How to one-hand faro shuffle?

Nov 10, 2017
15
3
I can do the charlier cut and hold the half packs with the index finger in between just fine. It's the upcoming parts that are the problem.

My most recurring problem is that when I try to interlace the packages, the leftmost one will open too much and the right pack will slide itself entirely between two cards of the left pack instead of faroing, turning the move into a weird cut instead.

Also when I happen to interlace the cards properly, sometimes the cards will completely slide into the deck, completing the shuffle without the faro part. I realized I can avoid that if I start interlacing the cards from a diagonal angle, that way the cards don't slide and I can try and bend the right pack up to prepare the faro, but when I do that then the cards slide out instead of in and I end up with two packs again...

How can I fix those problems?
 

WitchDocIsIn

Elite Member
Sep 13, 2008
5,770
2,879
This is very much a situation where you're going to have to practice it a lot to figure out exactly what works for you. I remember when I started doing it, I wore blisters on my fingers trying over and over.

First things first - figure out if the deck will Faro better face up or face down. Fresh out of the box, traditionally cut decks Faro better face down and modern cut decks Faro better face up. This is because of the angle of the edges of the cards caused by the blade cutting them. Once a deck has been used for a while the edges of the cards get rounded and you can Faro in either direction.

With the deck facing the way that is easiest to Faro, do the cut. For absolute clarity - I have my index finger curled beneath the deck, middle and ring finger on the edge, pinky at the bottom, and thumb opposite the middle and ring finger. Reach up with the index finger near the outer corner of the deck and pull down about half the deck. Doesn't have to be exactly half when you're starting. You pull that packet down, until the top of that packet is in the crease of the first knuckle from the end of your index finger. Tilt the hand down a bit, pulling the bottom packet toward your body with your index finger and thumb, allowing the top packet to just glide along the index finger's nail and held in position by the middle, ring finger, and pinky.

When the bottom packet clears the top packet, you want to make sure they are more or less parallel. You can adjust the angle of that packet with your thumb and index finger. At this point, the 'bottom' packet will be held between the thumb and index finger, and the 'top' packet will be held between the index and middle finger. You should be able to hold the cards with only those fingers.

Move the pinky to the outer edge of the deck, near the corner.

Now - this is where it's tricky. You're going to apply pressure with the pinky finger and thumb, but not necessarily direct linear pressure. The way I think about it is I am pressing from the bottom of the packets, with the force going diagonally upwards toward the middle. This will press the corners of the cards together at a slight angle which should facilitate the inter-weaving of the cards.

Once all the cards have woven together and are in a V shape, turn the hand over and extend the index finger between the the two packets to apply pressure back towards your hand, causing a slight bow in the deck. Now, by basically curling the pinky and thumb you'll bridge the cards together.

It won't come together as a perfect block and will require straightening after that.

Note that this will absolutely bend the deck. You'll want to straighten it back out after you square the deck.

Also note - if you're finding the cards don't want to weave properly you can 'pulse' pressure with your thumb and pinky and sometimes that will shift the stubborn cards enough to make them weave.
 
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