual, if they don't want me to then w/e, I don't start fights with my friends. But at anything like FNM and up, i riffle. I've had judges called and the judge has never sided against me. I'm not doing it to damage your cards, but if you are THAT worried about it, don't play the game. Like the poster above me, i don't believe that only pile shuffling is enough to not be random, and I've watched people do the side mesh shuffle and come up with the same hand repeatedly. They knew how to move the two piles between there hands enough that a casual observer would not notice the lack of shuffling.
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  • #12
    I separate my land and nonland cards into two piles shuffle both of them individually, then shuffle them evenly together, then take ~1/3 of the deck then reshuffle it with the other 2/3.

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  • #13
    Quote from Madoushi
    Whenever I see people riffle shuffle, I always cringe. If someone ever tries to riffle shuffle my cards I tell them if they try it they'll be buying them. XD


    Anyway, I seperate into piles and block shuffle, cut and block shuffle again, then sometimes repeat. Usually works fine.


    riffle is a good way to shuffle, it does not damage cards that are sleeved either, unless you bend really hard but you dont have to do that. i think doing riffles and what you combined is a good shuffle. take longer than 20 seconds to shuffle and dont do to many over hand useless shuffles.
  • #14
    i just kinda mash em together for about a minute then overhand a few times and offer the cut


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  • #15
    Don't complain about the riffle shuffle. Cards can handle it. One of the methods of testing if a card is fake or not is to bend it end to end. If the picture become creased it is fake. Cards are made to handle much more severe bends than riffle shuffling.
  • #16
    Quote from chyneseguy
    I'm pretty sure it's not my mana base. It happens to often that I feel like it has something to do with my shuffling, which is what players at my FNM say as well. For example this past FNM, second round first game I drew 2 removal and 5 lands in my opening hand. I decided to keep and for the next 6 turns I drew land after land, even cracked fetches first in attempt at that small percentage of deck thinning. Second game I was stuck on 2 mana for the first 7 turns and I just conceded after he had a 9/9 scute mob with elspeth out. The guy I was playing is regarded as one of the best at our shop and he was amazed at my horrible luck. He even told me to shuffle a couple more times the second game just to make sure I don't get a repeat performance.


    You had a manaclump, probably brought about by not shuffling properly or shuffling with a pattern then splitting and replacing your deck (essentially undoing the shuffle).
    Start shuffling your hand, graveyard and cards on the field into one deck after each game the gradually add the rest of the deck to the second pile shuffle you do.

    It was also a terrible idea to keep those hands.


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  • #17
    Quote from bilebraidelf
    You had a manaclump, probably brought about by not shuffling properly or shuffling with a pattern then splitting and replacing your deck (essentially undoing the shuffle).


    Or could be just result of proper shuffling of the deck. Proper randomization means those occasional streaks of lands and spells will happen, more or less equal distribution of both with no streaks or "clumps" is not random, and thus result of not shuffling properly.
  • #18
    Quote from Phash69
    Don't complain about the riffle shuffle. Cards can handle it. One of the methods of testing if a card is fake or not is to bend it end to end. If the picture become creased it is fake. Cards are made to handle much more severe bends than riffle shuffling.



    Even if the cards are made to handle it, if I see someone riffle shuffling there own deck I kindly ask then to not do the same to mine. I don't know about you or the others, but I would like to keep my decks in as best condition as possible. Seeing as many many decks are well over $500 at the moment.
  • #19
    I separate Lands and Non-Lands and put the lands on top of the deck, and then deal 5 piles of twelve, and then stack those piles on top of each other, and deal 5 more piles. After that, I clump shuffle, and it works brilliantly.
  • #20
    I do 7 piles, overhand shuffle, present. It's really not that hard to randomize your deck, but a good practice is to overhand shuffle between rounds while watching the other games going on.


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  • #21
    Quote from Myounka
    I do 7 piles, overhand shuffle, present. It's really not that hard to randomize your deck, but a good practice is to overhand shuffle between rounds while watching the other games going on.


    This. Unless you go eat because you finished early enough, I wont pit your deck away. Keep shuffling all the time. Any version of shuffling will have greater effect if repeated enough.
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  • #22
    I would definitely read Flores's article on shuffling, randomization, and cheating.

    http://fivewithflores.com/2009/05/how-to-cheat/

    Personally I use Saito's mashing style and also throw in an overhand. On average I probably do something like 7 mashes, pile, 7 more mashes, overhand.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P-kcRIe39_M



    Quote from Phash69
    Don't complain about the riffle shuffle. Cards can handle it. One of the methods of testing if a card is fake or not is to bend it end to end. If the picture become creased it is fake. Cards are made to handle much more severe bends than riffle shuffling.


    I remember LSV talking about someone who did this on a legitimate Vintage staple (P9 maybe?), creased the card, and ended up having to buy it.

    I've also tested it on a lot of tokens/inserts and the slightest error and you've pretty much ruined the card. Even if you do it right, the card is never quite the same. I mean, do the bend test and let your card sit on the table, do you think it's going to flatten out on its own?

    It has nothing to do with whether or not the cards can handle it, it's all about respecting your fellow player. I own all kinds of stuff that are built to withstand certain things, but that doesn't mean you need to push those limitations.
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  • #23
    Block shuffle is the way to go.

    It really pisses me off whenever someone shuffles my library like playing cards.
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  • #24
    I pile shuffle into 7 piles and then "cram shuffle", not really sure what to call it, I just kind of split the deck into two piles and then 'cram' them together. At a competitive event I'll usually pile shuffle twice, once before and once after 'cram' shuffling, and then 'cram' shuffle once more before presenting.



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  • #25
    Quote from BK7
    Or could be just result of proper shuffling of the deck.


    Not at the rate of consistency the OP reports.

    Trust, me from experience that is what's happening and the method I described solved it for me.
    The biggest breakthrough I ever made with this game was realising that putting the land straight from the field back into my deck was a bad idea as it created a mana clump and almost guaranteed me game 2 mana screw or mana flood.


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