(1) the number of cards in each suit held by one player; [5=4=3=1 distribution = five spades, four hearts, one diamond and three clubs](2) the number of cards of a particular suit held by each player;(slang) the lie of the adversely held cards.
1) The number of cards in each suit in a player's hand, usually expressed as a series of 4 numbers. A distribution of 4 - 6 - 2 - 1 means 4 spades, 6 hearts, 2 diamonds, and 1 club. Sometimes also called a "Hand pattern". 2) The number of cards in one suit as distributed in four (or two) hands, expressed as series of 4 (2) numbers. 3) The degree to which a player's hand consists of particularly long and short suits.
an allocation of cards into suits. Most often, "distribution" means hand pattern, that is, the number of cards in each suit in the hand. For example, 4-3-3-3 is a distribution. Sometimes, it means the distribution of one suit within two unseen hands. E.g., "The spades were distributed 3-2."