Bulgarian solitaire
In mathematics and game theory, Bulgarian solitaire is a card game that was introduced by Martin Gardner.
In the game, a pack of cards is divided into several piles. Then for each pile, remove one card; collect the removed cards together to form a new pile (piles of zero size are ignored).
If is a triangular number (that is, for some ), then it is known that Bulgarian solitaire will reach a stable configuration in which the sizes of the piles are . This state is reached in moves or fewer. If is not triangular, no stable configuration exists and a limit cycle is reached.
Random Bulgarian solitaire
In random Bulgarian solitaire or stochastic Bulgarian solitaire a pack of cards is divided into several piles. Then for each pile, either leave it intact or, with a fixed probability , remove one card; collect the removed cards together to form a new pile (piles of zero size are ignored). This is a finite irreducible Markov chain.
In 2004, Brazilian probabilist of Russian origin Serguei Popov showed that stochastic Bulgarian solitaire spends "most" of its time in a "roughly" triangular distribution.
References
- Serguei Popov (2005). "Random Bulgarian solitaire". Random Structures and Algorithms. 27 (3): 310–330. arXiv:math/0401385 . doi:10.1002/rsa.20076.
- Ethan Akin and Morton Davis (1985). "Bulgarian solitaire". American Mathematical Monthly. 92 (4): 237–250. doi:10.2307/2323643. JSTOR 2323643.