Daily Illuminator

February 11, 2024: Double The Decks, Double The Fun

I've been on a bit of a shuffling kick lately here on the Daily Illuminators, and I have at least two more insights to share in this regard. We'll cover one here.

Readers of the last installment learned that a 168-card Munchkin set doesn't need more than 11 shuffles to be sufficiently shuffled. That's a lot less than I tend to do when I'm absentmindedly shuffling, but it's still not a trivial amount of shuffling. If you're with a group and trying to cram in as many games as you can, this can slow things down. So I have a modest suggestion:

Two sets.

Unless you're playing a real-time fast-paced game like Super Kitty Bug Slap, the odds are not terrible that there will be downtime between turns. If you're on a Munchkin spree and are playing multiple games in a row, and two players have a copy of Munchkin (and why wouldn't they?!), then bring the second set to the festivities and have a player shuffle that one during the current game. That way, the second game is ready to go and start playing the moment the first one ends and is scooped up.

Now, I'm not suggesting that everyone should go out and buy a second set just to shuffle . . . but, as the Hidden Masters have made clear to me, I'm not not saying everyone should go out and buy additional sets for whatever reasons the orbital mind-control rays instill.

Alternatively, if a player has two different games (say, Munchkin and Munchkin Zombies), then the second one can be shuffled and prepped during the first game. (In fact, that plan might be better, because then there's less danger of the cards getting accidentally combined or lost.)

We've used the "shuffle ahead of time" technique in our own games, and it speeds things up incredibly; for example, when we play 7 Wonders, we pre-shuffle and divide all the cards for all four stages of the game before we play, so that each stage just requires us to hand out the pre-divvied piles. Doing the same with two different decks can really help you . . . err . . . get ahead of the game.

-- Steven Marsh

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