Why would you use two decks in a poker home game? If you’re used to playing in a casino or online, you probably don’t notice, but collecting the cards, shuffling, and dealing after every hand takes time. In a home game without professional dealers, where you are relying on the skill of your fellow players to get the cards dealt with quickly, things can go infuriatingly slow. Rotating in a second deck can be a big help for this problem, but only if you do it right. How to Use Two Decks in a Poker Home Game: Step by Step
Step One: Buy Two Different Color Decks
Red and blue, green and brown, it doesn’t matter, as long as the two decks have two distinct colors. Different patterns on the back won’t cut it. It’s got to be easy to see when cards from one deck have been accidentally mixed in with the other deck. Use two red decks, and sooner or later, two players are going to be showing down the ace of spades in the same hand, and it could get ugly.
Step Two: Have the Shuffling Order Down
Having two decks in play won’t help you if you don’t know the proper routine. Here it is. While the button deals from one deck, the player games in the cutoff seat and shuffles the other deck. Once the hand is complete, the cutoff player hands the shuffled deck to the small blind, who is now the button, while the previous button, who is now the cutoff, collects the cards from the last deal and shuffles them in preparation for the next hand. In this way, the dealer always has a fresh deck that he can deal with right away. It doesn’t matter if one of your players is a slow shuffler because he has the entire hand to shuffle the cards.
Step Three: Stay Observant
Even with the right routine in place, some mistakes can be made. The cutoff may forget to shuffle, or cards from one deck can get mixed in with the other, even if they are two different colors. However, because of the routine, such mistakes are easy to pinpoint and correct before they do any damage, if all the players are alert.