During pregame, Anthony shuffles his own deck and then presents it to his opponent, Nathan. Is Nathan obligated to shuffle Anthony's deck? Is cutting the deck acceptable? Is doing nothing acceptable?

If the answer varies for each REL, please describe how it varies. If there are penalties associated with not shuffling, please describe those penalties.

1 Answer 1


Competitive and Professional REL

You are always required to shuffle your opponents' decks. From Section 3.9 of the Tournament Rules:

At Competitive and Professional REL tournaments, players are required to shuffle their opponents’ decks after their owners have shuffled them

Regular REL

You are usually not obligated to shuffle your opponents' decks. However, the Head Judge may optionally require it. The very next sentence of the aforementioned section in the Tournament Rules:

The Head Judge can require this at Regular REL tournaments as well.

Casual (No REL)

You are never obligated to shuffle your opponents' decks.

Is cutting acceptable?

The rules do not care whether or not you cut the deck. You can cut if you want, but you don't have to.

You are always obligated to give your opponent the opportunity to shuffle your deck, even if they elect not to. If you are physically unable to shuffle, you can ask a judge to shuffle for you.

  • The point of cutting an opponent's deck after they shuffle is to guarantee that they could not choose their opening hand. And I don't understand why you say "the last player to shuffle is the last player to cut". In every game I played, the deck's owner shuffles, then an opponent cuts.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 30, 2015 at 18:27
  • @murgatroid99 When I went to incorporate your comment into the answer, the conditional logic was making the answer too wordy. It wasn't necessary to answer the question, so I removed it. Does that look better?
    – Rainbolt
    Apr 30, 2015 at 18:47
  • 1
    Yeah, I think that's better. One other thing I think would be worth mentioning is that the wording of rule 103.1 seems to imply that, while your opponent doesn't have to shuffle your deck, you do have to give them the opportunity.
    – murgatroid99
    Apr 30, 2015 at 19:18
  • @murgatroid99 Done. I decided not to mention the rule, since it is extra information.
    – Rainbolt
    Apr 30, 2015 at 19:34
  • 1
    @Rainbolt Suggestion to include, forced shuffling is effectively not enforced, despite being a rule.
    – Waterseas
    Apr 30, 2015 at 20:57

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .