Abstract:
In joint work with Soumik Pal, we study a standard way of
mixing cards; I call it 'smooshing'. Here, a deck of cards is spread
on the table, mixed around with the two hands 'for a while' and then
gathered up for dealing. This is used in poker tournaments and in
Monte Carlo (for mixing 6 decks for Baccarat). Similar mixing schemes
are used with dominoes and mahjong tiles. Natural questions are 'how
long should cards be mixed?' and, 'if they are not mixed enough why
aren't they random?'. the mathematics involves various fluid models
and stochastic calculus. I will try to explain it all in 'mathematical
English' for a general audience.
