Visualising Card Shuffles - Ooh, Interesting! Fascinating Facts

October 11, 2019

Here’s one for the mathematics fans amongst you! We’ve found a rather fascinating video that helps to visualise card shuffles to see just how random they may be. Does the magician always know your card because of their sneaky way of shuffling? Perhaps. Is there a way to get one over on the casino table using probability? Possibly. Enjoy the video below!

We’ve always found it fascinating that when we book a magician, they can shuffle cards in a multitude of different ways but we’ve never been able to visualise just where the cards go. Naturally, the video is only really useful for those who can actually shuffle rather than the pathetic efforts we often put forward during the numerous caravan holidays of our youth where whole clumps of clubs and diamonds would stay rooted to the bottom of the deck through no fault of our own.

Thankfully we managed to learn the riffle shuffle over time and it’s interesting to see just how randomised the cards get after eight shuffles. We think YouTuber etansivad may very well be wrong in their apparent belief that most of shuffle a deck of cards eight times before dealing but it’s interesting how the distribution of the cards occur nevertheless.

The upshot of this research into visualising card shuffles? It doesn’t really matter which style of shuffling you go for because the cards will be suitably shuffled by the end. There’s a fact that often does the rounds that states whatever order your deck is in when you deal has probably never happened on Earth (as long as you have shuffled enough) and if that sounds hard to believe, please feel free to read this thread where mathematicians far cleverer than us come to the conclusion that your shuffled deck will have a 99.999999999999999999999999876% chance of being unique.

We hope you enjoyed visualising card shuffles and our huge thanks to etansivad for their video! And if you are a player of Magic: The Gathering then we hope we’ve given you some idea of how to stack your deck before a shuffle!



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By Henry Fosdike