Use Probability to Cheat Your Friends!

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Use Probability to Cheat Your Friends!
Number 111
Broadcast Date April 28, 2010
Episode Length 9:41
Hosts Brian Brushwood

Win free beers by taking advantage of their bad judgment!

Revision3 Summary

This week, we've got 2 probability scams, and one outright cheat to win you free beers:

Unless you're a mathematician or a casino owner, odds are that you really, really suck at understanding probability. Which is good, since that means you can take advantage of your friends (who are just as mathematically dumb as you are!)

Three Draws Probability Trick

Shuffle a deck of cards, and pull out any three cards. What are the odds that one will be a face card (jack, queen or king)? Common sense says there are 12 face cards vs 40 non-face card, so the odds must be something like 12 to 40... which is completely wrong. True odds are 6 to 5 favoring the face cards.

Reverse Three Card Monte

Pull out 6 cards: 2 queens and 4 non-queens. Mix 'em up and pull out 2 cards. What are the odds one is a queen? Common sense says there are 2 queens out of 6 cards, so the odds must be around 1 in 3... true odds are 6 to 4 in favor of getting a queen!*

* "NOTE: All statistics are being reported by a drunken jackass" -Brian Brushwood

If you're a mathematician who knows better... set us straight!

Two Foot Beer Circle


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Preceded by:
"The Assassination Mind Reading Trick!"
Use Probability to Cheat Your Friends!
Followed by:
"Pi Day Magic trick!"