Remember the Monty Hall problem? This is somehow a similar one. You guys should give it a try:
2nd shooter by far
Unlike the Monty Hall problem -- the game starts at the first pull, not the first 'choice'.
B: Does it bother you that the percentages total > 100%? Why or why not?
Why shouldn't the percentages total more than 100? Each percentage represents the chances of that person alone. If the game were played with 6 people, the last two would both fairly obviously have a 100% chance each of surviving.
Since it's obviously OK for the percentages in the 6 person game to total > 100%, it follows that it's ok in the 2 person game.
The reason that the percentages can total more than 100 is that you can have more than one person surviving. Seeing as the game stops when one person dies, the percentage chance of dying cannot add up to more than 100%, and will add up to exactly 100% when at least 4 people are playing.
Incidently, as I understand Russian Roulette, the whole point is that the bullets are heavier and should end up at the bottom. If this is indeed the case, then it skews the probabilities considerably and going first might be the best option after all!
Thanks Brian, that's what I get for not reading the question properly :-). To disown all my previous posts - with 2 players the chances of survival can't add up to anything except 100%. Assuming all start positions are equally possible, player one loses in 4 of them, implying that going second would be a very good choice.
Yes, in this case you're dead. Carrying your argument through, it's always better to choose to go first in the case when the second person will die. Unfortunately you don't know when that will be.
I think that you should not work out the possibilitys because if you are stupid enough to play the game then you should take the consequences without trying to be a smartass. SO THERE!
The probabilities of survival are as follows:
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