## Recreational Math## Card and Dice Games |

## What are the possible numbers of distinct 5-card hands in 5-card poker and 13-card hands in bridge? |

There is, of course, a mathematical way of determining the possible number of distinct 5-card hands in poker—or the various combinations of 5 cards from a 52-card deck. The formula, in which *N* is the number of combinations, is as follows (note: the 52 written over 5 is called a binomial coefficient; for more about coefficients, see “Algebra”):

Not to be outdone, such a number can be determined for bridge games, too. In the following, *N* again represents the combinations: