Beach Day by Rodger Bliss
September 2022
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Odds are Stacked

I have 35 coins in a stack. You are allowed to take one, two, three, or four coins from the top of the stack. Then I will take one, two, three, or four coins from the top of the stack. If you are the person that takes the last coin(s) of the stack, you will win the entire stack of coins. You are allowed to choose if you want to go first or if you want to go second.
Will you go first or second? What is a strategy that will ensure that you will always win the stack of coins?

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2 guesses to Odds are Stacked


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  • Roolstar

    I will definetly go second!

    The key is for me to always take away just enough coins to make the remaining coins in the stack a multiple of 5.
    So no matter how many you take (X), on my turn I take (5 – X)

    Explanation:
    If you take away 1 coin, I take 4 on my turn.
    If you take away 2 coins, I take 3 on my turn.
    If you take away 3 coins, I take 2 on my turn.
    If you take away 4 coins, I take 1 on my turn.

    After doing this 6 times, we are left with 5 coins at the end, and it’s YOUR turn to take some coins away! On my turn I can take the remainder of the coins no matter how many you choose to take!

  • Correct! You nailed it Rool.

    You’re today’s winner.