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  1. #1
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    Default help me figure out this math problem

    A small group of your friends are organizing a hockey pool, where each day you all bet on the outcome of a hockey playoff game relative to the spread. Whoever correctly predicts the outcome of the most number of games, wins the pot. Assume that bookkeepers are so good at setting the spread that you are each effectively betting on the outcome of a fair coin toss each day. Suppose your friends haven’t taken CS 70 yet, so they’re unaware of the dirty tricks we teach in this class. Based on the analysis above, suggest a way that you could gain an unfair advantage so you will win the pot with probability > 1/n, where n is the number of participants in the pool. You do not need to formally prove that your method will work or calculate exactly what your chance of winning is, but please give some informal explanation why it gives you an unfair advantage.

    i already turned in the assignment, but i couldn't figure this one out. i also wasn't willing to spend more than a couple minutes thinking about it...

    nothing has come to me yet.

  2. #2
    desert pelican Owl's Avatar
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    Find out which teams have the most people betting on them to win, and bet against.

    A 50/50 chance means it doesn't matter which team you bet on. If you bet with the herd, then you will have the same win/loss ratio as the herd, and the guy who bet differently on one game (with a win) will win the pot. What you want to do is differentiate yourself as much as possible from the herd in order to make yourself the guy with the most extreme range in his win/loss ratio.

  3. #3
    Occasional Member Evan's Avatar
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    heh. should've thought of that.

    good call.

  4. #4
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    wait: what does "correctly predicting the outcome of the most number of games, wins the pot" means?

    ie, if there are 10 games, and one predicts 9 right; everyone else predicts at most 8 right, does that one win the pot?

    (ie, the payout per game does not matter)
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  5. #5
    a white iris elfinchilde's Avatar
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    The trick is in the draw. It's the same reason why House always has 0 and 00 in the roulette wheel. Psychologically, it's the number that people forget.

    ie, if the aim is to win the most number of games, then, in games of even chances between even teams, always hedge by side-betting on the draw.
    You gave me hyacinths first a year ago;
    They called me the hyacinth girl.
    Yet when we came back, late, from the Hyacinth garden,
    Your arms full, and your hair wet, I could not
    Speak, and my eyes failed, I was neither
    Living nor dead, and I knew nothing,
    Looking into the heart of light, the silence.

    --T.S Eliot, The Wasteland

  6. #6
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    you might try "Cramster.com". I have used them now and again for difficult math problems

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