You and a friend play a game in which there are an odd number of rocks. You can take 1, 2 or 3 rocks on your turn (alternating turns with your opponent); when all rocks have been taken, the person who has taken an odd number of rocks is the winner.

If you are the first to go, what strategy should you use in order to have the best chance of winning?

(In reply to

re: strategy by SilverKnight)

Charlie's strategy works for any number of rocks fitting the formula 8*m+k k=1,3 and 7.

If k=5 the person moving 1st loses provided the oppoonent follows Ch's strategy.

If the initial odd number is randomely chosen, better be the guy who moves first.

ady

(Previous post corrected- k=4 was erroneously considered...). Initial quantity is ODD..

ady

*Edited on ***April 21, 2004, 12:14 am**