How Probability Can Be Used to Design Games of Chance

One of the origins of of probability as a field in mathematics was solving games of chance. The famous correspondence between Fermat and Pascal in 1654 was one of the earliest accounts on how to use mathematics formally in order to solve a fair game of chance.

In this post, we are going to design a game that will demonstrate the power of probability. We will use probability to create a game that looks like as if it favors the player, while in reality, it favors the casino. Although most casino games actually obviously favor the casino, the game below is a bit more conservative (or should I say ‘deceptive.’)

The dice to be used in the game below is the standard 6-sided die whose number of dots are from 1 to 6. This means that the smallest possible sum is 1 + 1 = 2 and the largest possible sum is 6 + 6 = 12. Below are the instructions on how to play the game.  » Read more

Primo: A Mathematics Board Game About Prime Numbers

One of the latest cool math games I have come to know recently is Primo, a mathematics board game that looks very promising. It can be played by 2-4 players from age 10 and and above.  I have never actually played it yet, in fact it is still in its testing phase, but it really looks very interesting.

How to Play Primo

Primo is a race towards the center of the board. Each player has two pawns (yes, chess pawns), and alternately rolls two 10-sided dice.   The four fundamental operations (addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division) can be applied to the numbers obtained from the roll to determine the movements of the pawns. The player who lands two pawns at 101 or the center of the board wins the game. » Read more

1 2 3 4 5 9