Monday, April 13, 2009

What are the odds?

For those more mathematically inclined than me (99.8% of the population) the fact that I use 2 packs when I give a reading raises the question - what are the odds of getting the same card again?

The first time you have a 1/78 chance of any single card appearing. But if you open a second pack, you have already used your 1/78 chance. To get that card again, it’s 1/78 x 1/78 or a 1 in 6,084 chance. So theoretically, your chances of getting a repeat card are quite low. I said this to a client recently, and then gave the caveat that I would say I would get a repeat card in a reading maybe one in every 10 readings, which is way higher than statistically likely. So we deal her cards, and after her second shuffle, not only one but two cards repeat. I told her that was a one in thirty six thousand chance, but having done it on the calculator twice now, I see it’s a one in 474,552 chance. (I told you I wasn’t mathematically inclined) Weird odds.

I can faithfully promise that I haven’t done 400,000 readings. In fact, I can swear that I haven’t done 200,000. But I have frequently (one in every 20? Now I’ll have to keep count!) had 2 cards repeat. This just goes to show, there’s more than face value math happening here. But I knew that anyway, this just impresses the math skeptics amongst us.

The same client asked if there were tarot books I recommend. I’ve read so many over the years, and the various books gave different support – sometimes you want to know more about one specific card, sometimes about how suites and numbers interact, but an excellent all round beginners (and experienced) practitioners book has to be Rachel Pollack’s Seventy-Eight Degrees of Wisdom: A Book of Tarot which has beautifully detailed explanations for every card.

No comments:

Post a Comment