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Do You Want to Make History?
Latest   Machine Learning

Do You Want to Make History?

Last Updated on July 25, 2023 by Editorial Team

Author(s): Towards AI Editorial Team

Originally published on Towards AI.

I am making history immediately and effortlessly with a standard deck of cards!

Image by pencil parker from Pixabay

Author(s): Pratik Shukla


Well, I got bored while working on my research project this morning! So, I decided to overthink, and here is what I came up with today!!

Do you want to make history? That too immediately and effortlessly?

If the answer is yes, you’ve come to the right place!

What will we need to do to make history?

All you need to do is to shuffle a standard deck of cards.

But, before making history, let’s understand the concept of factorials (!).

Understanding factorials:

Let’s say we have three different chocolate bars and want to arrange them on top of each other. What are the possible ways to organize three different chocolate bars on top of each other?

Could you take a moment to think about it?

Let’s first use a visual approach to understand this. In the following image, we have arranged three different chocolate bars in different ways.

Arranging three different Chocolate Bars in all Possible Ways

Can you think of any other way of organizing these chocolate bars that will give us a different arrangement?

If not, there are only six (6) ways to arrange three (3) different chocolate bars on top of each other.

Now, let’s think about it more analytically!

  • Here we have three chocolate bars — Green, Blue, and Pink.
  • We aim to stack these chocolate bars on top of each other and see how many different arrangements are possible.
  • Initially, we had three different positions available to place the chocolate bars. Let’s name the positions A, B, and C. (Uh! Why can’t I come up with better variable names)
  • Now, let’s pick a chocolate bar for position A. We have all three (3) chocolate bars available. So, we have three choices for position A.
  • For position B, we have only two (2) chocolate bars available to choose from.
  • Similarly, we have only one (1) chocolate bar available for position C.
  • In conclusion, we will have 3*2*1 = 6 different arrangements available. We can represent 3*2*1 = 6 as 3! (3 factorial).

What does this mean?

We can arrange n different items in n! different ways.

Now, let’s apply this concept to a deck of cards.

Instead of three (3) chocolate bars, we have 52 cards. So, we can simply say that we can arrange a deck of cards in 52! ways.

So, what is 52! in simple terms?

52! = 8.0658175e+67 = 80,658,175,170,943,878,571,660,636,856,403,766,975,289,505,440,883,277,824,000,000,000,000.

What’s the world’s population?

According to world bank, the current world population is approximately 7.888 billion. What an insignificant number!

7.888B = 7.888 * 10⁹ = 7,888,000,000

What’s your point?

It means that there still might be an arrangement of a standard deck of cards that has not yet been shuffled even though each living person on the planet earth has flipped a deck of cards 10⁵⁷ = 1,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 times in their lifetime! Fascinating, isn’t it?


If we divide 52! by the world population, we get 1.0225*10⁵⁷. It means that even if each living person on the planet earth has flipped a deck of cards 10⁵⁷ times, there will still be an arrangement not yet shuffled.

So, what are you waiting for? Go shuffle a deck of cards and make history!

We hope you enjoyed reading this! We will make sure to come up with another fascinating piece soon! Later!

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