There are four kinds of shuffling machines in the casino industry today. The most common are the pseudo rifflers (e.g., MD3), random-position shufflers (e.g., I-Deal), and continuous shufflers. The rarest of the casino shufflers, however, is the ‘random-selection shuffler.’ This methodology enables each card to be moved from any randomly selected position in the unshuffled deck to the shuffled deck, first selecting and shuffling any card from 1-52, 1-51, 1-50, and so on, until the shuffle is complete. This is the most efficient method of shuffling as no final step is required to dispense the cards from positions, shelves, slots, or compartments into individual hands or complete decks, as is the case with today’s random-position shufflers.

ST’s position is that the random-selection platform offers many advantages, which is why all ST shufflers are random-selection shufflers!

Five ST shufflers have been conceptualized. They are ST’s poker shuffler, combination one- and two-deck blackjack shuffler, novelty-game shuffler, multi-deck shuffler (handles both traditional and continuous shuffles), and round-to-round baccarat shuffler (also adaptable to other games).

All shufflers will offer the same streamlined electromechanical design with few moving parts, which leads to fewer machine malfunctions. All shufflers feature random-selection; guaranteed randomness (PRNG); competitive shuffling speeds; security features; easy jam recovery; protection against warped cards, moisture, and doubles; easy operation; and affordability.

At this time, ST’s poker shuffler is in the final prototype stage and operating smoothly, efficiently, and reliably. Changes have been finalized to move from prototype to preproduction model. Moreover, only minor design modifications are needed to convert the poker shuffler into blackjack and novelty-game shufflers. Both multi-deck models are in the early design stages.

Shark Trap Poker Shuffler

ST’s poker shuffler is very small by today’s standards. Measuring about 400 cubic inches (DeckMate measures approximately 1500 cubic inches), it’s small enough to be mounted inside the rectangular slot found in all professional poker tables. Given the unique installation, chip-tray capacity is reduced. If more capacity is required, ST offers several innovation solutions, for example, independent chip tubes called ‘toppers.’ Additionally, the traditional rake-slide (an outdated mechanism that is grossly oversized for its purpose) will be modernized and replaced by ST’s automatic rake-slide, a small circular ‘drop’ that will function like a sliding trap door, automatically dropping the rake each time the deck is cut. The system allows the rake to remain visible to players until the last possible moment, while making room for another chip tube, if needed.

Shark Trap Combination One- and Two-Deck Blackjack Shuffler

ST’s shuffler design for poker is essentially identical for ST’s combination one- and two-deck blackjack shuffler (can be used for other games and formats). The only differences are (a) table position of the shuffler, which can be positioned to the right or left of the dealer, (b) minor increase in height to accommodate two decks (approximately 0.75") , and (c) installation.

Shark Trap Novelty-Games Shuffler

The terms ‘novelty games’ and ‘carnival games’ refer to nontraditional games including Three Card Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, High-Card Flush, and many more. In poker, one-deck blackjack, and two-deck blackjack, the cards are generally dealt by hand, although some two-deck blackjack games are currently being dealt from a shoe. Novelty games, however, require a ‘dealing module’ to assist in the deal. After the shuffle, dealing modules distribute, combine, and present the shuffled cards as complete, individual hands to the dealer who manually completes the deal. Since the ST shufflers are random-selection shufflers, they shuffle and deal simultaneously!

Consider Three Card Poker. Utilizing only one deck (no batch system), three cards are randomly selected and shuffled/dealt forward where they hit a small blocking wall and fall to the layout, a process that occurs about 0.25” above the table to avoid flashing. After three cards have been shuffled to the table, the shuffler stops and a mechanical arm pushes and swivels the three-card packet outward so it protrudes from the shuffler. In this position, the dealer can slide the three-card hand to the proper position. Continuing, once sensors determine that the hand has been dealt, three more cards are shuffled and pushed/swiveled forward, a process that continues until a complete round is dealt (the process can be stopped by automatic programmed delays or dealer input). After each round is complete, the played cards are loaded into the preshuffle bin and the random-selection process starts again by shuffling/dealing three randomly selected cards, all of which can be selected from a complete deck.

Shark Trap Multi-Deck Shuffler (4-8 decks)

ST’s multi-deck shufflers can be used for blackjack, baccarat, and novelty games, and due to the random-selection process, the same shuffler can offer both traditional and continuous shuffling formats! If set to shuffle traditionally, after a hand is played and discarded, the shuffler is simply programmed to avoid selecting these cards again until a fresh shuffle. If set for a continuous shuffle, however, the shuffler is allowed to select any card, including all previously played cards—one shuffler, two shuffling platforms.

Shark Trap’s Round-to-Round Baccarat Shuffler

ST’s Round-to-Round Baccarat Shuffler offers a new and exciting approach to shuffling cards: incrementally shuffling only enough cards to complete each round! Assume eight decks. Also assume that the front of the shuffler is a partial dealing shoe. After randomly selecting and shuffling eight cards, which can be secured against the inside of the shoe’s faceplate, the first round is ready to deal. (In this example, the eight-card buffer consists of a burncard, six cards to deal a complete hand if necessary, and one cover card that remains in the shoe.) After each round is shuffled and positioned for the deal, the cards can now be dealt in the traditional fashion; i.e., one card at a time from right to left. This is not the case with today’s novelty-game shufflers where the cards are dealt non-traditionally in groups, one complete hand at a time.

The ST round-to-round baccarat shuffler will handle all burncard and cutcard options, and more importantly, only requires six or eight decks for six- or eight-deck baccarat accordingly—no longer are two sets of decks required (batch system).

Once the preshuffle decks are loaded, it will take less than 10 seconds to shuffle and position the necessary cards for the first hand, a process that will then continue as each subsequent round is dealt, resulting in the fastest, most efficient shuffling methodology every offered!