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Dealing Machine

We are considering buying a dealing machine (Bridgesorter, Duplimate or Dealer4). We currently have a wide range of types of boards.

Dealer4 supplier tells me that (as an alternative to using openable boards) the boards can be dealt straight on to a platform which stays in the slot and the hands can be picked up manually and loaded into the boards.

I noticed on the Bridge Warehouse website that the Bridgesorter and Duplimate tech details say that the boards SHOULD be openable. I asked Bridge Warehouse if that meant that the boards MUST be openable. They checked with the supplier, who said that 'They will need at least 1 board. They could use this one board for the Duplication and then move the cards by hand to another type of board.'.

So can we use Bridgesorter or Duplimate machines without having to replace all of our boards? Also, any advice on selection of machine or experience with your machine would be greatly appreciated.


  • It would be very inconvenient to have to move the hands of each board after dealing them - it would probably take about five times as long to deal a set as if you have the proper boards. This applies whatever dealing machine you have. I think it would be a wise investment to buy the proper boards.

  • edited May 2023

    I have to disagree with you there Gordon. I have been using Dealer4 dealing machine for 16 years and almost always I use square boards with dealing platform so that I transfer the cards from the platform into the boards. It takes me about 10-12 minutes to deal a set of 32 boards - this includes handling the boards and cards as well as dealing.
    I also have some "openable" long boards and did use these occasionally so that the cards were dealt directly into the boards. I didn't like this that much as it would take me longer than using square boards. In the end I dealt the cards in the long boards the same way as in the square ones, i.e. by transferring them from the dealing platform.
    Perhaps this doesn't seem credible, I will have to make a video sometime.
    Before I start dealing a set of 32 boards I empty boards 31 and 32 and insert the cards in the feeder. This way I rotate cards so that they get an even usage. This applies whether I use square or long boards.
    To deal using long boards you need to -
    1. unclip the board and tip the cards out
    2. insert the empty board into the dealing machine
    3. press on the deal button, or this starts automatically
    4. while the board is being dealt using the cards already in the feeder - gather the cards you tipped out of the board and put them on top of the feeder
    5. dealing takes perhaps 6-8 seconds so after this you pull the board out, close it and put away.
    Go back to 1

    I tried merging steps 1 and 4, but I don't think this is possible to do in 6-8 seconds while a board is being dealt at least I found it difficult. Maybe with more practice this works.

    I think I have seen a video of the steps 2 and 3 but not for the whole process.

    To deal with a square board you need to -
    1. press on the deal button to start dealing a board
    2. while the board is being dealt using the cards already in the feeder - take the cards out of the next board and put them on top of the feeder
    3. dealing takes perhaps 6-8 seconds so after this you transfer the cards from the dealing platform into now empty square board. Transferring the cards in my experience takes a few seconds - perhaps 5.
    4. press the deal button and put the board away.
    Go back to 2

    Maybe with more experience dealing long boards would be quicker, but never 5 times. I don't feel tempted to try. I like my square boards.

  • Thanks Mirna.
    Does anyone know if Bridgesorter and/or Duplimate can deal onto a platform, for subsequent loading manually into square boards?

  • I'm happy to bow to Mirna's much greater experience of this!

  • edited May 2023

    Mirna, I am impressed. 32 (openable) boards normally takes me 7 to 8 minutes if no misfeeds occur. I have dealt boards a few times manually to non-openable boards and although I got quicker towards the end, I could never have done it in faster than 13 or 14 minutes per 32 board rate.

  • Thank you all. What machines have you used, and what do you think of them? Our two nearest clubs both use Dealer4..

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