Improve your game: Shuffle sufficiently

MagicalMallet-RYMP-EN-C-UEIf you’re here, I assume you’re a Yugioh player or want to learn/get better at Yugioh. Maybe you’re a parent of someone playing the game. So, no matter the reason you’re here, you or the people you like that play the game need to watch out for cheaters. Cheaters are not the bad players that don’t know what they’re doing. Cheaters are often the good players that are reducing their variance.

Yugioh, like many Trading/Collectible Card Games is a game of both skill and probability. I’m not going to say luck because I don’t believe it exists. Everything has a chance of happening. It sucks that you drew all of the cards you didn’t want to draw. But that probably isn’t due to misfortune, bad luck or whatever. You probably didn’t shuffle enough. Your opponent drew amazing? Maybe, but maybe they were just shuffling enough. Maybe cheating, but accusing someone of cheating is pretty serious.

Back to cheaters. If a good player can win 70% of all his games legitimately, at a 10 round tournament that is seven wins and three losses. Often not enough to top 8 or whatever he is aiming for. If that cheater can cheat a little bit and improve his 70% to 80%, a record of 8-2 at a 10 round tournament is often enough to achieve his goal. Cheaters are normally good players employing the easiest way to cheat by stacking their deck.

How do you shuffle a deck of Yugioh cards? Like this guy.

This isn’t a “you should play Magic instead of Yugioh” joke. Keep playing Yugioh. Just shuffle sufficiently. The rulebook doesn’t outline how to shuffle. As long as it’s random, it’s okay. And that’s true. As long as it’s sufficiently random, it’s fine.

I gave a sorted deck to my girlfriend and asked her to shuffle. After telling me about how small her hands are and that I know she can’t shuffle well, she attempted to riffle shuffle. After showing her how to safely riffle shuffle, I asked her to shuffle until she thought it was random. After five riffles, she handed the deck back to me. The deck of 27 monsters, 11 spells and 2 traps had clumps of two and three spells together. In 40 cards, if it was truly random, you’d expect a little more than one spell every four cards.

I swear an older version said it had to be sufficiently random.
I swear an older version said it had to be sufficiently random.

After re-sorting and showing her this video (same as above) she was able to mash shuffle. After telling her she needs to shuffle at least seven times (because math) she was able to sufficiently randomize the cards. The top card remained the same, one of the two traps. This was because she didn’t quite mash shuffle good enough. Do what everydaymtg does, but every other time when you split the deck in half, switch the hands they’re in so that the top half is in your left hand one mash, then on the next, put the bottom in your left hand.

Two more things, then I’m done. You can count to seven when you’re shuffling, but after that, keep shuffling. Shuffle until your opponent has presented their deck for further randomization. Shuffle your opponent’s deck, too. Pick it up and shuffle it. Don’t just cut it. Every single time. Shuffle it at least 10 times. After your opponent looks through their deck for whatever reason during a game, shuffle it five or seven times. You’ve already shuffled it a bunch at the beginning of the match. It should be mostly random and the match must proceed because the tournament has to end eventually.

Thanks for reading. Shuffle sufficiently, use new sleeves, click an ad and come back tomorrow.

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