Deceptive Dice

The Terrible Twins, Innumeratus and Mathophila, were bored.

“I know,” said Mathophila brightly. “Let’s play dice!”

“Don’t like dice.”

“Ah, but these are special dice,” said Mathophila, digging them out of an old-chocolate box. One was red, one yellow and one blue..

Innumeratus picked up the red dice. “There’s something funny about this one,” he said. “It’s got two 3’s, two-4’s and two 8’s.”

“They are all like that,” said Mathophila carelessly. The yellow one has two 1’s, two 5’s and two 9’s — and the blue  one has two 2’s, two 6’s and two 7’s.

“They look rigged to me,” said Innumeratus, deeply suspicious.

“No, they are perfectly fair. Each face has an equal chance of turning up.”

“How do we play, anyway?”

We each choose a different one. We roll them simultaneously, and the highest number wins. We can play for pocket money. Innumeratus looked skeptical, so his sister quickly added: “Just to be fair, I will let you choose first! Then you can choose the best dice!”

“Welllll…”, said Innumeratus, hesitating.

“Should he play? If not, why not?”

More puzzles to keep you entertained later,

Nalin Pithwa

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