December 1, 2013

I spent Thanksgiving break at my parents house. This involves a lot of time spent playing games. The conversations during the games Saturday evening stuck out to me the most. Now, my brother is in medical school and I'm a math teacher, so when my parents talk math with us it isn't to teach us reasoning, but because it is so engrained in all of us that these are the conversations we have while playing games, no matter how old we are.

Cosmic Wimpout:
My mom rolls 3 fours and a ten. She is way behind. Should she roll the one remaining die and keep all four scoring dice or only keep the ten and hope for better scoring dice? We discussed some contributing factors (if she only rolls one die she will need to get a five or ten out of the six options, that's a 1/3 chance, if she rolls all four there are lots of good options but also lots of bad ones) but didn't solve the probability problem. It's still on my mind though and I'm tempted to solve it now.

Dealing Cards:
As I deal the cards, my dad counts aloud the number of cards he has. 1...2...3...4...5...6... ... He doesn't count the seventh card. He leaves us hanging. Finally someone breaks and says seven! This repeats a few rounds, then he doesn't count at all during the following deal. My mom and I take turns counting (she says the odds and I say the evens) without announcing that's the plan.

Tallying Points: