# Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness.

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### Expected number of squares in a 20x10 grid with 1% chance of removing each edge

Suppose I make a 20x10 grid out of match sticks, using 21 columns of 10 match sticks and 11 rows of 20 match sticks: ...
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 ...
614 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 ...
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....
542 views

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### Help! I lost my marble(s)!

Tomorrow is the annual meetup for the Northwest Region Marble Lovers Association. The days festivities will include various marble games, admiring collections of marbles, a guest speaker who will talk ...
590 views

### Five Haberdashers

This is yet another hat puzzle, but not one of the usual ones! Key differences/commonalities between other hat puzzles are emphasized. Five friends are going to go on a game show. When the game ...
313 views

### Expected value of a milion dollar (equal?) division

I've heard this riddle a while ago and it is quite interesting. Say I've got two sons and one million dollars to spare. Each boy gets one dollar as a start and from there I give them dollar by dollar ...
6k views

### Card probability problem [duplicate]

You have three cards in a hat. One is white on both sides, one is red on both sides, the third is white on one side and red on the other. You pull a card out of the hat and lay it down. The face is ...
1k views

### Surviving Captain Nefarious

Captain Nefarious has captured you and two of your friends, Alice and Bob. Being a villain, he has a natural desire to monologue, so he sits you down (guarded, of course by his Largely Incompetent ...
244 views

### Coin with two heads [closed]

I was at a job interview and got a question. You have a bag with 100 coins. One of these coins has two heads, other coins are regular. You get one coin from this bag, put it on a table and see head. ...
1k views

### No two heads in a row

Suppose I toss a fair coin a 100 times. What is the probability of not getting two heads in a row?
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### Clash of arrows

During the last country fair, you have seen a weird arrow-shooter machine. Its shape is a regular polygon with $N$ sides of length $1$ and it fires one bolt from each vertex at the same time. The ...
2k views

### Find Coin's unfairness with only 4 tosses

There is a unfair coin and you want to find out its actual probability, to find the exact probability is actually not an easy task, you need to toss it many many times to get the close to actual ...
513 views

### Building the ideal Scrabble dice set

This is a genuine question and I don't know the "correct" answer to this. I'm also of two minds if it is really on-topic on the site. Finding the answer is surely "a puzzle" (if possible), but it ...
2k 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, ...
728 views

### What are the chances you lost a nickel?

Yesterday you had 50 coins totaling exactly one US dollar in value. Somehow you lost one of those fifty coins on the way to the vending machine. Assume the likelihood of losing each coin (regardless ...
648 views

### Will You (Yes, You) Decide The Election? [closed]

You are the only sane voter in a state with two candidates running for Senate. There are N other people in the state, and each of them votes completely randomly! Those voters all act independently and ...
331 views

### Where the water is hotter

There are two perfectly identical boilers containing the same amount of water, switched on and working in identical environments. Both are setup so that the heating starts when the temperature of ...
753 views

### Born to lie, to live, to die

There is a race which has a truth gene. It consists of 3 alleles, namely T, F and O. A person inherits one allele from each of his parents, hence he/she has always exactly two alleles. For example, if ...
159 views

### The Attack on Fort Alpha

I made this puzzle up in 1999 when I was a student. Fort Alpha, on your border territories, was attacked by The Enemy. You don't know if it fell, or repulsed The Enemy's vicious onslaught. A totally ...
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### Two Dragons and a Princess

The Quest You are a knight tasked with rescuing the King's daughter. The princess is being held captive by a band of evil dragon pirate monks. You've been debriefed with prior intelligence gathered ...
2k views

### A chess board and a coin! [closed]

You have a standard chessboard, consisting of $64$ squares ($32$ white and $32$ black) each of dimensions $4\times4$ cm, and you have a standard coin of $2$ cm diameter with tail and head. You flip ...
2k views

### Ten targets you need to hit

You are a good sniper and there are 10 targets you need to hit. The chance of hitting any target is the same. Strangely, with your accuracy the chance of getting 8 hits is equal to getting 7 hits in ...
415 views

### Twin Probabilities Problem

1 in 8 sets of twins are sets of identical twins. While talking to Jessica, you learn that she has a twin named Emily. What's the probability that Emily and Jessica are identical twins? The answer ...
763 views

### Drawing balls from a pocket

I have a pocket of N=4 balls of different colors, say green, red, blue and yellow. You can draw as many times as you want After each draw, the ball will be put back to the pocket so that the chance ...
714 views

### A book with only two letters

Dr. G somehow detests reading novels but he decided to read a one then he naturally got bored and decided to delete all letters except A and B letters in the book. So with this new book which ...
380 views

### Drawing uniformly using a single biased coin

Your task is to draw uniformly from a set of size $N$. You are given a single coin which you can ‘bend’ to control the probability $p\in[0,1]$ of throwing a Head, but you are only allowed a bounded ...
2k views

### How to maximize your wages?

You're trying to work out how to maximize the wages you receive in the month of February (in a non-leap year). You must work at least 5 days a week and at least 5 hours a day, but you can also work on ...
362 views

### Guessing game with infinity coin flips

Evan and Ollie are going to play a game as a team. The two friends placed in separate rooms, and then a coin is flipped infinitely many times*. Evan is told the results of the even numbered flips, ...
305 views

### More coin flipping

After their last game, Alice and Bob decide to have a bit more fun with their fair coin. Bob proposes the following game: considering a flip can come out as heads or tails, they will both predict one ...
945 views

### cheating on the Russian roulette

This question is inspired by this one. You and your opponent play Russian roulette with two bullets. Quoting from the linked question: You are challenged to a game of Russian roulette. Your ...
471 views

### Monty's Labyrinth

(A fun combination of two classic puzzles, hope seasoned puzzlers enjoy.) Having escaped through almost all of a labyrinth, you are met by three magical doors. Two of them lead to certain and ...