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odiousgambit
odiousgambit
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October 26th, 2017 at 6:50:54 PM permalink
Vote in the poll.

I proposed a bet that was accepted on the basis of the below

*On your gut feelings, do you think I can guess the sequence of completely random coin flips *better*than you can? If you think not, AND JUST ON YOUR GUT FEELING,

no checking it out on the internet!, or any other source,

I'll then explain the bet, then you can decline or accept.

*the bet was accepted in principal pending clarification, which was:

*Here's the proposal: You state you think a defined sequence of 3 coin tosses will be the next tosses, like this: HHH or HHT or TTH or TTT or WHATEVER , any sequence of three. I will look at your proposed sequence and consult my horoscope; I will then declare whether or not I think a different sequence of 3 random tosses will come BEFORE your guess.

"Precisely, we toss the computer coin until one of these sequences comes up. If your sequence comes up first, I give you [x amount]. If my sequence comes up first, you give me [same amount]. "

With just a few more qualifiers we were good; the trust between us is fully in place. At the time, I told him I didnt know how the hocus pocus worked [but I do now]. He accepted the conditions and made the bet. I let him toss the coin!

At this time he concedes the bet.

*Did I cheat him with a dishonest proposal? Vote.

BTW I will make this same bet with anyone here who has not been cited for welching. The only qualification is that you must give me a chance to keep betting until I get into the winning column at least one bet size to the positive, or until I cry uncle.

I believe I will be able to get the Wizard to certify that the chances I would not get into that winning column eventually are infinitissimal, at which point I would be justified in continuing till there.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
beachbumbabs
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October 27th, 2017 at 12:56:23 AM permalink
You actually got someone here to bite on this?

I haven't seen it before, but I can definitely see how you have a sure win based on the conditions you gave. My in spoiler.



If you always know the person's sequence, your sequence will always be the opposite coin in front of their first 2 coins. That way, unless their coins come exactly in the first 3 flips, you will always win 1 flip before them. So you should win at least 7 of every 8 times, probably more.



That said, you said "whether" you would take a different sequence. I don't know what exceptions you would make, or what would happen if you declined their sequence. Was that just a turn of phrase, or part of the con?

I think if you tried this on a child, I would consider it cheating. On an adult, caveat emptor, so I said not a cheat. But it's also possible I've misidentified the trick.
If the House lost every hand, they wouldn't deal the game.
FleaStiff
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October 27th, 2017 at 1:09:44 AM permalink
So does Mindy's sell more cheesecake or more streudle? And can the Jack of Diamonds from a brand new wrapped deck of cards really stand up and squirt cider in your ear? And did Delilah cut Sampson's hair off?
RS
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October 27th, 2017 at 2:44:10 AM permalink
It ain't cheatin'.
odiousgambit
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October 27th, 2017 at 4:06:12 AM permalink
First, let me say the honesty of the person is very, very much on display here. How many here or anywhere else could really be trusted to not consult their trusty old google machine? You can't be tested more than that, so, again, an outstanding character display.

BBB, I am impressed that you figured that out on your own. The precise hocus pocus I was to follow was
The trick is to remember two steps:

1. Your first call should be the opposite of their second call.

2. Your second two calls should be the same as their first two calls.


I threw in the 'whether' bit, trying to make it harder to figure out what I was up to. I also told him there would be times I would decline to pick a different sequence, on the same basis. I planned in fact to keep obfuscating since my edge was supposedly so large I could afford to give some of it up.

I am denied the ability to crow about this because unlike Babs I was unable to figure out why and how it worked. I came across a webpage with the trick, but it only gave the hocus pocus, not why it worked, it just hinted at it. I checked a different webpage and it gave no reason why it should work. I kept fighting the idea that one sequence is as likely as another, how could it matter? Finally, though,
I suspected that it not isolating the sequences as unique events was key, but still didn't get it. Finally it came to me that the second person could name a sequence that would make it impossible to have the first sequence win after a certain point. This is easiest to see with something like HHH being foiled by THH. Once 'tails' is the call, a sequence of 3 heads in a row will always be preceded by THH, a win before the third H appears.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
RS
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October 27th, 2017 at 4:47:23 AM permalink
It's called Penney's Game, if you want to do more reading on it. Generally with these kinds of things, you do NOT want to go first. It's also called a nontransitive game (ie: rock, paper, scissors, where A > B > C > A). But I did search google (though I wouldn't have taken the bet, being the first person to choose a sequence).
FinsRule
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SOOPOO
October 27th, 2017 at 5:33:17 AM permalink
This really confused me. I thought these were all completely separate series of three tosses. That has to be made clear for the bet to be fair.
odiousgambit
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October 27th, 2017 at 6:36:33 AM permalink
Quote: FinsRule

This really confused me. I thought these were all completely separate series of three tosses. That has to be made clear for the bet to be fair.



I do see some votes for "you cheated" - well, OK

Personally, I think an element of subterfuge is allowable, but I respect the opposite opinion. Some proposition bet enthusiasts go too far in my book too, as there should be an unexpressed groundfloor understanding of the rules without the bet being merely about seeking loopholes in that. Such as betting on whether various cars going by an intersection will come to a full stop or a rolling stop, and having the 'full stop' bettor then jump out in front of the car [such as I believe happened to the Wizard]. But even that can be fun if the stakes are minimal, as was the case on the coin flipping.

I did give a full example showing that we were not betting on unique events. In fact my betting partner indicated he also felt this might be the gist of it, if it worked, and rightly could have claimed he could get out of it at that point without penalty. He did not do so, which again is kudos to his character .

At the point where I realized how it worked I also told him that [without details] so that he could bail.

It was just a fun experiment at these stakes.
the next time Dame Fortune toys with your heart, your soul and your wallet, raise your glass and praise her thus: “Thanks for nothing, you cold-hearted, evil, damnable, nefarious, low-life, malicious monster from Hell!”   She is, after all, stone deaf. ... Arnold Snyder
onenickelmiracle
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October 27th, 2017 at 7:49:17 AM permalink
My Spidey senses would be tingling the second you said horoscope. I'd not take the bet in the first place because I'd be too suspicious. The way you described the bet, truthfully more of a scam than a bet.
I am a robot.
Joeman
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October 27th, 2017 at 8:31:39 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

But even that can be fun if the stakes are minimal, as was the case on the coin flipping.

I think that makes it a non-issue for me. If it was for significant stakes, I might have a problem with it. Hustling is one thing, but this just sounds like a "bar bet" between friends.

I've been on both sides of these types of wagers. For the ones where I was the loser, I really didn't mind the few bucks. I consider it paying to see what the trick is, knowing it was probably not really a fair wager. Sometimes it is just an investment that pays dividends when I try the same trick on other unsuspecting friends! :)
"Dealer has 'rock'... Pay 'paper!'"
ThatDonGuy
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October 27th, 2017 at 9:25:22 AM permalink
Quote: odiousgambit

First, let me say the honesty of the person is very, very much on display here. How many here or anywhere else could really be trusted to not consult their trusty old google machine? You can't be tested more than that, so, again, an outstanding character display.

BBB, I am impressed that you figured that out on your own. The precise hocus pocus I was to follow was

The trick is to remember two steps:

1. Your first call should be the opposite of their second call.

2. Your second two calls should be the same as their first two calls.



If the other person chose any combination where the first two are different, you win 2/3 of the time
If the other person chose HHT or TTH, you win 3/4 of the time
If the other person chose HHH or TTT, you win 7/8 of the time

Example with the other player choosing HTT, and you choosing HHT:
Ignore any initial run of Ts
After the first H:
If H shows up, you will win, as the first T that shows up is HHT, and any Hs before it are HHH
If T shows up, then the next one is either T, and you lose, or H, and we are back to the point where the first H shows up
50% of the time (H), you win; 25% of the time (TT), you lose; 25% of the time (TH), it resets
You win twice as many times as you lose, or 2/3 of the time



If you want all sorts of trick questions like this, you should check out the show "QI" on YouTube.
Example:

A very, very small fraction - while 70% or so of the surface is water, there is little, if any, water in the center part of the planet.

Wizard
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October 27th, 2017 at 10:36:22 AM permalink
I knew this one and I say you didn't cheat. It is a known trick, taking advantage of the ignorance of the average person in probability. The part about consulting a horoscope was a little deceiving, but if it was said in jest, I can live with it. No matter what sequence the first person picks, the second person can pick a dominating one.

I think I'll make a contrived Ask the Wizard question out of this.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Ibeatyouraces
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October 27th, 2017 at 10:38:27 AM permalink
Quote: Wizard

It is a known trick, taking advantage of the ignorance of the average person in probability.


Exact description of a casinos business model.
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
OnceDear
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October 27th, 2017 at 11:30:05 AM permalink
Just like a bar bet where the mark will know he's being duped, you were pitching your hocus pocus system against his intuition. You pretty much explicitly insisted on no googling because googling would ruin the fun. So let's pretend for a moment that we haven't read the spoilers...

Intuitively heads and tails are equivalent.
Past flips have no bearing on future ones.
All sets of 3 flips are equally probable, wherever they appear in a long string of flips.
If all 8 sets of three flips are searched for in streams of say 100 flips on a first to appear wins basis, then all will win the race 1/8 of the time.
So, it's a bit subtle and worthy of a bar bet just to get to know a new trick.

The secret sauce is that the second set of three can present a probable barrier to the first set chosen. This is described as Penney's game or 'Penney Ante'.
Google it for some quite thorough explanation which leads to the simple algorithm for generating the blocking pattern.

https://plus.maths.org/content/os/issue55/features/nishiyama/index

The same game can be nicely obfuscated if you substiture Roulette and use red/black or odd/even as the mechanism.


Not cheating at petty stakes, but would have been naughty to make a serious binding wager. I doubt that was your intent at all.
Last edited by: OnceDear on Oct 27, 2017
Psalm 25:16 Turn to me and be gracious to me, for I am lonely and afflicted. Proverbs 18:2 A fool finds no satisfaction in trying to understand, for he would rather express his own opinion.
charliepatrick
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November 8th, 2017 at 3:29:00 PM permalink
There's a simlar biassed game using three non-standard dice. The aim is to have the higher face. Player A can pick from
(a) 3-3-3-3-3-3
(b) 5-5-2-2-2-2
(c) 4-4-4-4-1-1
and Player B can pick one of the remaining ones.
Wizard
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November 8th, 2017 at 3:33:10 PM permalink
Quote: charliepatrick

There's a simlar biassed game using three non-standard dice. The aim is to have the higher face. Player A can pick from
(a) 3-3-3-3-3-3
(b) 5-5-2-2-2-2
(c) 4-4-4-4-1-1
and Player B can pick one of the remaining ones.



Yes. C defeats A. B defeats C. A defeats B.

Here are some more examples of non-transitive dice. I have a set somewhere that a fan gave me.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Ibeatyouraces
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November 8th, 2017 at 4:32:30 PM permalink
Sort of like the following hold em hands:

Player 1 can choose from AK offsuit, 98 suited, 22. No matter which of the three hands Player one picks from, Player two will always pick the remaining hand that has the advantage.

22 beats AK offsuit
AK offsuit beats 98 suited
98 suited beats 22
DUHHIIIIIIIII HEARD THAT!
darkoz
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November 8th, 2017 at 5:17:26 PM permalink
I have one where i challenge anyone to pick a movie not yet released. I will predict with accuracy how the film ends
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Wizard
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November 8th, 2017 at 5:21:45 PM permalink
Quote: Ibeatyouraces

Sort of like the following hold em hands:

Player 1 can choose from AK offsuit, 98 suited, 22. No matter which of the three hands Player one picks from, Player two will always pick the remaining hand that has the advantage.

22 beats AK offsuit
AK offsuit beats 98 suited
98 suited beats 22



Interesting! May I steal that for a future "Ask the Wizard" question? Using JB's Texas Hold 'Em calculator] we find the following:

Player 1 Player 2 Prob Pl 1 Prob pl 2 Tie
2c 2s Ah Ks 52.75% 46.67% 0.58%
9h 8h 2c 2s 52.56% 45.42% 2.01%
Ah Ks 9h 8h 59.42% 40.19% 0.40%
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizard
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November 8th, 2017 at 5:22:25 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

I have one where i challenge anyone to pick a movie not yet released. I will predict with accuracy how the film ends



Challenge accepted. The next movie in the Alien series.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
darkoz
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November 8th, 2017 at 6:37:27 PM permalink
Quote: Wizard

Challenge accepted. The next movie in the Alien series.



Sent u a pm. Let me know if u r satisfied i was correct
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
Wizard
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November 8th, 2017 at 7:39:46 PM permalink
Quote: darkoz

Sent u a pm. Let me know if u r satisfied i was correct



PM received. I'm sure you will be proven correct but I still feel unsatisfied....That's what she said.
"For with much wisdom comes much sorrow." -- Ecclesiastes 1:18 (NIV)
Wizardofnothing
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November 8th, 2017 at 8:23:58 PM permalink
I️t must have been an answer like - with the credits rolling up the screen or a fade to black
No longer hiring, don’t ask because I won’t hire you either
darkoz
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November 8th, 2017 at 11:58:39 PM permalink
Quote: Wizardofnothing

I️t must have been an answer like - with the credits rolling up the screen or a fade to black



Now u know u are not supposed to give away AP secrets
For Whom the bus tolls; The bus tolls for thee
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