Riffle Shuffling: What is Riffle Shuffling, How to Riffle Shuffle and The Riffability Scale

Riffle Shuffling: What is Riffle Shuffling, How to Riffle Shuffle and The Riffability Scale

What is Riffle Shuffling? 

Let's start with a quick overview of the basics, if you're looking just for the scale keep scrolling down!

Riffle shuffling is a common technique used to shuffle playing cards of all types including tarot decks. It is a method that involves splitting the deck into two halves and interleaving the cards together. 

How does Riffle Shuffling Work?

When performing a riffle shuffle, the deck of cards is divided into two equal halves. The shuffler holds one half in each hand, with the thumbs on the inner edges and the other fingers on the outer edges. The cards are then released from both hands simultaneously, allowing them to interleave and mix together.

I always finish my riffle shuffle in a bridge finish but there are other ways! I am posting a Riffle Shuffling Tutorial Video today!

Why is Riffle Shuffling Effective?

Riffle shuffling is considered one of the most effective shuffling techniques due to its randomness. When performed correctly, it thoroughly mixes the cards, making it difficult to predict their order. This randomness is crucial in ensuring fairness in card games and throughly breaking up a tarot deck as well.

 

Benefits of Riffle Shuffling

Riffle shuffling offers several benefits over other shuffling techniques:

  1. Thorough Mixing: Riffle shuffling provides a high degree of randomness, ensuring a fair distribution of cards.
  2. Efficiency: It is a relatively quick and efficient shuffling technique
  3. Easy to Learn: Riffle shuffling can be learned and mastered with practice, making it accessible to both amateurs and professionals.

 

 

 

 

 

Riffability Scale (Riffle Shuffle Ability) 

The scale to gauge how capable a deck is of being riffle shuffled in my humble opinion.

0 being do not or cannot be riffled, 5 being my perfect riffle shuffle decks.

I went through every deck and shuffled each comparing them together.

Not all decks will be the same for you as everyones hands and strengths are different but this is just a fun from perspective rating! I am also doing the riffle shuffling variation that ends with a bridge for reference.

 

If you care about your decks showing wear I wouldn’t riffle them, wear is going to happen no matter what if you use your cards but riffling is a little harder on a deck. Decks with gilding will show the wear more, like scratches. I will make note of the gilding with the deck, glossy seems to show the most where matte seems to take more before it is noticeable.

Some notes about my perspective: I have smaller hands but not tiny. I have arthritis and a previous break so my hand strength is not 100%. I still can riffle and love to but if the cards are stiff I don’t try anymore to break them in, it is possible some of the middle rated decks could be broken in but I haven’t tried.

 

 

 

Riffability Scale of all the decks from A Riffle in Time 

Align Heart Affirmations Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale - 0 mini deck with sturdy card stock and holo gilded edges, too stiff and small for me

 

Apparition Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 1 cards are oracle size, thicker card stock and with gold gilding. I was able to riffle without the bridge but it will definitely damage the cards quickly 

Curiosities Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

 

Dreams Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

Death Doula Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 cards are oracle size so a bit big but a good riffle, has golssy gold gilding 

Energy Archaeology Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 good shuffle, there is gold gilding but matte

Extraordinary Incantations Tarot Deck / Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 mini deck so small cards but this one is more possible than some of the other mini decks, it does take practice to get the hang over, definitely prefer to overhand this one

Fifth Spirit Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 a bit stiff for me but does riffle, is possible this one can be broken in which could raise the score

Folklore Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 a tiny stiff, good riffle overall, black matte gilding

Fountain Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 little stiff but overall good shuffle, glossy silver gilding

Future Ancestor Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 5 one of my top 5 decks to shuffle, I love linen card stock

Gentle Tarot Deck (bundled version) on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 stiff but maybe possible to break in, matte gilded 

Gentle Tarot Deck (linen edition) on the Riffability Scale- 5 one of my top 5 decks to shuffle, I love linen card stock plus an extra bonus for small hands is this deck is playing card size

Gentle Tarot Deck (tin edition) on the Riffability Scale- 0 too small and stiff to shuffle, the same card stock as the bundled but much smaller 

Ghosts Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

Goddess Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 Cards are oracle size so a bit big but a good riffle overall
 

Green Glyph Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 mini deck with sturdy card stock,  too small and sturdy for me to riffle, glossy gold gilding

Green Glyph Runes Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 mini deck with sturdy card stock,  too small and sturdy for me to riffle, glossy gold gilding

Green Glyph Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 mini deck with sturdy card stock,  too small and sturdy for me to riffle, glossy gold gilding

Halloween Tarot Deck in a tin on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 mini deck so small but card stock is thinner so possible with practice

Healthy Vibes Affirmation Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 good riffle but less cards than a tarot so not as satisfying of a shuffle

Hearts Eye Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 oracle card size so a little big and not as many cards but still overall a good shuffle

Herbal Astrology Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 a little stiff and oracle card size, an okay shuffle

Herbcrafter’s Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 a little stiff but a good shuffle overall

Horror Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 a great easy shuffle, closer to a 4.5 when broken in I'd bet

Hush Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 Stiff but possible, may be able to be broken in if so the score would increase

I Am Affirmation Deck for Babies & Toddlers on the Riffability Scale- 0 not possible and not really applicable anyways

Iris Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 good shuffle but a little stiff

Life Line Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 Little slick but overall a good shuffle, just be mindful and you can work around the sliding

 

Love Oracle of Eden Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 Don’t do it, its possible but these cards are too nice to risk it, larger oracle card sized, thicker and burgundy matte gilding, with this being a higher priced deck it’s just not worth risking for me

Lucid Dreams Beginner Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2- I wouldn’t personally do it because though the shuffle feels good the gold foiling on the cards is not protected and could lose it overtime removing the keywords, also gold gilded and with this being a higher priced deck it’s just not worth it to me

Magical Nature Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 a great shuffle, the only reason it’s not a 5 is because that’s reserved for my top 5 decks and this is my number 6

Magick Morsels Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 good shuffle overall, less cards than a tarot and rose gold gilding

Messages Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

Mind’s Eye Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale-4 little stiff but overall good shuffle, gold glossy gilding

Mini Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 possible but as a mini deck it is smaller and I feel like I could bend a card if I slipped on the shuffle

Moon Baby Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 little stiff but overall good shuffle, green matte gilding

Morgan Greer Tarot Deck in a tin on the Riffability Scale- 3 mini deck so cards are smaller, they are thinner though so it is possible with practice

No Filter Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 mini deck so cards are smaller and also less cards than a tarot deck

Numinous Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 great shuffle, a tiny bit stiffer than my perfect deck 

Oak, Ash & Thorn Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 little stiff with the thicker card stock but good shuffle overall

Omens Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

Opposites Mini Divi on the Riffability Scale- 1 it’s possible but a mini deck so it’s a bit difficult and the card stock feels like it keeps the bend more than others

Outgrow Yourself Oracle and Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 5 is one for my top 5 decks to riffle shuffle and broken in it’s my number 1

Poesis Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 stiff with 77 cards but possible, matte gold gilding 

Practical Magic Tarot Starter Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 a tiny bit stiffer than my perfect but great shuffle, top 10 shuffle decks

Pulp Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 tiny stiffer than my perfect shuffle but still great shuffle

Quiet Mystic Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 good shuffle but not as many cards so not as satisfying

Radiant Crystal Card Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 surprisingly great shuffle for over 80 cards, this edition of the deck is tarot sized and flexible, blue gilding

Rainbow Heart Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 too stiff and I know from experience if you slip up you can fully bend a card 🤦‍♀️ 

Ritual Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 1.5 oracle sized cards with thicker cardstock, was able to riffle with no bridge 

Roots & Wings Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 good shuffle but keeps the bend a little more than I’d like

Sasuraibito Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 stiff but can be done and I’ve broken mine in a little, gold glossy gilding

Sasuraibito Tarot Deck Tiny Travellers Edition on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 one of the best shuffles of my mini decks since it’s linen but it’s uncoated it seems so I wonder if that leaves it open to more damage, I’ve never personally slipped up with that deck but it could do some damage if you did

She Wolfe Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 stiff but can be done, rose gold glossy gilding and bigger card size

Smoke, Ash & Embers Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 a little stiff but still good shuffle overall

Tarot of the Cosmic Seed on the Riffability Scale- 4 Great shuffle with a good amount of bend, gilded holographic edges

Tarot for the Great Outdoors Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 cards are very thin, it is definitely one I have to try at since its so bendy but when I get it right it shuffles well

Tarot of the Abyss Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 stiff but possible

Tarot of the Holy Spectrum Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 a bit stiff but overall a good shuffle, black gilding

Tarot of the Holy Spectrum Infinity Edition Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 a little stiff but good shuffle, mirror finish leaves scratches more visible

Tarot of the Sweet Twilight Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 Good shuffle overall, card stock is just not quite the quality of my top 10

Teeny Tiny Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 0 mini deck, cards are too small and sturdy for a tarot amount of cards to shuffle

This Might Hurt Tarot Deck (mass market edition) on the Riffability Scale- 3 a bit stiff but possible, liminal 11 card stock if familiar

Thistle Down Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 great riffle especially for an oracle deck, same card stock as SAE & OAT since there are less cards and not the average oracle size which I love

Thread Bound Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4.5 same yardstick as Numinous Tarot Deck which is just a tiny bit stiffer than my perfect shuffle

Universal Waite Tarot Deck in a tin on the Riffability Scale- 3.5 good for a mini deck shuffle, same as Morgan Greer tin 

Visions in the Liminal Space Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 5 one of my top 5 favorite decks to shuffle, perfect linen card stock like Future Ancestor Tarot Deck

Wanderer’s Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 2.5 bigger cards and stiff but doable, silver gilding

Wayhome Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 5 My number 1 favorite tarot deck to shuffle, it’s perfect in my eyes 

White Numen Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 a bit stiff but possible, liminal 11 card stock if familiar

Wisdom of the Divine Feminine Oracle Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 oracle size card but good shuffle, rose gold gilding

Witches Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 4 little stiff but overall good shuffle, black matte gilding

Zombie’s Tarot Deck on the Riffability Scale- 3 stiff but okay shuffle, maybe able to be broken in

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