22 June 2008

Nontransitive dice

Mark the faces of three dice as follows:

  • Die A: 2, 2, 4, 4, 9, 9
  • Die B: 1, 1, 6, 6, 8, 8
  • Die C: 3, 3, 5, 5, 7, 7

Remarkably, you'll find that Die A tends to beat Die B, Die B beats Die C, … and Die C beats Die A.

(Found at Futility Closet

This is perfectly true, and is explained at the Wikipedia page on
nontransitive dice. For the mathematically challenged, another way to understand it is that these dice are the numerical equivalent of Rock, Paper, Scissors - where each one beats one of the other in a neverending circle.

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