Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
32
votes
3answers
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 ...
8
votes
4answers
974 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 ...
5
votes
4answers
3k views

Are you Really Smart

The government has introduced a standardised test to identify dumb people and make them ineligible to apply for any government jobs, a pass in the exam is mandatory for applications in future. It ...
9
votes
3answers
4k views

Is my sibling a sister [duplicate]

A male friend of yours wants to test if you are ok at Math and logical thinking, he says I am one of two children of my parents, and asks you to find out the probability that his sibling is a sister, ...
19
votes
5answers
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 ...
-3
votes
3answers
473 views

The 3 Boxes Show! [duplicate]

A variation of the Monty Hall, where the values inside the choices are changed You were just out gambling and lost 5000 dollars! Of course being the gambler that you are, you pay 2500 to play this ...
-1
votes
4answers
1k views

Do you choose the other door? [duplicate]

You are on the final round of a TV gameshow, there are 3 doors; A, B and C. Two doors lead to a goat and the other door leads to a sports car. In each episode the presenter asks the contestant to ...
2
votes
2answers
850 views

100 sequential parking spaces

I just came up across this question in the mathematics stack exchange site and found it quite interesting: 100 autonomous robotic vehicles enter a warehouse in random order to park. Inside the ...
34
votes
3answers
5k 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 ...
10
votes
2answers
2k views

Two Card Probability Problem

I came across this puzzle somewhere on the interwebs. Has stumped me for an answer for quite sometime. Helpplease? Someone picks, at their will, two cards from a deck of cards. The cards have ...
3
votes
2answers
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’. ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

Entangled physicists

The anti-intellectuals have won the war, and under the iron rule of emperor Nonotin anyone who has been deemed too smart for their own good has been brought to labour camps. But most of the science ...
22
votes
4answers
3k 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 ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Three 50/50 guesses

Three friends enter a quiz-show as a team, the final round of the show is all or nothing, they only get their prize if they can win this round. Three boxes labelled 1, 2 and 3 are placed in a room, ...
9
votes
2answers
537 views

Generalizing the “shooting puzzle”

Inspired by this puzzle. You have $n$ shooters having a duel, labeled $1, 2, ... n$. Each shooter has an accuracy of $k_n$, with each $k_n$ some probability in $(0,1]$, with $k_1 < k_2 < ... &...
5
votes
7answers
6k 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. ...
17
votes
3answers
2k 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,...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

Probability of three segments forming a triangle

Consider a line segment of length L. This segment is cut in three segments at arbitrary points. What is the probability that these three segments could be rearranged as sides of a triangle?
12
votes
2answers
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 ...
6
votes
1answer
604 views

What is the expected length of the longest piece?

If a rod of unit length is broken into $n$ pieces, what is the expected length of the longest piece? The positions at which the rod is broken are chosen randomly uniformly. This is a generalization ...
4
votes
1answer
948 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 ...
9
votes
2answers
204 views

What are the odds that there is no solution on a given Set board?

I was playing a game of Set with a group. We had the usual twelve cards out and all agreed that there was no set. We then increased the number of cards to fifteen and were still unable to find a set....
21
votes
3answers
3k views

Winning an unfair game

I came across the following interesting problem today: A game consists of a sequence of plays; on each play either you or your opponent scores a point, you with probability $p < \frac{1}{2}$, he ...
14
votes
10answers
3k 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
2k views

Sliding Bolt Puzzle - fastest solution (time-wise)

This is a follow-up question for the Sliding Bolt Puzzle. If you have not solved it yet, you might want to head there first, as the extended discussion of its solution in this question will contain ...