Back in the early 1980s, a friend of mine had TRS-80 Model III in their house. His mother was a writer, and had gotten it to use for writing books.

I believe it was this TRS-80 where I saw a version of **Monopoly** that taught me a strategy I had never learned as a kid:

The computer bought **EVERYTHING** it landed on, even if it had to mortgage properties to do so.

This simple strategy was a gamble, since you could end up with too many mortgaged properties and no source of income from rent. But. by doing this, the computer would end up owning so many random pieces it made it difficult to own a monopoly yourself.

And since then, that is how I played Monopoly. When it worked, it created some awfully long games (if no one had a monopoly to quickly drive other players bankrupt when they landed on their hotels).

In more modern times, I have watched YouTube videos concerning Monopoly strategies. They will break down the statistical odds of landing on any particular piece of property. For example, you know a pair of dice can produce values from 2 to 12. If truly random, the odds of getting a “1 and 1” should be the same as getting a “3 and 5.” Rather than focus on dice rolls, the strategies take into consideration things that alter locations: Go To Jail, Advance to Go, Take a Ride on Reading, etc.

These cards existing means there are more chances for a player to end up on Go, Reading Railroad, Jail, etc. This means the property squares after those spots have more chances of being landed on.

## Board with board games. Move along…

But I digress… As Internet Rabbit Holes do, this led me to watch other videos about statistics in things like card games. In a randomly shuffled deck, there should be as much chance for the first card to be Ace of Spaces as there is for it to be Three of Clubs. It is random, after all.

For that first card drawn, that is a 1 out of 52 chance to be any card in the deck. (52 cards in the deck.)

But as a game plays on, there are fewer cards, so the odds of getting any of the remaining cards increases. For the second card drawn, you now know there is a 0% chance of getting whatever the first card is, and a 1 in 51 chance of getting any of the rest.

And so it continues…

For games like Blackjack or 21, you do not really care if it is a **Ten of Diamonds** or a **King of Hearts** or a **Queen of Clubs** or a **Jack of Spades**. They all have the value of 10 in the game. Thus, the likelihood of drawing a ten card is much higher than any other card in the deck.

You have four suits (clubs, spades, hearts, diamonds) so there are four of each card – Aces, Two through Ten, Jacks, Queens, and Kings. This means there are 16 cards in the deck that could be a value of 10 in the game. When you draw the first card, you should have a 16 in 52 chance of it being a ten card. That is about a 33% chance!

If you pay attention to what cards have been seen (either by you having it, or seeing it face up with another player), you can eliminate those cards from the possibilities — changing the odds of what you will get.

This is basically what I understand **card counting** to be. If you play a game, and you know you’ve seen three Kings so far (either in your hand, or played by others), you now know instead of four chances to draw a King, you only have one.

## Math is hard. Make the computer do it.

I know this has been done before, and quite possible even on a Radio Shack Color Computer, but I thought it might be fun to create a program that displays the percentage likelihood of drawing a particular card from a deck. I suppose it could have the Blackjack/21 rule, where it treads 10, Jack, Queen and King the same, versus a “whole deck” rule where each card is unique (where you really need an 8 of Clubs to complete some run in poker or whatever game that does that; I barely know blackjack, and have never played poker).

I plan to play with this when I get time, but I decided to post this now in case others might want to work on it as well.

I envision a program that displays all the cards on the screen with a percentage below it. As cards are randomly drawn, that card’s percentage goes to 0% and all the others are adjusted.

It might be fun to visualize.

More to come, when time allows…