Dween
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
• Posts: 339
March 31st, 2011 at 5:11:56 AM permalink
For an event at my school, I am tossing around the idea of running a carnival game booth that I am calling "Magic 12."

For \$0.25, players may choose 2 of 12 numbers (i.e. 1/6 chance of winning).
A Flash animation program will pick a number from 1 to 12 in a creative way, with each number being weighted equally.
Winners get a small prize regardless, but also get to play a bonus game.

The bonus game consists of a box containing 5 balls:
 RED Game Over RED Game Over SILVER Win \$0.50 GOLD Win \$1.00 GREEN Win \$2.00
If a player draws a red ball, the game is over, but keep any winnings they have. If a player draws a money ball, they win the amount corresponding, AND get to draw again.
Winnings are given as Half-Dollars, Gold Presidential Dollars, and Two-Dollar Bills, just to be interesting.
Players draw balls until they win all 3 money amounts, or draw a red ball.

I have set up what I believe to be the correct probability tables, including HA, which I have below.
Does everything look correct?

WINSLose %Win %Total Prob.Avg. \$ winExpected \$ win
0 wins40%-40%\$0.00\$0.00
1 win50%60%30%\$1.16\$0.35
2 wins66.7%50%20%\$2.33\$0.46
3 wins-33.3%10%\$3.50\$0.35
Total Exp. Win\$1.16

Cost to playExpected WinTrue CostHA
-\$1.50\$1.16-\$0.3322.2%
The idea is not to make money, but to give the kids a fun game to play without draining their small bankrolls too quickly. Kids will be bringing anywhere from \$1.00 to \$5.00, maybe more. They will have a variety of games to play, arts and crafts, toys and treats, all at varying costs.

One thought I had was to cut the price to \$0.10 for 1 number out of 12, which would have this effect on the HA:
Cost to playExpected WinTrue CostHA
-\$1.20\$1.16-\$0.032.22%
Now we're getting into a game that even people in a casino might play! Pending of course, that my calculations are correct.

Thoughts, opinions, corrections or questions?
-Dween!
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
• Posts: 9540
March 31st, 2011 at 5:59:00 AM permalink
I'm trying to wrap my head around how you came up with the Lose %, Win %, and Total Prob.

But before I bust out Excel and work on it, my immediate reaction is, this is gambling and would be illegal.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition.
DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
• Posts: 9540
March 31st, 2011 at 6:10:00 AM permalink
Quote: DJTeddyBear

I'm trying to wrap my head around how you came up with the Lose %, Win %, and Total Prob.

OK. I managed to wrap my head around it - without using Excel! It's too early in the morning. I was originally thinking you were replacing the winning balls.

But it's STILL gambling.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition.
Dween
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
• Posts: 339
March 31st, 2011 at 6:25:44 AM permalink
There has been a game in the past that gave away candy and/or money depending on if the tip of a chosen golf tee was a certain color... that's what gave me the idea to propose the game like I did.

This game is identical to other games that will be at the event: Put down a dime, spin a wheel, win a stuffed animal or candy. The difference with mine is they not only win a stuffed animal or candy, but they may also win a bonus of an interesting American currency.

DJ, you make a good point. I'm looking to make a fun game for kids, so I could drop the bonus part and leave it as a pick-a-number, win-a-prize booth if need be... I will discuss this with the head of the event.

Not to threadjack myself, but is pick-a-number, win-a-prize gambling? Does adding a \$ bonus make it gambling?
-Dween!
P90
Joined: Jan 8, 2011
• Posts: 1703
March 31st, 2011 at 7:10:32 AM permalink
If you can put in real money and get more real money out of it than you put in, sounds like gambling, at least formally. IANAL though. Seems to me that the cutoff point where it can count as gambling is when you can win more (in cash) than it costs to play. Just free rounds, better prizes, etc should be fair game.
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DJTeddyBear
Joined: Nov 2, 2009
• Posts: 9540
March 31st, 2011 at 8:35:18 AM permalink
Yeah, I'm fairly sure that winning cash makes it gambling. Winning a trinket of varying / unknown value makes it a carnival game (not to be confused with casino carnival games).

Do the other games have various levels of prizes?

Make it such that your small prize gets bigger as the winners pick balls that aren't red, and you're OK. Heck, you might even want to replace the balls and make it where the child keeps picking, and the prize keeps growing, until he finally picks a red ball.

What happens if the prize gets to be the biggest you've got? Simple. The child gets the largest prize as well as working on a second prize -- and you add a pink ball.

Why pink? That way, if the child finally pulls out a red ball, you might forget to keep it out. If he pulls out pink, game over, and you'll probably remember to keep it out. If not, or he pulled red, when the next child pulls out the pink ball, you can make it a 'do-over' and remember to keep it out.

---

By the way, about the original question:

I do think you have the math right for a cash game.
Superstitions are silly, childish, irrational rituals, born out of fear of the unknown. But how much does it cost to knock on wood? Note that the same could be said for Religion. I.E. Religion is nothing more than organized superstition.
FarFromVegas
Joined: Dec 10, 2010
• Posts: 878
March 31st, 2011 at 9:12:04 AM permalink
I made a Toilet Paper Toss booth this year--toss rolls of toilet paper into a toilet seat on a plywood base. It was considerably more labor-intensive than your idea!

But the kids were happy to pay a dollar and walk away with a Ring Pop. Those things are like crack to kids. Top prize was a playground ball or yo-yo, but they wanted the candy!
Each of us is entitled to his own opinion, but not to his own facts. Preparing for a fight about your bad decision is not as smart as making a good decision.
MathExtremist
Joined: Aug 31, 2010
• Posts: 6526
March 31st, 2011 at 9:14:24 AM permalink
Quote: Dween

Not to threadjack myself, but is pick-a-number, win-a-prize gambling? Does adding a \$ bonus make it gambling?

Generally, yes, though there are some exceptions based on state laws. You should look into the statutory definition of gambling in your state to be sure. In Oregon (my home state), there are several exceptions:
Quote: ORS 167.117(7)

(7) “Gambling” means that a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the control or influence of the person, upon an agreement or understanding that the person or someone else will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome. “Gambling” does not include:
(a) Bona fide business transactions valid under the law of contracts for the purchase or sale at a future date of securities or commodities, and agreements to compensate for loss caused by the happening of chance, including but not limited to contracts of indemnity or guaranty and life, health or accident insurance.
(b) Engaging in contests of chance under the following conditions:
(A) The contest is played for some token other than money;
(B) An individual contestant may not purchase more than \$100 worth of tokens for use in the contest during any 24-hour period;
(C) The tokens may be exchanged only for property other than money;
(D) Except when the tokens are exchanged for a beverage or merchandise to be consumed on the premises, the tokens are not redeemable on the premises where the contest is conducted or within 50 miles thereof; and
(E) Except for charitable, fraternal or religious organizations, no person who conducts the contest as owner, agent or employee profits in any manner from operation of the contest.
(c) Social games.
(d) Bingo, lotto or raffle games or Monte Carlo events operated in compliance with ORS 167.118, by a charitable, fraternal or religious organization licensed pursuant to ORS 167.118, 464.250 to 464.380 and 464.420 to 464.530 to operate such games.

Without knowing more, I'd say your best bet would be to add an element of skill to your game and avoid the whole issue of illegal gambling. It's not like any of your kids will be APs...
"In my own case, when it seemed to me after a long illness that death was close at hand, I found no little solace in playing constantly at dice." -- Girolamo Cardano, 1563
buzzpaff
Joined: Mar 8, 2011
• Posts: 5328
March 31st, 2011 at 9:50:01 AM permalink
Just as long as a local police officer do not suffer from a "Barney Fife " Seems every so often I read about zealous police
raiding a penny ante poker game with all the players 80 or older?
Dween
Joined: Jan 24, 2010
• Posts: 339
May 2nd, 2011 at 7:24:28 AM permalink
I'm bumping this thread to update on the Magic 12 Carnival game.

The event will be this Thursday, with a 2.5 hour window for game play.
25 cents will get you 2 numbers out of 12. Winners receive a snack+beverage, or if they run out, a toy/prize.

There are NO MONEY PRIZES --- so this does not fall under gambling.

Question: Which betting layout is better?
In order to offer every number pair with numbers 1-12, I have two possible board layouts. One would be a large grid, such as:
 1 & 2 1 & 3 1 & 4 1 & 5 1 & 6 1 & 7 1 & 8 1 & 9 1 & 10 1 & 11 1 & 12 2 & 1 2 & 3 2 & 4 2 & 5 2 & 6 2 & 7 2 & 8 2 & 9 2 & 10 2 & 11 2 & 12 3 & 1 3 & 2 3 & 4 3 & 5 3 & 6 3 & 7 3 & 8 3 & 9 3 & 10 3 & 11 3 & 12 4 & 1 4 & 2 4 & 3 4 & 5 4 & 6 4 & 7 4 & 8 4 & 9 4 & 10 4 & 11 4 & 12 5 & 1 5 & 2 5 & 3 5 & 4 5 & 6 5 & 7 5 & 8 5 & 9 5 & 10 5 & 11 5 & 12 6 & 1 6 & 2 6 & 3 6 & 4 6 & 5 6 & 7 6 & 8 6 & 9 6 & 10 6 & 11 6 & 12 7 & 1 7 & 2 7 & 3 7 & 4 7 & 5 7 & 6 7 & 8 7 & 9 7 & 10 7 & 11 7 & 12 8 & 1 8 & 2 8 & 3 8 & 4 8 & 5 8 & 6 8 & 7 8 & 9 8 & 10 8 & 11 8 & 12 9 & 1 9 & 2 9 & 3 9 & 4 9 & 5 9 & 6 9 & 7 9 & 8 9 & 10 9 & 11 9 & 12 10 & 1 10 & 2 10 & 3 10 & 4 10 & 5 10 & 6 10 & 7 10 & 8 10 & 9 10 & 11 10 & 12 11 & 1 11 & 2 11 & 3 11 & 4 11 & 5 11 & 6 11 & 7 11 & 8 11 & 9 11 & 10 11 & 12 12 & 1 12 & 2 12 & 3 12 & 4 12 & 5 12 & 6 12 & 7 12 & 8 12 & 9 12 & 10 12 & 11

The other would give only the 66 distinct possibilites in clusters, such as:
 1 & 2 1 & 3 1 & 4 1 & 5 1 & 6 2 & 3 2 & 4 2 & 5 2 & 6 2 & 7 3 & 4 3 & 5 3 & 6 3 & 7 3 & 8 4 & 5 4 & 6 4 & 7 4 & 8 4 & 9 4 & 10 5 & 6 5 & 7 5 & 8 5 & 9 5 & 10 5 & 11 6 & 7 6 & 8 6 & 9 6 & 10 6 & 11 6 & 12 7 & 1 7 & 8 7 & 9 7 & 10 7 & 11 7 & 12 8 & 1 8 & 2 8 & 9 8 & 10 8 & 11 8 & 12 9 & 1 9 & 2 9 & 3 9 & 10 9 & 11 9 & 12 10 & 1 10 & 2 10 & 3 10 & 11 10 & 12 11 & 1 11 & 2 11 & 3 11 & 4 11 & 12 12 & 1 12 & 2 12 & 3 12 & 4 12 & 5

Notice in the above that each row's initial number is in sequence, but not every pair is listed. For example, if you wanted to bet 4 & 12, you would not find it in row 4; It is located in row 12, as 12 & 4.

This event is for kids 5-14 years in age. Should I keep it simple and offer the large grid, or tighten it up, and use something more artful? The cluster layout would use a flower/flower petal motif as opposed to straight rows. (Each row would be a flower, with 5 or 6 petals, showing the number pairs on individual petals)
-Dween!