NPR on the randomness of coin flips...

Discussion in 'TCG News & Gossip Discussion' started by SD PokeMom, Feb 25, 2004.

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  1. SD PokeMom

    SD PokeMom Mod Supervisor Staff Member

    Yesterday's edition of All Things Considered on National Public Radio did a segment on the randomness of coin flips; you can listen to the segment HERE...

    Another case for requiring dice in cups as a randomizer? Opinions?

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2004
  2. BJJ763

    BJJ763 Trading Mod Supervisor Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    Well since you cannot catch the coin but let it hit the table, bounce around, fall to the floor, reflip, bounce off your opponent's head, fall to the floor, reflip, fall off the table, roll 3 tables over, retrieve, reflip..... let's wait until the mathematicians have figured out all the variables. ;)

    Always use a 20-sided die (long as the evens are not on one side and the odds on the other).
  3. Big Daddy Snorlax

    Big Daddy Snorlax Administrator

    This is true for most pokemon flips as well. I'm not too worried about players using coins, but I have actually noticed that almost none of our League players use coins any longer. Interesting research though. I wonder how big a grant they got to sit around flipping coins. :rolleyes:

    Last edited: Feb 25, 2004
  4. P_A

    P_A Active Member

    I never really cared for either side of the debate (flips or dice) but 20 sided dice are much easier in smaller space and fewer people have problems keeping the dice on the table than with flips. We don't mind either at our gym, but fewer and fewer are using coins now, actually only one person. Everyone has their own way of doing things though.
  5. Rabid Raichu

    Rabid Raichu New Member

    As BDS noted, the NPR report did go on to say that once the coin hits the ground (or as he implies, table) then all bets are off, as the physics of that have not been figured out yet. Note that "grass" for a football game could be natural turf or astroturf, but in any event is going to absorb more energy from the coin than a table top will -- i.e. you will more likely get a more energetic bounce off of a table than you would expect from any "grass" surface, which is why so many coins end up on the floor! My conjecture is that THAT is the reason more people are leaning towards dice -- there is a much greater chance that a die will stay on the table, and you won't have to chase it three seats down as it rolls away from you.
  6. Spectreon

    Spectreon New Member

    how many people can flip a coin exaclty the same way each and every time???

    Though I have seen it done with a higher than 50% ratio getting the flip they needed, heck I have even done it.... doesnt take a big ole machine to flip a coin to figure out if you put it heads up on your thumb, flip it with pretty much the smae force everytime, it will generally come up the same way every time.... what a waste of grant money if you ask me....
  7. farbsman

    farbsman New Member

    I asked the players at my leagues and tournaments not to use coins. The "clang" "clang" of those Pikachu coins we got a few years ago was really annoying.

    Thats why I like Duel Masters so far. We got to demo it at our store 2 weeks ago. It has no flips!! :)
  8. marril2k

    marril2k Member

    I've asked my League players to stay away from metal coins... besides some denting other player's cards, that metal clang going on a each event in the closed space @_@... I think my league gang is slowly shifting towards dice... it seems easier for them to roll a die than to flip a coin, plus we dont have that two foot tall flip... hits the table, bounces in between Kelly and Shawns game, rolls to the floor, and under a book case... @_@

  9. )v(ajin_ipg21

    )v(ajin_ipg21 New Member

    I used to practice my flips... then an opponent ASKED Me to flip heads high. I got the msg from then on. And I never accepted but some do it, catching the coin... *sleight of hand anyone?*

    I had my math class do this once and SOME tried as hard as they could to get ALL heads or ALL tails... but WHEN all the numbers were compiled it came quite close to 50/50 (sure looked like many did not cheat)

    BUT I'd get my coins off the table, I could do without the clanging (or being patient with a kid NOT being able to flip properly) I like dice, but not 20 sided (they don't stop on a dime) but prefer 6 sided dice...
  10. Nick15

    Nick15 Member

    how many people can flip a coin exaclty the same way each and every time???

    Well not a whole lot. But the chance of someone practicing their fliping is not as far remote as one could imagine.

    I've always prefered dice... one thing I've learned is that statistics are less biased with the more variables in the equasion. ... In other words, the more numbers there are in your randomization device, the more of a chance you're gonna get a fair, 50/50 roll. Yup.
  11. Adv1sor

    Adv1sor New Member

    Well, I know it's kind of silly, but you know, the cards do say, "Flip a coin..." Not, roll a die.
  12. Prime

    Prime Content Developer<br>Blog Admin<br>Contest Host

    Two years ago I would have thrown that out, but not too long ago, my friends found a way to flip a coin and almost always gets heads. That is why I started using dice. Luckily, others started aswell and now barely anyone uses coins.
  13. bulbasnore

    bulbasnore Administrator Staff Member Trader Feedback Mod

    HRM... well I use a folding dice cup from an old backgammon game to:

    1) Prevent objections to my rolls by opponents.
    2) Control the 'spray' of dice accross the table.
    3) Quiet the dice -- even dice can be gratingly noisy.

    Especially handy for multiple flip attacks.

    Shake it, turn it upside down on the table, lift straight up.

    |#.#..#| ==> #.#..#

    Hydrocutter-for 120!

  14. Spectreon

    Spectreon New Member

    An old player who has now moved on was known for KOing his brothers Charizard (base set) and Moltress (fossil) on consecutive turns. He was using Fossil Geodude. He stopped flipping once he reached enough heads to KO each. So for those who dont feel like calculating, or may not know the cards, heres the break down...

    Moltress 80 HP
    Charizard 120 HP

    both are resistant to Fighting (combined -60).

    Geodude does 10x number of heads so..... the final tally of heads flipped equals 26 heads consecutively.

    He was also known for using Chaos Gym with Rockets Sectret Experiment, consistantly flipping both heads... it was unreal... I have had luck with flips, but this was just unreal...
  15. yoshi1001

    yoshi1001 New Member

    One thing coins are good for, though, is building tension. four dice can be rolled at once. Four coin flips takes more time.

    In any case:

    "He had Harvard University engineers build him a mechanical coin flipper. Diaconis, now at Stanford University, found that if a coin is launched exactly the same way, it lands exactly the same way."

    Why is this surprising? If the same forces are at work, the results should be the same. That's true of any randomizer.
  16. omg19

    omg19 New Member

    (20 sided dice) 10/20 = 50%
    (6 sided dice) 3/6 = 50%
    (coin) 1/2 = 50%

    It's all the same... how is 50% more random than 50%?
  17. Orange Soda

    Orange Soda New Member

    Because of the engravings on your average coin, the sides do not weigh the same, and thus is not truely a 50/50 chance. Dice are preferred because it is a lot closer to 50/50 (though 20-sided are a bit too round for some people).
    Last edited: Feb 25, 2004
  18. bullados

    bullados <a href="

    how bout a hundred sided dice? That's a ton of fun to roll, but you're never sure on the outcome... (ST Pika, from Skool and Wizpog has several of these, and uses them often)
  19. PokePop

    PokePop Administrator

    Think of it as a game of skill instead of a game of chance.

    try to land an object on one out of two sides. Not so hard, really, especially if you limit the number of rotations of the object.

    Now, try the same thing with an object with 20 sides. Try to land it on one specific side. Say... the number 8.

    Much harder, no?
  20. UncleBob

    UncleBob New Member

    Forget you all, we should be using the Chansey e-Reader coin flipper. :Þ
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