The game starts with six cards in each player’s hands, and one initial card on the table face-up. A random player starts first.
When playing with physical cards, the deck is cut before dealing and if any power cards are found at the cut point, they are given to the cutter. In Mau King, this is actually simulated by the computer under the hood at the start of every game, and cards potentially rewarded to an assigned cutter.
Expert info: When playing with physical cards, it is not mandatory for the cutter to keep the power cards, but if they decide to do so, they can take as many power cards as they find at the point of cutting, as long as there are not more than three. But if there are three and the Cutter takes them all, and then finds the fourth one to be a power card as well, then they must return all cards to the deck and repeat the shuffling and cutting.