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How to Do the Faro Shuffle aka Dovetail or Weave Shuffle

Learn how to do the faro shuffle, also known as the dovetail or weave shuffle, from magician Michael Patrick in this Howcast card flourish tutorial.


Hi. My name is Mike Patrick, and this is how to do the faro, weave, or dovetail shuffle. Generally speaking, it's referred to as a faro shuffle. Faro was a really old game. It's spelled FARO. The game isn't really played anymore, but this was the shuffle that all the faro dealers used to use. You take half of the cards. Ideally speaking, you would do exactly 26. If you don't care about it being a perfect shuffle for the purpose of a magic trick or something, it doesn't need to be perfect. But what you do is you take 26 cards. You butt them against the other ones. My pinky is on the bottom. My ring and middle fingers of my left are along the edge, and my thumb is on the opposing edge. My index finger is curled to the bottom. This is a very secure grip.

These cards aren't going anywhere, and it's important for the following action. My other hand, I have my three fingers along this edge. My thumb is over here, and my index finger is on top. So if I put these against each other, there's opposing force between this finger and my pinky on the other side. I align the cards. You don't really need to do this too much, but you want them to be even. And I place them so that they're next to each other. I tilt ever so slightly to the right this upper packet, and I allow them to weave into each other. This is mostly a pressure-based action. You're going to have to do this a lot.

You're going to butt the cards into each other, and they're going to do this kind of thing and not shuffle properly. It's going to take a lot of patience to be able to faro shuffle properly, but I will try my best to give you the best tips I can give. Again, the grip is like this. You place this one on top, and you allow the cards to slowly. . .I move towards myself as they're weaving. This allows them to have a nice little action like so. When you're doing perfect faro shuffles, there are two types. There are in faros, and there are out faros. An in faro is when the top card of the deck. . .We'll turn it face up for clarity. The ace of hearts gets shuffled into the deck. So that means that the top card is now the second card.

Let's correct that. It would now be the second card if these cards were perfectly mixed. That is called an in faro. If you want to do an out faro, it's the same thing except for the fact that the top card of the deck stays the same. So if I do an out faro, and it was perfectly 26 on either side, you would have this kind of situation, where the top card remains the same. If you do eight perfect out faros, the deck will maintain its perfect order. So if you had a deck going ace through king all the way through and you did eight prefect shuffles, it will be back into new deck order. It's a cyclical mathematical stack. But if you were to do in faros, you would need to do literally 52 of them to maintain the original stack. So it can be used in a number of magic tricks, but the main thing is to get your weave perfect.

This will take some serious time, but when you do it you can use it for things like giant fans, some mathematical card tricks, and the possibilities are more or less endless. There's a ton of faro work out there. Have a great time.

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