Tricky Dice Revisited | Science News

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Math Trek

Tricky Dice Revisited

11:25am, April 9, 2002

The game involves a set of four cubic dice, each one numbered differently. You let your opponent pick any one of the four dice. You choose one of the remaining three. Each player tosses his or her die, and the higher number wins. Amazingly, in a game involving 10 or more turns, you will nearly always have more wins.

After the first session, you can invite your opponent to pick a different die, perhaps even the one that worked so well for you. You select one of the remaining dice. Again, in a game of at least 10 throws, you're very likely to come out the winner.

Indeed, it doesn't matter which die your opponent picks. You can always choose another die that will practically guarantee your triumph in a game of 10 or more turns.

For this particular set of dice (right), the die with four 4s beats the die with six 3s, which in turn beat

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