In this detailed guide, we explain how card shufflers work as well as the difference between the main types of these devices. You will learn about the key features you should look for when buying a product and how to use them properly. Read our comprehensive review of TOP-5 best card shufflers and pick up the one you find most suitable for your needs. If you still have questions to ask about these devices, have a look at FAQ section. I guess, you will find your answers there.

Anyone who casually plays cards knows that shuffling the cards is a clunky, potentially harmful (to the cards) process. You can, stereotypically, spot a true card shark by their shuffling and dealing prowess. Truly, some people can make a real show out of it, just as entertaining as the game itself.

But, alas, most of us lack that kind of skill and flair. I myself am among the untalented masses who just fumble with the cards, often resulting in them getting bent or worn in the process. With the types of cards I like to play with, that damages is much more costly than it is with a standard deck of Hoyle cards as well.

Lucky for us, the technology for card shuffling has been around for a very long time. Casinos have used this technology since at least the 1920s, when more precise electric motors were affordable to produce. These devices can be costly, even now, but if you’re an aficionado of Friday night poker, they’re not so costly as to not be a sound investment and a welcome convenience.

Today, we’re going to learn a little bit about how these work, the different types, and what to look for in them. Finally, we’ll look at five of the ones we feel are the best the consumer market has to offer. We’re confident one of these will meet your needs.

What You Will Learn From This Guide:

What Is a Card Shuffler?

A card shuffler does precisely what the name sounds like. Using electromechanical apparatus, it interleaves the cards in a truly randomized way, at speeds much faster than even the most skilled dealer can manage. They’re also designed to be gentle on the cards, reducing bending and edge wear. It also reduces the amount of hand oils which do eventually break most cards down or at least discolor them.

How Does a Card Shuffler Work?

I don’t play a lot of traditional card games. Once in a while, I’m ok with a hand or two of poker, or something with a little more strategy like spades/euchre, but when it comes to cards, I’m much more into TCGs (trading card games). Specifically, I enjoy Magic: The Gathering (MTG). This game does, in fact, involve shuffling the deck you build, as some element of chance is always present.

Unlike regular playing cards, these are, as the name would suggest, collectible. I don’t go to the extremes of spending money and collecting that a lot of the community does – I just find the game fun, but a card being damaged is an expense you do feel if only a little.

I’m a klutz with shuffling, so when my friends come over for our bi-weekly game, we use a small electric card shuffler on our decks each round we play. It does a better job of shuffling them, and it’s so much gentler on the cards.

One thing I have to warn everyone about is that some of these can jam, I lost several land cards (a common but important component of your MTG deck) to my old shuffler jamming and destroying them. Modern, nicer ones like we’re looking at today are less likely to cause this problem.

Types and Their Differences

Automatic card shufflers

While there are a lot of designs, there are two basic types of card shufflers on a fundamental level. Automatic card shufflers will shuffle the deck(s) when placed in the machine. Usually, either a laser sensor or a weight/scale will trigger the loader, and it’ll shuffle the deck(s) and return the cards to a retrievable location.

Continuous card shufflers

Continuous shufflers, you turn them on, and they will shuffle the cards non-stop until you tell them to stop. These have the additional convenience of letting you shuffle the cards extensively, which is necessary after certain games that cause cards to cluster together too much by value or by suit.

How to Use a Card Shuffler

Card shufflers are generally easy to use, with loading bays for one or more deck(s). Some take the entire deck in a slot, some have you cut the deck in half, for it to interleave them. After that, they either go off on their own, or you activate the shuffle mechanism. It’ll either finish on its own, or shuffle until you’re satisfied.

What to Look for When Buying?

There are a few things to consider when buying a card shuffler. While playing cards are a standard size usually, make sure it can handle your deck, if you have larger cards, custom ones, or play a TCG like I do. Magic cards fit my shuffler, but some shufflers are too loose or too tight for them.

  • Card types – As I said, make sure it lines up with your cards. Most of them are a standard size (including TCGs), but sometimes, they’re not.
  • Game types – Similarly, make sure it can shuffle sufficiently for the game you’re playing.
  • Capacity – How many decks do you need to shuffle at once? Some of these handle up to six decks at a time.
  • Battery/Wall Power/Manual – Mechanical, manual shufflers do still exist, and I’ve been unable to pin down when those first appeared. Suffice it to say, they probably came a long some time before the electrical ones. But, some of these use batteries, some plug into walls, some do both or even all three.
  • Noise Level – These can be loud, as cards being rapidly shuffled makes a sound (though most card players find that sound satisfying), and the motors can be loud as well.
  • Weight – Some of these can be pretty heavy, and if you need to travel with it, bear that in mind as well.

TOP 5 Best Card Shufflers

Below, you will find a review of card shufflers, the prices of which range from $15 to $165. We have picked up the products of various brands, types, weight and capacity. While manual devices are generally inexpensive, automatic ones can be both high-end and low-end. This largely depends on how many decks of cards they can shuffle. For those who enjoy playing cards outdoors or on a trip, it is important to take into consideration such factors as weight and the power source.

Casino-Quality Card Shuffler | ProShuffle

ProShuffle: photo

This is the closest thing to what casinos use. It’s a heavy beast, that can shuffle up to six decks at a time, and uses wall power. It’s kind of loud, it’s hefty, but it’s less likely to jam than most others as a result of its design.

Features

  • Manual/Automatic: Automatic.
  • Deck Capacity: Up to 6.
  • Card Type: Standard.
  • Power Source: Wall power.
  • Weight: 6.2 pounds.
  • Loudness: Moderate.

Performance

This is a professional shuffler, through and through. If you’re looking for the closest thing to what the casinos have, because you’re serious about your game room, then this is probably ideal for you.

Pros Cons
  • Very fast.
  • Excellent build quality.
  • Wall power.
  • Professional shuffler for a more serious game room.
  • Heavy and loud.
  • Might be hard on cards with value.
  • Expensive.
  • Kind of looks like a deformed coffee maker.

Conclusion

This is a high-end shuffler, and if you’re not looking to host professional-style, high-end games, this is probably overkill both in price and machine. But, if that’s your goal, you’ll like this one, and I’m ok with recommending it.

ProShuffle: Check the current price

Affordable Manual Card Shuffler (Discontinued by manufacturer) | Classic Game Collection

Classic Game Collection: photo

This is a manual shuffler with no real bells and whistles. Classic Game Collection is a name in affordable things like this. It’s not going to impress anyone, but if you just want to properly shuffle your deck for a casual game, these aren’t a bad choice.

Act quickly though, they don’t make these anymore, so when the inventory is gone, it’s gone.

Features

  • Manual/Automatic: Manual.
  • Deck Capacity: Up to 2.
  • Card Type: Standard.
  • Power Source: Crank handle.
  • Weight: 13.4oz.
  • Loudness: Minimal.

Performance

This is a simple, hand-cranked mechanism, and I know several people in the TCG community that use these. I’d think it’d be rough on the cards, but it’s actually gentler than hand-shuffling, and I’ve nervously let other players put my decks through them. They’ve come out no worse for the wear.

If you just want a simple, affordable solution that even works when camping, this is probably the right choice to go with. The discontinuation means these won’t last, though, and I do have to ask why they’ve discontinued it. Perhaps they’re making a new model, but I always feel apprehensive with discontinued merchandise like this.

Pros Cons
  • Needs no power.
  • Simple.
  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • A bit flimsy.
  • Discontinued.
  • Maybe a bit too lightweight, making it wobble when the crank is turned.

Conclusion

I’d be ok with recommending this as a practical, travel-friendly solution. However, given that this item is discontinued, these may not be around for very long. However, this company makes other manual shufflers similarly priced, and I honestly think they’re just rolling out a revision of this one soon, hence discontinuing the current line. I’m fine with recommending it while it’s available.

Classic Game Collection: Check the current price

2-Deck Higher-end Manual Card Shuffler | CHH

CHH: photo

If you didn’t like the build quality of the previous shuffler or the fact it’s discontinued, this hand-cranked mechanical shuffler might be a good alternative. This one seems gentler on the cards too, from the looks of it.

Features

  • Manual/Automatic: Manual.
  • Deck Capacity: Up to 2.
  • Card Type: Standard.
  • Power Source: Crank handle.
  • Weight: 14.4oz.
  • Loudness: Minimal.

Performance

As manual shufflers go, this one’s pretty standard, but the swivel mechanism seems much gentler on the cards than others I’ve seen. I don’t like the aesthetic of it – it screams “cheesy Vegas” but that’s just how it is.

Pros Cons
  • Needs no power.
  • Simple.
  • Affordable.
  • Lightweight.
  • Ugly, kitschy design.

Conclusion

This one, while kind of ugly, is a very stable, reliable shuffler, and I’m ok with recommending it to casual players. If you want a manual solution not dependent on power, and that’s lightweight enough to travel with, I’d recommend this one for sure.

CHH: Check the current price

Affordable Automatic Shuffler | Trademark Poker

Trademark Poker Card Shuffler: photo

This is a standard electric shuffler, with a nice wood finish that fits tastefully in any game room. It’s pretty basic, able to handle six decks. I’m not wild about the decals and the blue base, but that could easily be done over with some wood grain with a little TLC.

Features

  • Manual/Automatic: Automatic.
  • Deck Capacity: Up to 6.
  • Card Type: Standard.
  • Power Source: 4 C-Cell.
  • Weight: 1.6lbs.
  • Loudness: Average.

Performance

I don’t like battery-operated electronics that use antiquated, disposable battery types. This should be obsolete in most things in the 21st century, in favor of rechargeable cells that phones and other devices use.

But that’s less of a sticking point for most people than it is for me, and this shuffler works just fine. I like the wood finish on it.

Pros Cons
  • Attractive.
  • Light enough.
  • Handles six decks.
  • Uses C-Cell batteries. Nothing should use these in the 21st century.

Conclusion

I’m comfortable recommending this one, and to be honest, my next shuffler would probably be this one were it not for the C-cell battery power. That’s a real sticking point for me.

Trademark Poker: Check the current price

6-Deck Automatic Card Shuffler | Trademark Poker

Trademark: photo

I have this one, and use it for my MTG games, though I never have to shuffle six decks at once. I’ve let my neighbor borrow it for her euchre games, though, and she’s said it worked remarkably well.

Features

  • Manual/Automatic: Automatic.
  • Deck Capacity: Up to 6.
  • Card Type: Standard.
  • Power Source: 4 C-Cell.
  • Weight: 1.6lbs.
  • Loudness: Pretty quiet.

Performance

When I bought this one, I was unaware of the fact it used C-cell batteries. I’ve modified mine to use a phone battery, which isn’t an option for most people unless you’re used to some work with circuitry.

Thankfully, most people don’t mind the use of antiquated battery types like this, and this is a good, pretty quiet shuffler that’s incredibly gentle on the cards, and the slick modern look blends in well with most aesthetics.

Pros Cons
  • Modern.
  • Light enough.
  • Handles six decks.
  • Very quiet.
  • Uses C-Cell batteries. Just … why?

Conclusion

I like this one, as I have it myself. As I said, I modified it to not use obsolete battery types. However, I think I may be in a minority with disliking these old battery types, so I highly recommend this for casual card players.

Trademark Poker Casino: Check the current price

Comparative Chart On Card Shuffler Effectiveness

Product Features

ProShuffle

Automatic device with a capacity of up to 6 decks.
Designed for standard card type.
Power Source: Wall power.
Weight: 6.2 pounds.
Loudness: Moderate.

Classic Game Collection

Manual device with a capacity of up to 2 decks.
Designed for standard card type.
Weight: 13.4oz.
Loudness: Minimal.

CHH

Manual device with a capacity of up to 2 decks.
Designed for standard card type.
Weight: 14.4oz.
Loudness: Minimal.

Deluxe Wooden Trademark Poker

Trademark Poker Card Shuffler min: photo
Automatic device with a capacity of up to 6 decks.
Designed for standard card type.
Power Source: 4 C-Cell.
Weight: 1.6lbs.
Loudness: Average.

Casino Trademark Poker

Automatic device with a capacity of up to 6 decks.
Designed for standard card type.
Power Source: 4 C-Cell.
Weight: 1.6lbs.
Loudness: Pretty quiet.

F.A.Q.

Where to buy a card shuffler?
Online is the best place, though party supply/gaming places tend to have them too.

How to fix it?
If it’s manual, just replace it. If it’s electronic, have someone who knows electronics look at it.

Do card shufflers randomize a deck?
You should better use two or more devices to truely randomize a deck.

What devices do casinos use?
They use something very much like the first item on the list, though some tables have a smaller unit similar to mine, usually branded with their own label.

Can it be rigged?
They can, but it’s not easy to do, and it tends to be obvious when they are.

Pros & Cons

Pros

  • They’re fast and convenient.
  • They’re fair.
  • They add a professional feel to your game.

Cons

  • Some of them are rough on cards.
  • Moving parts are jam/break prone.
  • They can be loud.
  • They require power usually.
  • They can be expensive.

Tips On Using

Before we look at our list, let me go over a couple tips for you.

  • If you’re shuffling multiple decks, make sure they stand out from one another by color, brand or something.
  • Make sure the cards are clean, if they’ve got sticky stuff or something foreign on them, it’ll get on the other cards, and potentially jam them up.

Conclusion

I’m confident that one of these shufflers will meet your needs. If you’re casual, one of the smaller automatic or manual shufflers will meet your needs quite well. Even if you’re a TCG player, these do work well. If you’re doing a classier game room, you’ll want one of the fancier ones. Either way, happy playing!