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PACK OF CARDS - SHUFFLE THE PACK. HOW MANY PERMUTATIONS ARE THERE? Or, to put it another way, if you shuffled two packs of cards separately, what would be the chance (in terms of "n:1") they'd be in the same order?

Answer is:


Or about 8 x 1067 . To work this out it's 52 x 51 x 50 x 49 x 48 ... x 3 x 2 x 1. How would you work this out, apart from by spending too long using a calculator? This is where it gets interesting.

Using a COMPUTER is the answer. But not the sort of thing you see calling itself a computer these days (2001/03). The idea that a computer is actually PROGRAMMABLE is the thing. Any computer is in theory programmable, it's just that it's gone out of fashion. Or has it... see computer programming. Computer programming is a good idea, recommended!

Or maybe you're into the gambling side of things. If so, you might like to look at the Gambling page