I usually don’t shuffle my cards when I first get them. I go through them one by one looking at the images. I’ll pick out cards that resonate strongly with me and look at them more intently. Shuffling usually doesn’t occur until I have cleansed the cards.
My first deck was a larger deck and it was impossible to shuffle them in the regular way. So I took to spreading them out on the floor or table top and mixing them around as a way to shuffle them (washing). I would put a cloth down first, but this was the only way to get them shuffled correctly.
When I initially started I would do a very simple shuffle on my regular sized decks, I didn’t know how to do anything fancy or riffle, and to be honest I was a little hesitant about bending the cards by trying anything else. But I have since taught myself the standard shuffling technique (riffle) and I’m less afraid of bending corners etc, these cards are meant to be used not just sit and look pretty.
I’ve been very fortunate in that none of the decks I’ve purchased yet have had flimsy card stock. I’m sure I’d end up treating them more gingerly if I did. For the most part the cards feel good and solid in my hands.
I’ve never actually cut my deck – or maybe I have a few times and I just don’t recall. To be honest, most of the time I just take that whatever card lands on top after the shuffling is the card to start with.
I don’t have any issues with other people touching my cards. I think that if you’re doing a reading for them having their energy on your cards may not be a bad things. Sure there is the theory that they can affect the reading, but really how different is that from you affecting your own readings by touching the cards.