Nugget of Knowledge: Card deck shuffle odds

Odds are nearly impossible to get a shuffled deck to end up in order

YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WYTV) – What are the odds of shuffling a deck of cards into the right order?

It depends on two things: How you shuffle them and the cards’ order when you start.

If you truly mix up the deck, the chances of the cards ending up in perfect order: spades, then hearts, diamonds, and clubs — are around 10 to the 68th power, or one followed by 68 zeros.

It’s roughly equal to the number of atoms in our galaxy.

Yet card players say it happens.

The reason is that a fresh pack of cards comes in perfect order, and if they’re not really shuffled well, they can end up back in order.

For example, if a dealer splits the deck in two and flips the cards together, the pack can end up back where it was — perfect — after just eight shuffles.

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