The seven-card poker game Texas hold 'em is tremendously popular throughout the world, thanks to the reach of the internet. A treatise on the probabilities of all possible five-card hands inspired this week's poser.

The thirteen spades from a pack lie face-down in a pile on the table, stacked in a particular order. They are dealt out in the following manner.

The top card is taken off and placed face-down to one side, forming the base for a new pile. The next card down is transferred to the bottom of the original piule. The third card is taken off and placed face-down on top of the new pile. The fourth card goes to the bottom of the original pile, and so on untill all thirteen cards in the original pile have been moved face-down to form a separate pile.

The new pile, turned face-up, is found to comprise Ace, King, Queen, Jack, 10, 9, 8, 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2 in that order. In what sequence must the cards have been arranged in the original pile?

Find the solution online>>

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This was first published in June 2008


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