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Toss Up Puzzle PDF Print E-mail
Written by The Web Puzzler   

Our project mission for the Web Math Projects Organization is to reinforce the fundamentals of mathematics through the use of interactive web technologies and Internet communications.  See our Mission Statement.

Here is the problem:

When choosing 2 teams from a group of 4 players we start with each player flipping a coin. The first flip could be all tails (a goocher) or all heads (a moon), this occurs 12.5% of the time and requires a reflip. After the first flip, if there is a 3-of-a-kind (odds 50%), then those three continue to flip till two are paired up (odds 75%). During this convoluted choosing process there are two possibilities of entering into an infinite unending succession of flips. This process requires at least 4 coin flips, the odds of resolution with the first attempt is only 37.5%.


1) Is there a simpler process to make the choice?

  1. The odds of each team combination being equal

  2. No possible infinite successions

  3. The minimum amount of flips


2) There is a way to decide the teams fairly with one toss, what is it? (There is a hint within the question.)

Last Updated on Sunday, 26 March 2017 18:12