by Craig Blake
Does everyone dread the moment you are handed a deck of poker cards to shuffle and deal? Whether you creatively form a bunch of shuffling stacks or awkwardly mash the deck together to hide your shuffling inability, it's about time you learned how to deal and shuffle a deck of poker cards. Learning to shuffle and deal plastic playing cards takes practice. Learn these easy steps, and then practice until you're a pro dealer.
Separate: Separate the deck into two equal stacks of plastic playing cards in each hand. Place your thumbs on the top of the stacks, nearly touching each other, and three fingers on the bottom of the stacks of poker cards facing outward. This should make it easy for you to bend the stacks up or down. With your thumbs nearly touching, lift them upward while you apply some pressure with your three fingers on the bottom of the stacks, causing the poker cards to bend downward at the middle. Your lifting motion should naturally cause the poker cards to slip out from under your thumb and slap against the table surface.
Bridge: After the two stacks of poker cards have been shuffled, slide your three fingers underneath the deck, with either end pressing into the top of your palms. Place your thumbs just above the meeting place of the two stacks. Gently press the two stacks of plastic playing cards together with your palms as you press down slightly with your thumb, bending the cards upward, opposite the direction of the original shuffle. The cards should slide together one by one. This is the most difficult step to master and will take some practice.
Repeat as necessary: You should shuffle at least four times. To ensure a fair game, ask another player to cut the deck between shuffling.
Get a grip: Place the shuffled deck in your left hand, solidly in your palm with your fingers wrapping around the side. Use your right hand to deal, placing your thumb on the top of the deck to slide off one poker card at a time. Use your fingers to hold the deck, making sure you deal just one card at a time.
Get low: Keep your left hand close to the ground so you can slide the playing cards across the table to each player. Be careful not to slide them too quickly or they will flip over, revealing the poker card.
Deal: Deal one plastic card at a time in a clockwise motion until every player has the designated number of plastic cards.