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Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: Shuffling and Cutting 05/11/2012

Posted by raznprince in Ask a Professor, Pokemon TCG.
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Professor’s Corner – Pitfall Conventions: Shuffling and Cutting

True or False? Cutting decks after shuffling is only done in tournaments.

If you answered False, you are correct.

In fact, it is actually standard game rules that after you shuffle your deck for any reason, you must offer your opponent to cut your deck. There is absolutely no exception to this rule.

An actual cut is when a player divides the deck into two stacks to his/her preference. Multiple cuts (more than two stacks) are considered a shuffle, and the right now falls upon the player to cut his/her own deck before proceeding with game play.

Here is the correct flow of how a shuffle-cut should occur:

  1. Player A shuffles his/her deck due to initial game setup/effect of Item or Supporter Card/effect of attack, etc., and then offers Player B to cut the deck.
  2. Player B may:
    1. Cut the deck.
    2. Further shuffle Player A’s deck. Player A now has the right to cut his/her own deck.
    3. Choose not to cut the deck.
  3. Player A proceeds with game play.

Both players can actually loop step 2.2. until the Player A’s deck is randomized to both players’ satisfaction. Either way, the final result of this series must end with either a cut or a refusal to cut before game play can continue.

As a point of emphasis, you must make it a habit to offer your opponent to cut your deck even if he/she is known to repeatedly refuse. Don’t assume that the next time you shuffle your deck that your opponent won’t choose to cut your deck that time around; let him/her make that choice every time it happens.

As a tournament rule of thumb, players should not spend more than 2 minutes shuffling during setup for game start, and 15 seconds for shuffling after deck search mid-game. Excessive time spent shuffling is considered slow play and penalties can be assessed for unsatisfactory game tempo. If a player has difficulty shuffling his/her deck, he/she may call a judge over to shuffle his/her deck. However, once the judge shuffles the deck, neither player may cut.

I hope this helps clarify the right way to shuffle and cut decks! Please let me know if you have any questions.

Professor Raz

Professor Knowledge Difficulty: Intermediate

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