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Quit While You're Ahead (Posted on 2003-11-10) Difficulty: 2 of 5
Two men are playing Russian roulette using a pistol with six chambers.
A single bullet is used and the chamber is spun after every turn.

What is the probability that the first man will lose?

See The Solution Submitted by DJ    
Rating: 3.5556 (9 votes)

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Some Thoughts re: A footnote to this problem | Comment 9 of 23 |
(In reply to A footnote to this problem by Dan)

If the chamber's not spun after every turn "you'd have to have a hole in your head to play it this way"?!!?!!

Are you trying to tell my that it's perfectly fine to play, as long as the chamber is spun after each turn?

I don't like the idea of people shooting themselves, so here's my version of the problem:

Two men are trying to find a gold coin in a container that contains the gold coin and five other coins of the same weight, shape and size (i.e. indistinguishable by touch)
They take turns reaching into the container without looking and drawing out a random coin. If they draw a coin that isn't gold they return it to the box and the turn passes to the other player.

What is the probability that the first man will get the gold coin?

There we go, no dead people!

=P

  Posted by Popstar Dave on 2003-11-10 18:50:30
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