Asked By – Yes – that Jake.
I’ve been considering fast poker hand evaluation in Python. It occurred to me that one way to speed the process up would be to represent all the card faces and suits as prime numbers and multiply them together to represent the hands. To whit:
class PokerCard: faces = '23456789TJQKA' suits = 'cdhs' facePrimes = [11, 13, 17, 19, 23, 29, 31, 37, 41, 43, 53, 59, 61] suitPrimes = [2, 3, 5, 7]
def HashVal(self): return PokerCard.facePrimes[self.cardFace] * PokerCard.suitPrimes[self.cardSuit]
This would give each hand a numeric value that, through modulo could tell me how many kings are in the hand or how many hearts. For example, any hand with five or more clubs in it would divide evenly by 2^5; any hand with four kings would divide evenly by 59^4, etc.
The problem is that a seven-card hand like AcAdAhAsKdKhKs has a hash value of approximately 62.7 quadrillion, which would take considerably more than 32 bits to represent internally. Is there a way to store such large numbers in Python that will allow me to perform arithmetic operations on it?
Now we will see solution for issue: Handling very large numbers in Python
Python supports a “bignum” integer type which can work with arbitrarily large numbers. In Python 2.5+, this type is called
long and is separate from the
int type, but the interpreter will automatically use whichever is more appropriate. In Python 3.0+, the
int type has been dropped completely.
That’s just an implementation detail, though — as long as you have version 2.5 or better, just perform standard math operations and any number which exceeds the boundaries of 32-bit math will be automatically (and transparently) converted to a bignum.
You can find all the gory details in PEP 0237.