The Casino Game - Editorial Review

Dean Clark, Charles Smith, Lisa Chen

Engage your probability and discrete math students with this interesting "roulette wheel" puzzle. The game consists of three concentric wheels onto which the students place three copies of the numbers 0 through 6. Through the magic of Java applets, the wheels are spun and payoffs are made for sums of 7 and 11. Of course, there is a cost associated with each spin, so the concept of expected value and fair games are naturally relevant. The puzzle itself (place the numbers to make your expected winnings positive) raises many interesting questions, and the authors have included a two-page (pdf) document explaining some of the mathematics involved.

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