Probability puzzles require you to weigh all the possibilities and pick the most likely outcome.
You are in a game of Russian Roulette with a revolver that has 3 bullets placed in three consecutive chambers. The cylinder of the gun will be spun once at the beginning of the game. Then, the gun will be passed between two players until it fires. Would you prefer to go first or second?
Label the chambers 1 through 6. Chambers 1 through 3 have bullets and chambers 4 through 6 are empty. After you spin the cylinder there are six possible outcomes:
1. Chamber 1 is fired first: Player 1 loses
2. Chamber 2 is fired first: Player 1 loses
3. Chamber 3 is fired first: Player 1 loses
4. Chamber 4 is fired first: Player 2 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 4 empty. Second shot player 2, chamber 5, empty. Third shot player 1, chamber 6 empty. Fourth shot player 2, chamber 1 not empty.)
5. Chamber 5 is fired first: Player 1 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 5 empty. Second shot player 2, chamber 6, empty. Third shot player 1, chamber 1 not empty.)
6. Chamber 6 is fired first: Player 2 loses (First shot, player 1, chamber 6 empty. Second shot, player 2, chamber 1, not empty)
Therefore player 2 has an 4/6 or 2/3 chance of winning.
May 19, 2004
|By winning you mean "not dying" so I presume you prefer to go second unless you have a large insurance policy and lots of creditors.|
May 20, 2004
|I would not play this kind of game ! But since we are just talking about your teaser, it is a great one. Not hard (just imagine the possibilities as a drawing or a table) yet it is a good one. |
May 23, 2004
|I wish you had told me in the teaser itself how many chambers a revolver has....I liked it though!|
May 27, 2004
|Why not just shoot the other guy and you win? |
Dec 16, 2004
|Hey robertbbr! I wished the same thing, but then thought about it a bit more and realised I didn't really need to know unless you want to work out the exact probability. The thing to remember is that with only one bullet, it would be evens. Then notice that after the first shot has been fired, and no bullet comes out, the only bullet you need to worry about is the first one, so it becomes similar to the one bullet problem. Hence it's just the first person to have a go that suffers a disadvantage as a result of the increased number of bullets.|
Mar 02, 2006
Mar 27, 2006
|i guess right but i dunno the reason.. haha |
Apr 17, 2007
|I think your answer is too complicated. You already have a better chance of living by going second because no mater what happens, you will shoot the same amount of times or less than the other person. FUN RIDDLE|
Sep 05, 2008
|It's scary either way.|
In the first round your opponent has a 50% chance of living/dying if he takes the first shot. If your opponent takes the first shot and lives, you have a 2/3 chance of dying!
But there is only a 1/2 * 2/3 = 2/6 or 1/3 chance of that exact scenario happening.
Sep 24, 2010
Back to Top