Friday, August 28, 2009

Have you ever noticed?

Whenever we start doing a work, we give our full attention in it. By giving such a focused attention, one may not notice simple things going on around. Try this: When your friend finds a little dirt in his wrist watch, he rubs it for around a minute to clean it. After he’s done ask him “Dude… What is the time”? He can’t tell without looking back at his watch. All this while he was looking the “glass” of the watch but he wouldn’t have noticed the time, which is just 2mm behind it! PHD people suffer this problem in a bigger scale! In PHD/research they concentrate too much in a little area for too long and when they come out they’ll know nothing but their subject. Some of them, who realize this, get a kind-of inferiority complex too. Fine! That’s not my point now in my post today! I’m awfully jobless in these holidays, that I started noticing a few things around that I’ve never given importance so far. I play cards all the time, my favorite games indeed. I’ve even coded the solitaire game in C.! But here are a few things I failed to notice.

[Whenever I say CARD, I mean A card from a STANDARD CARD SET, like the one above.]
When you hold a card in hand, have you noticed if u are holding it in a proper way or upside down? I Know most of us haven’t. Most of us think cards are symmetric along its (both) diagonal and will look exactly same either way! Well NO!!

The very asymmetric nature of the symbols(formally called suit) makes the card asymmetric. Only in dies [where the symbol itself is symmetric] almost all the cards are symmetric! 7♦ is the only die card that is asymmetric in a standard card set. This is because, for some reason, in any card, the max number of symbols present in a row is only 2. But, 7=2+2+2+1; 2 symbols are up, 2 are down, 2 are in the middle, and the position of the last ♦ determines the orientation.

In other sets, the royals are always symmetric. Odds are never symmetric! This is because, if n = the number written in the card ; u can put floor ((n/2)) symbols upwards, floor ((n/2)) symbols upside down and you’ll have 1 symbol left. The orientation of that symbol determines the orientation of the card! Knowing this, one might expect all the even cards to be symmetric (because they have equal number of symbols to put in either side). But again for some crappy reasons, I found in cards 6 & 8, they’ve put both the symbols of the middle row in the same orientation. If they make one of them face up and the other down, the cards would’ve been symmetric. But they haven’t. This makes 6 & 8 asymmetric and all other even cards symmetric.

Let us come to the royals[formally called as the "court cards"]. No royal guy faces your eyes directly. They either look at your left or to your right. Some of the royals are turned 90◦ (they show only one eye) - formally called "one-eyed" and some are turned just 45◦ (both of their eyes are visible). Only in the set of ♣ s, all the 3 royals are turned 45◦. In all other sets, 2 of them would’ve turned 45◦ and one would’ve turned 90◦. In none of the suits, all the royals will see the same direction. Only in ♦s, 2 will look at your right. And 1 will at your left. In others, 2 will look at your left and 1 at your right.

["Looks at" Differs from sets to set.. But MOST of the Standard sets has this ]

Card Looks at* Beard Mustache Turned

J♦ Right No No 45◦
Q♦ Right n/a n/a 45◦
K♦ Left Yes Yes 90◦

J♣ Left No No 45◦
Q♣ Right n/a n/a 45◦
K♣ Left Yes Yes 45◦
J♥ Right No Yes 90◦
Q♥ Left n/a n/a 45◦
K♥ Left Yes No 45◦

J♠ Left No Yes 90◦
Q♠ Left n/a n/a 45◦
K♠ Right Yes Yes 45◦

Things to notice in royals... Quote from wikipedia.:

Though specific design elements of the court cards are rarely used in game play and many differ between designs, a few are notable. The Jack of Spades, Jack of Hearts, and King of Diamonds are drawn in profile, while the rest of the courts are shown in full face; these cards are commonly called "one-eyed". When deciding which cards are to be made wild in some games, the phrase "acey, deucey, one-eyed jack" (or "deuces, aces, one-eyed faces") is sometimes used, which means that aces, twos, and the one-eyed jacks are all wild. The King of Hearts is the only King with no mustache, and is also typically shown with a sword behind his head, making him appear to be stabbing himself. This leads to the nickname "suicide king". The axe held by the King of Diamonds is behind his head with the blade facing toward him. He is traditionally armed with an axe while the other three kings are armed with swords, and thus the King of Diamonds is sometimes referred to as "the man with the axe" because of this. This is the basis of the trump "one-eyed jacks and the man with the axe". The Jack of Diamonds is sometimes known as "laughing boy". The Ace of Spades, unique in its large, ornate spade, is sometimes said to be the death card, and in some games is used as a trump card. The Queen of Spades usually holds a scepter and is sometimes known as "the bedpost queen", though more often she is called "Black Lady". In many decks, the Queen of Clubs holds a flower. She is thus known as the "flower Queen", (though in many playing cards from Germany and Sweden she is depicted with a fan) though this design element is among the most variable; the standard Bicycle Poker deck depicts all Queens with a flower styled according to their suit.



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