Applebasket Entry, 2014

Submitted by: Richard Braunstein -- tied 3-6

How Suits Divide

When explaining how suits divide, I use this visual presentation instead of citing percentages and numbers.

Below is a picture of a chocolate bar which has four squares of chocolate left. You decide that you want to share the chocolate with your partner.

You can see that you can break the bar in the middle and each partner can have half of the chocolate. On the other hand, you can break the bar on either end and split the chocolate unevenly. There are twice as many ways to share the chocolate unevenly as evenly.

Likewise, when the opponents have an even number of cards in a suit, it is approximately twice as likely that they divide unevenly, than that they divide evenly.

Suppose, instead, that you have a chocolate bar with only three squares left. You decide that you want to share your chocolate with your partner. Now, no matter how you split the bar, it will be divided as evenly as possible. Then you take another look at your partner and decide that maybe he would be better off if you ate the whole thing yourself. You can see that there are two ways to share the chocolate as evenly as possible, but only one way to “sacrifice” for your partner’s sake and eat it all yourself.

Likewise, when the opponents have an odd number of cards in a suit, it is approximately twice as likely that they divide as evenly as possible, than that they divide unevenly.