# Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness. Use with [mathematics]

84 questions
Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
4k views

### The Monty Hall problem

I'm amazed that, although well known, this problem hasn't been posted yet. Monty Hall You are on a game show. The host of the show shows you three doors. He tells you that behind one of them, is a ...
• 719
8k views

### Help understanding the solution to a "shooting puzzle"

I need help understanding the solution to the following puzzle: Puzzle: There is a "triangular" duel between the three shooters. Everyone shoots one by one, can shoot once and any person he wants. ...
• 199
2k views

### A modified version of apples and oranges logic

Question: You have 3 baskets, one with apples, one with oranges and one with both apples and oranges mixed. Each basket is closed and is labeled with ‘Apples’, ‘Oranges’ and ‘Apples and Oranges’. ...
• 153
113k views

### If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct? [duplicate]

If you choose an answer to this question at random, what is the chance you will be correct? A) 25% B) 50% C) 60% D) 25% (source: twimg.com)
• 293
6k views

### Do better than chance

You and an opponent are playing the following game: Your opponent picks two different real numbers, however he wants to, and writes them on two cards, which he presents to you face down You choose ...
• 2,429
4k views

### How can the "Boy or Girl" paradox be worded unambiguously?

The first time I encountered the Boy or Girl paradox I was struck by how ambiguous all of the formulations in English are. As Wikipedia notes: Gardner argued that a "failure to specify the ...
• 549
1k views

### Crazy Dice - Unusual Dice with Usual Sum

Can you design two six-sided dice (different from the standard ones), where each face has a nonzero number of dots, so that the probability distribution of their total is the same as for two standard ...
• 32.5k
1k views

### How to survive, with statistics

You are kidnapped and your offender plays a game with you. In front of you are 2 boxes, containing a total of 50 white balls and 50 black balls. The kidnapper will pull out a ball from one of the two ...
• 305
2k views

### Simulating a biased coin with an unbiased one

You are given an unbiased fair coin, ie., a coin that produces heads with probability 0.5. Can you use this coin to simulate a biased coin that produces heads with some given probability $p$ ? This is ...
• 36.2k
1k views

### Social Engineering (The Birthrate Problem)

The distant country of Toomalia has a birthrate of 67 boys for every 33 girls. In an effort to restore a 50:50 gender ratio in the country, Toomalian policymakers institute a mandatory new social ...
• 10.1k
21k views

### Does the drunk man fall off the cliff? (a random walk problem)

A drunk man stands with a cliff one step to his left. He takes steps randomly left and right. Each step has probability $p$ of going left and probability $q=1-p$ of going right. Each step is the same ...
• 683
11k views

### How many tries to roll a 6?

Suppose you roll a (fair, 6-sided, perfectly ordinary) die repeatedly until you roll a 6. As is well known, the expected (i.e., long-term average over many trials) number of rolls required is 6. Now ...
4k views

6k views

### The Mexican Standoff

There are three cowboys in a Mexican standoff against each other, named Juan, José, and Jorge. Juan is the straightest shooter in the West, and can hit his target 100% of the time. José, who has a ...
861 views

### What is the probability that all the bullets will be destroyed?

A gun shots bullets with different speed each second. The bullets form a straight line. The bullets keep their speed (not getting slower or faster). But if 2 of the bullets collide, 2 of them are ...
• 17.9k
2k views

### A first choice die

You and your friend have met to play a game of dice. This is a very simple game where both players roll a die at the same time, and the player with the lower score pays a coin to the other player. In ...
• 13.5k
1k views

### Odds of duplicate birthdays

I found the following problem in an number of places online: John once bet a fellow gambler that two of the first thirty persons they met and spoke to would prove to have the same birthday. Strong in ...
• 3,620
7k views

### Multiple Choice Puzzle

What are the chances of getting this correct if you pick at random? 1/4 1/2 1/3 1/4 You are not allowed to add more answers to this list Note; This DOES have a correct, demonstrable answer!
• 14.5k
14k views

### Coin Flipping Game with the Devil

You die, and awake in Hell. Satan awaits you, and has prepared a curious game. He has arranged $n$ quarters in a line, going in the east/west direction. He placed the coins at the ends tails up, and ...
• 32.5k
7k views

### Left coin, right coin, last coin?

In this game, all players start sitting at a round table, each with a coin in their hand. At every turn, all players toss their coins together and put them on the table in front of them. Then each ...
• 13.5k
4k views

### Relabeling two 20-sided dice without changing their total

Usually, 20-sided dice are labeled with the numbers 1 to 20. When you roll two of these, their sum is a random number between 2 and 40. The total 21 is most likely to occur, while 2 and 40 are the ...
• 32.5k
3k views

### Crippled King Crossing a Canyon

A chess king has been injured in battle against an evil wizard, and can no longer move northeast or southwest. This king is on the North rim of a canyon, and must flee to safety on the South rim. ...
• 32.5k
3k views

### A Strangely Familiar Probability Problem

You're taking the final exam for your Introduction to Probability and Statistics course, and once again you've failed to study (you were up all night solving online brainteasers). The exam is ...
• 10.1k
9k views

### Ant walking on a number line

An ant walks on a number line, starting at location $x=7$. Each second, it randomly moves one space either left ($-1$) or right ($+1$), with equal chance. At $x=0$ and $x=10$ are drops of honey; the ...
• 27.4k
3k views

### A Bridge Problem

You are on the North Shore of a river, and you want to get to the South Shore. In the river are 6 islands and 13 bridges connecting the islands and shores. However, a storm gives a 50% chance to each ...
• 405
2k views

### Triangle in a circle

Suppose three points are chosen at random in a circle. A triangle is made with these three points as vertices. What's the probability that the triangle contains the origin of the circle? (Although I ...
• 351
3k views

### Cooperative guessing game: no incorrect guesses

There are 15 players who will play a cooperative game. They begin by closing their eyes. A referee will place either a black hat or a white hat (chosen by fair coin flip) on each player's head. The ...
• 14.3k
3k views

### Loaded Dice with Uniform Sum

A loaded die looks like a regular six-sided die, but instead of each number 1-6 being equally likely, some numbers may be more or less likely than others. Is it possible to have two loaded dice so ...
• 32.5k
6k views

• 45.7k
4k views

### Simulating an unbiased coin with a biased one

You are given a biased coin. With probability $p$ it produces heads, where $p$ is in the range $(0,1)$. How can you use this coin to simulate an unbiased fair coin, ie., a coin that produces heads ...
• 36.2k
4k views

### The "Loop of rope" dilemma

It's a "dilemma" that I encountered in real life problems. I believe that it's not new and is quite easy to explain, but may look puzzling at first glance. Alice and Bob are playing with a ...
• 7,407
2k views

### Gambling in a rigged casino

A well-known crooked casino is offering the following bet with a pair of (identically looking and indistinguishable) dice that both show the numbers $1,2,3,4,5,6$ on their faces. The first die ...
• 45.7k
3k views

### Fair results with unfair die

You are given a 6-sided die.The die is biased, so it is more likely to produce some results than others, but you don't know the exact odds. It is however given that the odds are the same for each roll,...
• 2,089
2k views

### One Hundred Lockboxes of Wood and Steel

A bit beyond perceptions reach, I sometimes believe I see that life is two locked boxes, each containing the other’s key. ― Piet Hein You have one hundred lockboxes, fifty made of steel, ...
• 32.5k
7k views

### Flip a Fair Coin

I found this question and became curious, can anyone tell me the answer and prove it, i know it seems fairly simple but just thought an explanation of this would make an interesting case. Flip a fair ...
• 5,002
1k views

### Shooting Free Throws

Shaq is shooting free throws. He makes his first shot, then misses his second. Confidence is a huge factor in how well Shaq plays. This means that for each subsequent shot, the probability he makes ...
• 32.5k
6k views

### What is the expected value of this coin flipping game?

A casino offers the following game: You flip a fair coin repeatedly and record the results on slips of paper, one result per slip. At any time you may decide to stop, at which time one of the slips ...
• 14.3k
6k views

### How to get a uniform 1 out of 7 chance, using only a coin and a 6-sided die [closed]

There are seven days in a week. Let's say you want to pick one at random, such that each day has an equal chance of being picked as each other day. In other words, the goal is to obtain a uniform ...
• 297
2k views

### Contagious ants on a stick

Twenty-five ants are scattered on a meter stick. At the same time, they each pick a random direction (east or west) and start marching at 1cm/second. Whenever two ants meet, they turn around. When an ...
• 32.5k
4k views

### Monty Hall all over again?

Often, when people ask the Monty Hall problem, they omit some important details, such that the problem becomes ambiguous, or they add more details, such that the problem changes drastically. For ...
• 414
Wendy Testaburger and Sally Turner play a game with two unfair coins. A coin flip with Wendy's coin shows head with probability $\frac {1} {100}$. A coin flip with Sally's coin shows head with ...