Heads or Tails?

It is well written about that a tossed coin has no ‘memory’; that the outcome of a given toss of the coin is independent of previous ones.

So, following ten heads in a row, the probability of another head (assuming that a fair coin is used) is still 50%.

(Perhaps the probability of another head is more than 50%: a run of heads might indicate a bias on the coin.)

The fact that many people hold the misconception that coins do have such a memory can be exploited for financial gain. This is the basis on which some professional gamblers, ‘working’ the casinos, acquire their income: they do not bet with the casino itself, but with other customers about their bets with the casinos, exploiting superstitions and misplaced intuitions.

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One Response to “Heads or Tails?”

  1. Hamish Says:

    That is the first time I have come across the phrase that a tossed coin has no memory. I really like it – it brings a sudden crystal clear view to the whole discussion.

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