Questions tagged [probability]

A mathematical puzzle whose essential nature involves randomness.

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3
votes
2answers
111 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
491 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 ...
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 ...
12
votes
6answers
2k views

Two men for one gold coin

Two men find an old gold coin and want to have a coin toss with it to decide who gets it. The only problem is the coin is heavier on one side so it comes up heads more than tails. What is a fair way ...
6
votes
2answers
767 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
243 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
2k 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
826 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
147 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 ...
0
votes
0answers
52 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
97 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
299 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
149 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
243 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
104 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
91 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
183 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
4answers
438 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
302 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
656 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 < ... &...
6
votes
1answer
144 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 ...
13
votes
3answers
988 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
88 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
161 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
250 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, ...
16
votes
3answers
1k 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 ...
2
votes
1answer
135 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
123 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
455 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
172 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 ...
9
votes
3answers
415 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 ...
8
votes
1answer
256 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 ...
1
vote
3answers
203 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
270 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
258 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 ...
6
votes
1answer
312 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 ...
5
votes
5answers
455 views

Russian roulette

You are challenged to a game of Russian roulette. Your opponent places two bullets side by side in a six chamber revolver and spins the chamber. She explains that the game is single turn-based and ...
7
votes
5answers
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, ...
43
votes
11answers
9k 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
152 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
100 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
167 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
271 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
158 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 ...
1
vote
2answers
245 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
224 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
82 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
320 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
225 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 ...

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