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by BRG on February 3, 2019

Sunday Times Teaser 2941 – Big Deal

by Victor Bryant

Published February 3 2019 (link)

My wife and I play bridge with Richard and Linda. The 52 cards are shared equally among the four of us — the order of cards within each player’s hand is irrelevant but it does matter which player gets which cards. Recently, seated in our fixed order around the table, we were discussing the number of different combinations of cards possible and we calculated that it is more than the number of seconds since the “big bang”!

We also play another similar game with them, using a special pack with fewer cards than in the standard pack — again with each player getting a quarter of the cards. Linda calculated the number of possible combinations of the cards for this game and she noticed that it was equal to the number of seconds in a whole number of days.

How many cards are there in our special pack?

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