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Facts & Figures
Statistical Data

Until the French Revolution, aces were low having a numerical value of "1". They became high to symbolise the power of the common people over the monarchy.

In total there are 53,644,737,765,488,792,839,237,440,000 different deals. However since each player only holds 13 cards the number of hands each player can receive is a mere 635,103,559,600. To put this in context, if you play 36 boards every day and the same hand didn't come up more than once, it would take a shade over 48,300,521 years before you'd have seen them all.

The odds against being dealt A K Q, A K Q, A K Q, A K Q and any J are 158,753,389,899 to 1. By comparison this makes winning the lottery look very easy.

The odds against being dealt a complete suit are 2,235,197,406,895,366,368,301,559,999 to 1. So based on 36 boards a day, you shouldn't have to wait much more than 169,985,262,164,498,224,119,011 years. This is a good deal longer than from the big-bang to today.

Perhaps the most relevant - the odds for at least one hand having at least one singleton are only slightly over 2 to 1.

I'm sure we've all sat in the middle of contract wondering whether to play for the 'drop' or a finesse. Without any other information to go on, like the opposition bidding or the point each has already played and given that you know about your cards and those in dummy, the disposition of the remainder in that suit can be calculated. The table below shows these probabilities. I have sorted them to show the most likely at the top. I doubt you'll want to remember the actual probability but it useful to know which is the highest.

Playing cards may have been made double-ended for the ease of bridge players.

The corners were rounded off during the 1800's in America to defeat cheating by folding the corner.

Have you even wondered why the court cards look they way they do? Scroll down to see the history.

 

Probabilitites
                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        
Distribution Probabilities
Known Unknown Probability
cards cards %
11 1 1 52
  2 0 48
10 2 1 78
  3 0 22
9 3 1 49.7
  2 2 40.7
  4 0 9.6
8 3 2 67.9
  4 1 28.3
  5 0 3.9
7 4 2 48.5
  3 3 35.5
  5 1 14.5
  6 0 1.5
6 4 3 62.2
  5 2 30.5
  6 1 6.8
  7 0 0.5
5 5 3 47.1
  4 4 32.7
  6 2 17.1
  7 1 2.9
4 5 4 58.9
  6 3 31.4
  7 2 8.6
  8 1 1.1
3 6 4 46.2
  5 5 31.2
  7 3 18.5
  8 2 3.8
2 6 5 57.2
  7 4 31.8
  8 3 9.5
  9 2 1.4
1 7 5 45.7
  6 6 30.5
  8 4 19.1
  9 3 4.2
Court Cards
Court cards look they way they do because they're supposedly based on historical figures...

King David who, as a young boy, killed the giant Goliath and later became king of Israel. Pallas. Playmate of the goddess Athena - killed in an accident when the pair were sparring. Hector. Trojan prince and brother of Paris, believed to be one of the greatest fighters in the Trojan wars.
Alexander The Great. King of Macedonia, who conquered most of the Ancient Greek and Persian empires. Rachel. mother of Josephas, an Old Testament figure. La Hire. A French commander during the Hundred Years' War comrade of Joan of Arc.
Julius Caesar. The only king pictured with an axe instead of a sword and known nowadays as "the man with the axe". Argine. Believed to be an anagram of the Latin word "regina", meaning queen. Ogier the Dane. A character in French epic poems who was orginally at odds with Charlemagne but later fought in his army.
Charlemagne. Also known as Charles the Great. King on the Franks and founder of the Holy Roman Empire. Judith. A Jewish heroine who killed an enemy general by seducing him and cutting off his head. Judas Maccabeus. A great military captain who led the Jewish rebelion against the Syrians.