Published on May 22, 2017

Crazy Math: Every time you shuffle a deck of cards, chances are that you make history.

Understand this fact with the help of Math.

Source- nmgncp.com

Have you ever played cards? Even if you haven’t, you must know that there are 52 cards in a deck of cards. So here is my question:

In how many ways can you arrange a deck of cards?

52 may not seem like such a high number but when it comes to arrangement or combination of 52 objects, it is pretty much a high number. Let’s see how- If you have studied Permutations and Combinations, you can simply say that there are 52! (factorial 52) ways, in which you can arrange 52 objects. For those who don’t know what is 52! and how did I get that? This is pretty simple:

We have 52 cards. So we choose 1 card out of 52 and fix it at position 1. We can choose any card out of 52 that means there are 52 ways to fix position 1. Now 51 cards are left. So we choose 1 card out of 51 and fix it at position 2. And again we can choose any card out of 51 that means there are 51 ways to fix position 2. Now 50 cards are left. So we choose 1 card out of 50 and fix it at position 3. And yet again we can choose any card out of 50 that means there are 50 ways to fix position 3. And we can do this until all the positions are fixed. So at last we get 52*51*50…3*2*1 which is called 52! (factorial 52).

Now that we know there are 52! ways, in which we can arrange a deck of cards. 52! is a damn high number which is equal to 8.06e+67. 80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000 to be exact. It is a 68 digit number.

So here is the fact: Every time you shuffle a deck of cards, chances are that you have put them in an order that has never been seen in the history of the universe.

Say that there exists 10 Billion people on every planet, 1 Billion planets in every solar system, 200 Billion solar systems in every galaxy, and 500 Billion galaxies in the universe. If every single person on every planet has been shuffling decks of cards completely at random at 1 Million shuffles per second since the BEGINNING OF TIME, every possible deck combination would still yet to have been “shuffled”.

Source: Reddit

So the next time it’s your turn to shuffle, take a moment to remember that you’re holding something that may have never before existed and may never exist again.

Originally published on Medium By Priyansh Rastogi on May 22, 2017.

Canonical link


Back to All Posts


TwitterGitHubInstagramLinkedInMediumEmail

Copyright © 2022, Priyansh Rastogi.

Powered by Next.js, Hosted on Vercel.