I have been working on a number of card games. Important, of course, is shuffling the deck. I have come up with a few different ways to do this. Currently I do not shuffle, but to deal a card, I lay out the deck in order, selecting a random number between 1 and the number of cards remaining and selecting that card. I then remove that card from the deck so that another card can be picked.

There are two main ways to do this, and I am trying to figure out which one is optimal.

The first is to have an array of cards. When one card is dealt, a new array is formed with that card missing. I kind of like keeping the array size exactly the size of the deck, but perhaps this is not efficient. So, the first array has length n and the new array after the card is dealt has length n-1. VB.Net makes it simple to change array sizes around like this.

The second method is to use a linked list for the deck of cards. This makes removing a card fairly swift, aside from the list traversal to get to the place where the card is to be removed.

Is the time taken to traverse a linked list comparable to the time taken to recreate an array or does one greatly outweigh the other?

arkanoid