Use Probability To Win Coin Flipping Games

If you're going to wager a bet on a set of coin tosses (or at least over who drives to get the Chinese takeout) you can stack the odds in your favour with some mathematical magic.

At the analytical search engine Wolfram Alpha they've turned their attention to the serious business of coin toss games. They analysed the outcomes of Penney's Game—a coin toss game where players pick a pattern of outcomes as the winning sequence—like heads-tails-heads. By studying the mathematics and probability charts behind the game you can pick a sequence that outranks your opponent, practically guaranteeing you consistent wins.

Check out the full article at the link below for probability charts and a fascinating look into the mathematics of solving coin toss probability problems.

How to Win at Coin Flipping [Wolfram Alpha]


Comments

    Tosh.
    Flip a coin you have a 50/50 chance its going to be heads and a 50/50 chance tails, this probability doesn't change. If you toss a run of 9 heads the probability of it being another head is still the same 50/50. Its all just random chance.

      But like you said yourself, that's just the probability of each individual toss. Not the probability of the entire sequence of tosses.

    Who uses "Penney's Game" to determine who gets the Chinese Takeaway?? Who has actually heard of this game until now.

    Anyway, Coin Tosses are only used to determine the start of sporting events these days. For everything else its paper, scissors, rock... in which tactics really come into play.

    If the coin is fair, then the chance of it being head or tails is 1/2. This will be the same everytime you toss the coin. The point about tossing a coin is the probable outcomes are equal.

    Don't forget http://lifehacker.com/5694205/win-a-coin-toss-by-volunteering-to-flip-the-coin which states that if you practice flipping the coin yourself long enough you can even beat statistics!

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