Can't Faro Shuffle for the life of me

Mar 28, 2020
The last time I made a post on this forum, it was about the riffle shuffle. Surprisingly, after the post, things kind of worked themselves out. The theory11 community came to my aid and offered lots of good moral and technical advise, all of which ultimately helped me learn how to do the move, even though I still can't do it without a surface.

Now here I am, trying to figure out the Faro Shuffle, which is significantly harder based off of what I've seen. It isn't so difficult doing the latter part, where the weave has to be curved with my right hand alone, with the left hand acting as the surface on which it ultimately cascades. But the former part, creating the weave itself, is a gigantic pain in the ass!

For the record, I have a standard bicycle deck, the same as my profile picture. I do not know how the cards were cut at the edges while manufacturing, but I've heard it matters, and you should try to angle the insertion based off of how they're cut. So I'm a little clueless here.

So, what should someone like me do to figure out how to get the shuffle?


Elite Member
Nov 1, 2009
New Jersey
There is a difference between doing a faro and a perfect faro. You can faro any type of cards. A perfect faro is more easily done based on the way cards are cut.

A couple of tips to create the weave: 1) make sure the tops of the deck are slightly beveled; 2) move where you grip the cards further toward the ends of the decks; and 3) move the cards slightly side to side against each other to continue a cascade you have started.


Elite Member
Jul 25, 2015
Frankly a deck of Bicycles could be cut either way. Turn the cards over and see what works better, that's the best way to find out. The one's I've been getting from here recently are "traditional" cut, that used to not be the case. Not sure if it's a semi-permanent change or what. Yes it does make a difference, but you have to just see which way works best. If you get some Bees you can be sure which way they go. You'd want to start the weave at the bottom of the deck, which is how the Bike's I've been getting recently are.

Maybe try with half a deck.

Beyond that I can only offer advice on tabled faros. But if you decide to go there I'm here for you.
Apr 28, 2018
Paul Gertner's hand placement and method works best for me (see his UNSHUFFLED Kicker DVD for a brief tutorial, for example). I discovered that technique and exact hand placement by experimenting myself before I saw his DVD. As others have noted, everyone has a different preference.

Important considerations for doing a perfect faro: hand position and control, creating and releasing tension in the cards at the right time, having the two card packets aligned properly in several respects, and having a "broken-in" deck. Here’s a key point about alignment of the cards: press the two packets together at the corners so that all the cards are touching before you begin the faro. This will tend to prevent gaps from forming when the cards interweave. If you have gaps, multiple cards from the other packet can sneak in together.

As Chris Ramsay and Paul Gertner note, new Bicycles typically faro better from the bottom-up, whereas new Phoenix cards faro better from the top-down. However, I use Bicycles and can faro them either way. I like the top-down method, so if new Bikes don't work well that way, I simply turn the deck over and faro them top-down GENTLY for a while, and that seems to smooth the rough, factory-cut edges so that they then will faro fine top-down with the deck face-down. With enough practice, you'll eventually get it, and it seems very natural.
Apr 11, 2021
So I started cardistry with plastic cards, and while I couldn't fan at all one of the advantages was that Faros were incredibly easy.
So I'd suggest starting with a plastic deck.
Now general bicycle card stock is pretty easy to faro with, you have to square up the cards first, then while applying constant pressure push the packets together, while pushing make sure that at first only the corner is faroing then straighten the bottom packet to complete the faro.
It should be one fluid motion while pressing the cards against each other with constant but gentle pressure.
If at any point you see the corner of your cards are getting damaged, you're either applying too much pressure or doing it incorrectly. But when starting out you're bound to destroy a deck or two so practice on bicycles.
That's all from me, all the best.
Mar 15, 2018
The tutorial on the Perfect Faro from The Virts single-handedly helped me master the Faro, and overcome all the issues I was having with learning it.

It covers all the mechanics and handling in detail, and I highly recommend it. You can pick it up here:

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