If you’ve played a card game in a Las Vegas casino, you’ve probably had your cards shuffled by an automatic card shuffler. These mysterious black boxes do their job, quietly and effectively, making sure the cards come out randomly, to protect both the casino and the player. Mostly the casino.
We were given a rare glimpse into the inner workings of an automatic card shuffler at a Strip hotel during some routine maintenance. Our mind still hasn’t stopped being blown.
The shuffling machine’s a lot more complicated than we’d imagined. Wheels and gears and belts and motors move the cards around with robot-like efficiency, dispensing them based upon the game being played.
The machine we saw the innards of was being used at a three card poker table, so the cards were coming out in batches of three.
We grabbed some sweet video of the automatic card shuffler in action. Which we’re pretty sure we weren’t supposed to do. We’re not a big fan of rules. It won’t take long for you to learn this about us. Let’s watch.
Amazing stuff, don’t you think? It’s like capturing footage of a Sasquatch, or something even more rare, like video of Criss Angel solving a math problem.
Most automatic shuffling machines you see in casinos were made by Shufflemaster, a company now called SHFL Entertainment for reasons lost on us. In the SHFL offices, there’s a wooden prototype of their first automatic shuffler, from 1983, made mostly of wood.
The history of card shufflers is riveting, so naturally, you won’t find it here. Go here if you care to learn more.
We’re endlessly fascinated by how casinos do what they do. And you?