Shuffling: The Next Generation

Apparently my recent batch of Daily Illuminator posts about shuffling generated some comments. Here are a few that piqued my interest.

Over on the forums, long-time contributor Buzzardo noted that the "most-effective shuffle" is the "smoosh shuffle," where you spread all the cards out on a flat surface and kind of . . . umm . . . smoosh them into each other. (In the same thread, RogerBW calls it a "puddle" shuffle.) Per an article Buzzardo linked, "One shuffle lasting about a minute is more than enough to ensure a statistically random arrangement of cards." It's an interesting idea, and I've certainly used the "smoosh shuffle" quite often. However, as I've noted previously, I tend to sleeve a bunch of my card games, and that kind of situation really requires all the cards to be oriented the same way or else they get caught in themselves. Still, in my experience, the "smoosh shuffle" is a great way to mix up a boatload of unsleeved cards.

Another comment I enjoyed in that thread came from GEVJockey, who disputed my claim about the number of shuffles needed for a Munchkin set. GEVJockey notes that, since there are two decks – Doors and Treasures – they need to be shuffled separately, resulting in 19 shuffles (10 for the Doors, nine for the Treasures). Now, I just have to say: I've been with Steve Jackson Games for almost 25 years, and if you think that I'd forget something so basic as the fact that Munchkin has two decks . . . you'd be absolutely right. Totally slipped my mind. I just looked at the numbers. My bad. Great catch, GEVJockey!

Thanks for the comments, folks; we are reading your mail!

-- Steven Marsh