Penney's Game

Stack the odds in your favor. Scholars watch a video in the Numberphile Coins series that introduces a game where contestants pick a sequence of three coin flips (such as HHT) and keep flipping a coin until that sequence appears. The video explains a strategy that gives players a leg up on their opponents.

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Instructional Ideas

  • Have learners try out the game and see if they can come up with a winning strategy before watching the solution
  • Use the game as an extension activity on probability
Classroom Considerations

  • Note that the video uses British coins, but heads and tails should still be evident
Pros

  • Explanations are thorough and concise
  • Strategy is easy to understand and includes a graphic organizer
Cons

  • None