The Stack Overflow podcast is back! Listen to an interview with our new CEO.

Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
43
votes
11answers
8k views

3 doors, three guards, one stone

You are in a room with three doors. Behind two of them, the darkest pit of hell waits for you to make a mistake. The other door leads to heaven and freedom. Each door is guarded by a guard: Michael, ...
-3
votes
2answers
147 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
79 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 ...
7
votes
3answers
139 views

Playing Chess Game of Chance

I still enjoy playing chess at the age of ninety four.Those contemporary opponents I used to play with have all passed away without me even getting even scores with any of them. On my spare time I ...
0
votes
2answers
174 views

Witches' Coffee [closed]

Two witches make a nightly visit to an all-night coffee shop. Each arrives at a random time between 0:00 and 1:00. Each one of them stays for exactly 30 minutes. On any one given night, what is the ...
2
votes
1answer
144 views

Sleeping Beauty Study at the Institute of Mad Science [closed]

You've been approached to assist in the furtherance of SCIENCE as a research subject at the Institute of Mad Science (local branch)! The experiment you'll be involved with is called the Sleeping ...
16
votes
1answer
891 views

Box of tablets, whole or broken: solution required

This is a puzzle that I thought up whilst taking a course of meds. I currently haven’t solved it, and would be curious to know if anyone has a solution for it. Here goes: Scenario: John has a box of ...
1
vote
2answers
232 views

Minesweeper challenge #4

While solving another Minesweeper puzzle, I ran into yet another unsolvable corner. Well, actually, this time I have two unsolvable corners in the same puzzle. Here's the bottom left corner: ...as ...
4
votes
2answers
213 views

Minesweeper challenge #5

Coming back to another Minesweeper challenge... I've run into another "unsolvable corner" (corner of a puzzle where there isn't enough information to be 100% certain that any particular square that ...
1
vote
1answer
78 views

Chess Puzzle to calculate the minimum number of movements of pawn [closed]

Given an N×N chessboard, with two pieces, a black pawn and a white pawn randomly placed on the chessboard. What is the minimum number of steps required by the white pawn to reach the black pawn under ...
10
votes
1answer
290 views

Birthday girl's casino game

My daughter's birthday is coming up. Here's a fun party game we can play to celebrate. (Bring your wallet!) I have a pair of 6-sided dice, and a standard deck of 52 cards. You place your ...
5
votes
1answer
193 views

Answered it badly…on purpose?

Teacher: You got a 0. Miles Morales: Is that...failed? Teacher: Listen. If you answer all questions on a multiple choice test randomly, you would get a 25%. This means the only way for you to ...
5
votes
3answers
188 views

When is the truth spoken?

A thief speaks truth two days a week alternatively ( T F T ). The days are the same for each week. The thief gives these statements on 3 consecutive days : D1 : I lie on Monday and Tuesday. D2 : It'...
1
vote
3answers
216 views

Jack and Jill went up the Hill to play

A Simple Card Game. This deck of cards has only four cards simply labeled 1, 2, 3, 4. They are placed face down. Jack and Jill take turns to draw a card. You sum up the numbers drawn so far after ...
16
votes
5answers
2k views

Monty Hall variation

During a train trip I cooked up a semi-autobiographical variation of The Monty Hall problem for people who already know the original. Perhaps it is more of a meta-puzzle than a puzzle, but I hope it ...
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 ...
5
votes
2answers
823 views

How many cookies does someone need to grab to be certain to obtain a flavor?

I often found this riddle in many exams but I got often confused on how to tackle it. While it involves maths. I wonder if there is a subtle or a more layman method to obtain an answer using common ...
2
votes
3answers
2k views

Should I take the antidote? [closed]

A new disease has been discovered in the world, it is called Blue. Statistically 1:1000 people in the world has it and it makes your whole skin blue in a few weeks after getting the disease but not ...
12
votes
12answers
5k views

Coin Game with infinite paradox

Here’s the puzzle/problem: Let’s presume we are best friends. I own the house next to you. I make a gaming proposition along the following lines: You throw a coin over and over again. So long as it ...
5
votes
2answers
204 views

SafeCracker #2 - The Mission Continues

Thanks to an alert StackE user, we were able to get the first safe open. Mission Details This next safe is in a former employee's house. He is gone for now, so we have no time to spare. We weren't ...
0
votes
1answer
76 views

Place Your Bets 3 , last of the series

A harder sequence to figure out... What are the next 4 cards, including suits?
1
vote
1answer
52 views

Place Your Bets 2 - In sequence, of course

Your Cards... You have to figure out what the next row of 4 cards will be. There is a pattern in there somewhere, promise. Good Luck
17
votes
5answers
855 views

Blindfold Bingo

Congratulations, you have been selected from among the audience to compete in the fabulous Blindfold Bingo challenge! (cue annoying, yet catchy theme music.) Here you see our perfectly ordinary Bingo ...
4
votes
2answers
264 views

100 prisoners' names in boxes, against smart warden

My question, which I do not know the answer to, concerns the classic 100 prisoners and 100 boxes puzzle, summarized below. The solution to this assumes the names are placed in boxes randomly, and gets ...
41
votes
4answers
2k views

Hamlet and the theatre

Hamlet is preparing a play to find out the truth about his father's death. The theatre has $2015$ numbered seats and can contain all the members of King Claudius's court. He gives to each member a ...
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 ...
8
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
1
vote
4answers
2k views

Birthdays on Consecutive Days

You are allowed to select as many random1 people as you like, and place them in a room. How many do you need for the probability that at least 2 people will have a birthday2...   a. on the ...
9
votes
5answers
1k views

How long will my money last at roulette?

I'm at the casino, standing next to a roulette table with a \$10 minimum bet. I want to stay here as long as possible, so I'm going to repeatedly make the minimum bet until I run out of money. I'm ...
5
votes
5answers
3k views

This Website Needs More Cat Pictures?

I love cats! And I love browsing cat pictures! :3 I stumbled on a webpage that shows random cat pictures every time I refresh the page. (For example, this site.) It has a database of $N$ cats ...
1
vote
1answer
84 views

Meeting of 2 Drunk Walkers (Random Walk) [closed]

There are 2 drunk guys who walks according to a Random Walk. Each of them, with equal probability of $ 0.5 $ turns either right or left. They both start at the origin and their turns are synchronized ...
5
votes
6answers
386 views

A Gambling Problem You Would Love To Have

Let's play a quick gambling game You are going to start by betting a penny, and then I roll a 10-sided die. It is labeled 0 through 9. Whatever you roll, that's what I multiply your bet by and give ...
5
votes
1answer
105 views

Puzzle creation problems using unbounded unknown numbers

I occasionally see puzzles that include language like this: You go to buy a specific car, whose fair price we’ll call N. You have absolutely no idea what N is Or this from the same site: Given ...
19
votes
8answers
2k views

A Short Dice Puzzle

There are $2$ fair dice: An $11$-sided die, valued from $-5$ to $5$, A $41$-sided die, valued from $-20$ to $20$. You pick one, and I'll take the other one. We roll the dice, and whoever rolls the ...
4
votes
4answers
2k views

A Short Dice Puzzle II

A standard $6$-sided die is put inside a cup. The cup is shaken and put upside-down, hiding the die. You are going to guess what is the number on the top of the die. But, instead of given $6$ ...
15
votes
3answers
2k views

The Sphinx's Dice

"I'm bored of riddles, I'm going to ask you a question about dice instead", says the Sphinx. "Now, I've got this set of Efron Dice here. There's four dice, and they have these values on their faces:" ...
4
votes
2answers
174 views

Optimal guess in a game

Suppose that A and B play a strange game. At the beginning of the game A can choose one real number - $x$ - between $0$ and $60$. Each round of the game goes like this: B names random real number $b$ ...
4
votes
0answers
222 views

Will you win the game?

You play a gambling game. On 100 folded pieces of papers are written 100 different values. You cannot see the numbers written on the folded pieces of paper, which are grouped in a pile. You pay 10 ...
10
votes
1answer
3k views

Lost first game – can I still make my mother proud?

I am one of the greatest finger wrestlers of my generation. Only 0.1% of all players are better. When I play against someone who's worse than me, I win 99% of the time. Against someone who's ...
6
votes
3answers
520 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 ...
4
votes
2answers
146 views

Probability in Fighting Tournament in which Contestants consume each other

A tournament has 2 teams of 24 people each of weight 1. Each team sends one person into the pit where they fight until one consumes the other taking on all their weight. The probability that one ...
15
votes
2answers
505 views

“Musical chair” for clock hands

A colleague and me usually make bets on the time when a simulation is finished. Next time I would suggest the following: At the time the simulation is finished we take a look at the analog clock on ...
13
votes
5answers
1k views

Olivia's cookie jars

Olivia loves cookies so much that Dad promises to buy her two cookie jars on one condition: that she only eats one cookie per day. Olivia agrees, and now two black, large cookie jars rest on the ...
10
votes
3answers
646 views

Fight Battle 21

Based off a very, very well-known puzzle The new RPG, Fight Battle 21, is now here! Now with the same three characters as the previous 20 editions! Knight: 6 HP, 60% chance to deal 3 damage Archer: ...
2
votes
2answers
92 views

Risk Appetites - betting percentages

This question is from the September/October issue of the Actuarial Review magazine. Kim and Ann start with an equal amount of money, but they value money very differently. Kim acts to maximize the ...
61
votes
15answers
9k views

2 Monkeys on a computer [closed]

(a) Two monkeys are typing capital letters (A-Z) randomly. The first stops typing when the word COCONUT appears as seven successive letters. The second stops typing when TUNOCOC appears; TUNOCOC is ...
13
votes
7answers
3k views

Fair n-sided dice

I have recently bought a fair $10$-sided dice for generating equally distributed random numbers from the range $1,2,\ldots,10$. Let me describe this dice in some more detail. Consider a regular 5-gon $...
6
votes
5answers
3k 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 ...
1
vote
1answer
136 views

Minesweeper challenge #3

I seem to have run into yet another "unsolvable corner" while playing Minesweeper. The following segment is taken from the bottom right corner of the puzzle. There are 5 mines remaining, and all ...
6
votes
5answers
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 ...