Help Shuffle and Cut - How many times?

Toni Kensa

Playing and Collecting
Member
Hi Pokebeach trainers,

I’m close to play my first big tournament and there’s something I would like to check with you experienced players: how many times do you shuffle your deck before “offering” it to be cut by your opponent?

Tournament’s much more faster than I’m used to play, time management seems very important to be able to play 3 matches in 50 minutes. So I would like to know what’s the “minimum acceptable times” I must shuffle my deck?

What about cut your opponent’s deck? I normally put the bottom half into the top, I’m afraid someone can put some important card first or last.

Thanks!
 

snoopy369

Aspiring Trainer
Advanced Member
Member
So the document you're going to want to refer to for things like this is:
https://assets.pokemon.com//assets/...les/play-pokemon-tcg-rules-and-formats-en.pdf

Chapter 7 is titled "Shuffling" and covers these.

The rules are, however, relatively inspecific:
Each player’s deck is expected to be fully randomized at the start of each game and during
the game, as card effects require. To achieve randomness, players are to riffle, pile, or
otherwise shuffle their decks until they are satisfied that the deck is random. Randomization
must be done in the presence of the player’s opponent and must be done in a reasonable
amount of time. Care should be taken to ensure that the cards in the deck are not harmed or
revealed during the shuffle.

Practically speaking, most people shuffle three or four times in my experience at League Cup level events. At Regionals and similar, I suspect there's more shuffling, but I haven't attended one.

As far as *cutting*, you have two options.

1. Cut the deck once, by taking some number of cards from the top, placing the remaining cards on top of those cards.
2. Shuffle the deck, just as you shuffle your own deck, after which your opponent may cut once.

That's also laid out specifically in the rules above. Anything that is not a single cut (like you say, bottom portion on top of top portion) is technically shuffling as per 2 and your opponent may cut afterwards. You should feel free to do the same if your opponent shuffles your deck.

The rules also say:

Players are strongly encouraged to shuffle their opponents’ decks at Premier Events.

Definitely do so in a Regional, at least so long as you're in contention for Day 2. In a Cup, it's more optional, though if you've made Top Cut you should treat that portion of the event like a Regional and shuffle every time.
 

Toni Kensa

Playing and Collecting
Member
So the document you're going to want to refer to for things like this is:
https://assets.pokemon.com//assets/...les/play-pokemon-tcg-rules-and-formats-en.pdf

Chapter 7 is titled "Shuffling" and covers these.

The rules are, however, relatively inspecific:


Practically speaking, most people shuffle three or four times in my experience at League Cup level events. At Regionals and similar, I suspect there's more shuffling, but I haven't attended one.

As far as *cutting*, you have two options.

1. Cut the deck once, by taking some number of cards from the top, placing the remaining cards on top of those cards.
2. Shuffle the deck, just as you shuffle your own deck, after which your opponent may cut once.

That's also laid out specifically in the rules above. Anything that is not a single cut (like you say, bottom portion on top of top portion) is technically shuffling as per 2 and your opponent may cut afterwards. You should feel free to do the same if your opponent shuffles your deck.

The rules also say:



Definitely do so in a Regional, at least so long as you're in contention for Day 2. In a Cup, it's more optional, though if you've made Top Cut you should treat that portion of the event like a Regional and shuffle every time.

Thanks for the answer, that’s what I was looking for, 3 shuffles and one cut. Some players tell me to keep an eye on cheaters, at first I had a “playing with friends” feeling so I tried to make a blind eye on cheaters, I was afraid other player’s will get mad on me for exposing veterans. Now I’ll always cut decks and call judge whenever necessary.

Thanks!
 

TorchHG

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Definitely don't hesitate to call a judge! Slow play is honestly very common and I'd definitely call someone over when you start to see it. I've had a couple of people inadvertently take advantage of that "playing with friends" mentality during regionals and try to downplay their own slow play and create stalling situations that they knew they couldn't win
 

Merovingian

Dead Game Enthusiast
Member
Vary your shuffling. I never go below 3 for my own deck and never above 7.

Remember this:

Say your opponent uses Ultra Ball. They go through their deck, get a Pokemon, and shuffle their deck; they present their deck to you.

You have 2 options:
- Shuffle
- cut

If you only cut, deck goes back to the opponent and game continues.

If you shuffle, then present it back to your opponent, they get the final option of cutting the deck or tapping.

You get the same courtesy when you use search effects/look through your deck, etc.

For this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that in big events--or any event, actually. Whenever you get a chance to shuffle your opponents deck, you do it. How many times? Vary it between 3-7 times. But always make it a different number. This makes it diofficult for an opponent to stack against you.

Also, if an opponent shuffles your deck and presents it back to you. ALWAYS CUT!
 

Toni Kensa

Playing and Collecting
Member
Vary your shuffling. I never go below 3 for my own deck and never above 7.

Remember this:

Say your opponent uses Ultra Ball. They go through their deck, get a Pokemon, and shuffle their deck; they present their deck to you.

You have 2 options:
- Shuffle
- cut

If you only cut, deck goes back to the opponent and game continues.

If you shuffle, then present it back to your opponent, they get the final option of cutting the deck or tapping.

You get the same courtesy when you use search effects/look through your deck, etc.

For this, I HIGHLY RECOMMEND that in big events--or any event, actually. Whenever you get a chance to shuffle your opponents deck, you do it. How many times? Vary it between 3-7 times. But always make it a different number. This makes it diofficult for an opponent to stack against you.

Also, if an opponent shuffles your deck and presents it back to you. ALWAYS CUT!

Nice suggestion, yesterday was my first big tournament and frequently I saw that happening, they did shuffle my deck many times whenever I offer. It was a nice experience, my first 8 rounds. When it comes to the 5th I was a bit tired and stopped shuffling their decks! :D
 

PokeMedic

Don't talk to me or my Pokemon ever again
Articles Staff
Member
This rule is great to help you mitigate the risk of a deck not being sufficiently randomized. I don't have to say what the worst thing that could happen is, right? Some people think that the rules are just arbitrary, but they exist to help contend with less than ideal problems or situations and prevent someone from being next player who allegedly did something wrong.
 

birdboy2000

Bird Keeper
Member
One thing I always advocate and don't see nearly enough people do is vary their cuts. If you always cut to the middle, a dishonest opponent can take advantage of that by "shuffling" the cards they want to the middle, but if you mix up how much of the deck you take off in your cut (and tap sometimes as well) it's very hard to cheat against. It's much faster than shuffling your opponent's deck and accomplishes many (although not all, a trick shuffler can still clump together cards they want at the same time) of the same things.
 

K_la

Aspiring Trainer
Member
Personally, I always tap my opponents deck. Credulously I want to believe my opponents have a modicum of integrity. Even the times I've gone to regionals I've gone for fun, and of I can't trust my opponent all fun is removed. I've played one player who blatantly cheated with a shuffle and I called them on their 'creative' shuffle and asked if winning was that important. I'd rather let them know they have no honor lol
 

Serperior

464/500
Advanced Member
Member
I've always cut. If time's not an issue for you, an extra shuffle or two doesn't hurt and further reduces the chance of cheating, but I like to think I'm focused at the task at hand and overshuffling kind of ruins the momentum/pacing of the game.
 
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