Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness.

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15
votes
1answer
662 views

Honeybee Hangover

A drunken honeybee lands on a completely random hexagon of a large triangular section (depicted below) of its hive, and then every second afterwards, takes a step to a completely random adjacent ...
17
votes
1answer
488 views

Lap Theory Optimal Betting Game

Three prisoners are seated at a table. Each of them has a mobile phone on their lap, and they are not allowed to look at anyone else’s phone (and obviously no other form of communication is allowed). ...
9
votes
2answers
337 views

Three way duel, which guns to choose?

Alice, Bob and Carole are involved in a game of three way duel. They take turns to shoot in the order of Alice-Bob-Carole-Alice-... until only one surviver is left standing. The rule is very simple: ...
12
votes
1answer
827 views

Lawbreaking by the numbers

Special Agent Benford has been stymied by a third unsolved case of miscreant creative accounting and will voluntarily retire from the Fraudulent Numbers Task Force. Benford’s ability to detect ...
10
votes
5answers
942 views

Two player Monty Hall variation

Alice and Bob are going on a game show as partners. In this game, there are three doors, which contain a car, the car keys, and a goat, which are arranged randomly and secretly behind the doors. Alice ...
6
votes
4answers
1k views

A bet with your friend

James, your friend, has invited you to bet with him. He has a fair die, with $3$ faces showing $0$ and $3$ faces showing $1$. You pay him $\\\$70$. He throws the die $15$ times, and records the sum of ...
-5
votes
1answer
146 views

You went to the casino again [closed]

You went to the casino again and saw a cardboard, with the following written on it: There are $\color{brown}{\text{dirt}}$ coins. Every time, you pay \$$10$. Then the coins will be thrown, and you ...
1
vote
3answers
164 views

Random sum adds to 1000 [closed]

A random whole number is generated between 1 and 1000 inclusive, and added to a sum. A new randomly generated whole number is generated and added to the sum until the total sum is greater than or ...
6
votes
5answers
1k views

Probability of three identical digits on a four-digit digital clock?

On a digital clock showing 00:00 to 23:59, what is the probability of having exactly three identical digits?
5
votes
4answers
342 views

A probably sunny Sunday

Besides this problem I also use the following one to rise the interest of my students on the Probabilities Theory. It's a funny puzzle were the use of simple arithmetic rules doesn't work. We have to ...
7
votes
2answers
229 views

Searching for the Covid vaccine

You have 1000 possible Covid vaccine candidates. You need to test them and find out if one works as quickly as possible. The test is to apply a small drop of a vaccine candidate to a sample, and ...
8
votes
1answer
114 views

Black-hat/white-hat logicians with a bell and a meal

At the 2020 yearly black- and white- hatted logician gathering, the following fun activity is organized. $N$ logicians will sit around a table, each wearing a black or a white hat the color of which ...
10
votes
1answer
488 views

Mathematics in adolescence

When I start to teach probabilities, I challenge my students with the following: Thelma is 16 years old and can only go out at night if one of her parents gives her permission. She knows her father ...
1
vote
0answers
61 views

Choose the single correct answer [duplicate]

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance that you will be correct? A. 25% B. 0% C. 50% D. 25%
3
votes
2answers
140 views

Broken stick riddle

There is a famous mathematical riddle called The Broken Stick Problem. Here’s the extension: If a straight stick is accidentally broken into three pieces, the probability of being able to form a ...
8
votes
4answers
544 views

Circle inside circle

Here's a fun little math problem I made(by fun I mean no complicated methods needed at all.) You have a large circle with radius N with a cross in it to seperate the 4 quadrants(so that the figure ...
6
votes
2answers
797 views

Exam statistics

250 teenagers gather for an exam. Peeking at the roll, a math-inclined among them note that if they are split into 10 groups of 25 per alphabetical order, then in each group, there are two with the ...
10
votes
3answers
279 views

Find a good strategy to survive the multiplayer duel

Alice is involved in a duel with $N$ other opponents. She can choose a gun for herself with any hit probability as she wishes. She also prepares guns for her opponents, whose hit probabilities she can ...
10
votes
3answers
3k views

Lottery strategy

In a city, the official lottery consists of scratch cards that cost 10 bucks each. Each scratch card contains 36 squares with a hidden number on each square : 21 of them are “zeroes”, 9 of them are “...
8
votes
2answers
848 views

Wait, it is worth it?

You went to a Casino, and saw a quite interesting stall. The cardboard besides the stall says: You first pay \$$5$ You have to toss the fair coin. If it lands heads, you can ...
15
votes
4answers
1k views

Random walking on a board

There’s a pawn starting in the center of this game board. At each move, it can advance randomly towards any of the adjacent squares sharing a common side with equal chance. What’s the probability of ...
0
votes
0answers
54 views

A Dices Probability Riddle [duplicate]

Bob (A), Steven (B) and Joe (C) were playing with dices, each one of them made his own dice and wrote a number between 1-6 on each side of his dice. After playing for a while they've noticed that : (...
1
vote
0answers
99 views

full unmatch probability [closed]

You have 5 distinct color envelops and 5 distinct color letters. You randomly put one letter in each envelop. What is the probability of no pair matching in color? I can find the answer with brute ...
8
votes
1answer
314 views

Frog in the Well [duplicate]

A frog is trapped in a well, just 1 meter below the lip. On sunny days, the well is dry, and the frog is able to climb up 1 meter. On rainy days, the well is wet and the frog slides down 1 meter. If ...
5
votes
1answer
155 views

Not a coincidence

Your company has successfully made 140 sales since they started promoting the new product. The other owner, who is very superstitious, notices that today is the 140th day of the year, and believes ...
5
votes
2answers
250 views

Achieve the best outcome by a tactical statement

This puzzle is taken from Schelling's Game Theory: How to Make Decisions by R.V. Dodge, in which bargaining power is gained, paradoxically, by burning bridges and removing options for oneself. Here it ...
2
votes
0answers
110 views

Probabilities for “What number is that? — asks grandpa”

Inspired from Multilanguage generalization of "What number is that? Asks Grandpa" and What number is that ? Asks Grandpa In this puzzle we will use the English alphabet of 26 letters. We ...
2
votes
1answer
97 views

Ideal number of Fruit Baskets

I'm not sure if this is more of a Math or a Puzzling question, but I'll give it a shot here due to it's game related aspects and rules. I've been playing some Runescape lately and while training the "...
7
votes
1answer
202 views

The sadistic chieftain and the lethal truel game

In an adventure to a remote island, you get caught by the xenophobic locals and are about to be executed. But the tribe chieftain, known for his sadistic taste, suddenly changes his mind. "I'll ...
8
votes
5answers
514 views

Which gun is Alice's best choice?

Alice, Bob and Charles are involved in a deadly three way duel game. Before the game starts, the referee prepares three guns for the players to choose from. She randomly picks three guns from a very ...
9
votes
5answers
337 views

Find the optimal strategy for this dice game

You are playing a game: You have $6$ standard 6-sided dice that are all rolled at the start of the game. The sum of dice values is your score. Each turn, you can take any (or none) dice and reroll ...
6
votes
1answer
145 views

Darwin Fooling Dalton

Dalton wants to measure the effectiveness of a treatment for a particular type of plant and, being a good scientist, decides to have a control group that does not have the treatment. He is able to ...
1
vote
2answers
153 views

Cheapest strategy on average to find specific items in a set

The problem You have a set on N (around 15-30) seemingly-identical objects, which in fact comprises a small number D (unknown, between 1-3) of defective objects and the rest (N-D) are good. There is a ...
13
votes
3answers
1k views

Football Rivals

Team A and Team B are perennial football rivals. Every year they meet for a series of games. The first team to win four games gets to take home the Golden Teapot and keep it for a year. The teams are ...
3
votes
1answer
93 views

Does it exist a quick way to find the numbers unseen of two tokens after then have been tossed? [closed]

I'm confused about this riddle. I've tried to guess which numbers could be on bottom, but in the end I couldn't got an answer. Can someone help me please? The riddle is as follows: Over a table ...
7
votes
1answer
169 views

Guessing the coin flips [duplicate]

Two prisoners, Alice and Bob, are captured by a dragon and placed in separate, isolated cells. The dragon then flips an infinite number of fair coins, and tells the outcomes of odd throws to Alice and ...
6
votes
2answers
256 views

A very tiny probability puzzle [closed]

Imagine there are six football teams (A,B,C,D,E,F). They play each other in a league once only (on neutral ground). To determine the score, two $d4-1$, i.e. the outcome is $\{0,1,2,3\}$ are rolled, ...
2
votes
1answer
151 views

Four unfair dice

On a table there are four standard six-sided dice with faces numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 each. Alice starts and chooses a die. Then Bob chooses a die and both throw the dice. The winner is the person ...
1
vote
1answer
125 views

Banknotes recalling [closed]

Last year the inhabitants of Elfland (which are -of course- Elfs) had a referendum and decided to stop using barter and to adopt their own currency (the Elfcoin). On January 1st, 2020 the central ...
4
votes
2answers
458 views

Gambling snap game

You have two shuffled decks of cards (52 cards each). You put them next to each other and deal two at a time, one from each deck. What is the probability that there will be at least one match? ...
3
votes
1answer
178 views

Two dice with same probability for each sum mk2

Inspired by Two dice with the same probability for each sum? To cheat in a game of sums, you get yourself a pair of magic dice. That pair behaves in a wonderful way where each individual die is fair (...
5
votes
6answers
1k views

Two dice with the same probability for each sum? [duplicate]

A friend invites you to play a game. The game is using two standard six-sided dice with faces numbered 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6 each. As usual, the dice are considered distinguishable, i.e. throwing a 1 with ...
8
votes
1answer
261 views

Maximizing Product of Selected Cards

Jennifer is playing a game. The Ace through King of spades are taken from a standard playing deck and laid out facedown on the table. At any time, Jennifer can select two cards and reveal them, and ...
9
votes
3answers
428 views

A box full of unfair coins

Lolek and Bolek are arguing on whose turn is to take out the trash. They have a box with $n$ coins. when the coin $i$ is thrown, the probability that it lands on heads is $p_i$. They decided to make ...
1
vote
3answers
204 views

Blood Type Puzzle 2: Am I Pure Blood?

This puzzle is similar to the first puzzle but with a few twists: In this question: both my mom and I are blood type B. But this time I don't know my dad's blood type. My mom said her parents ...
3
votes
3answers
286 views

Blood Type Puzzle 1: Am I Pure Blood?

If my parents (biological) and I all have blood type B, how likely am I a pure blood? (expressed as a percentage) Follow up question: If my dad is blood type AB instead of blood type B, and ...
6
votes
1answer
322 views

Russian Roulette (Redux!)

You are challenged to a game of Russian roulette with a six-chamber revolver, but you and your opponent are allowed to change the outcome of the game in different ways. Here's how the game will ...
1
vote
2answers
268 views

Find the least number of objects from a jar when those have two colors

I've been going in circles with this question which belongs to certainty about something. The original source of this problem is unknown. I found it in a textbook who doesn't have an author but rather ...
-3
votes
2answers
153 views

Chef wants to play [closed]

You are very hungry and decide to visit a restaurant with a couple of friends. You want to order three dishes for the three of you. But, the chef serves you only if the total cost of the dishes ...
1
vote
1answer
101 views

Variation of Monty Hall problem for gambling on who is the champion soccer team

So let's say, if you can guess who the champion team is for soccer, such as in World Cup, then you win a car. Otherwise, you win a goat. There are 4 teams left. Country A, B, C, and D. And country A ...

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