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Math Help - tossing the two coins together, until for the first time either two heads appear ....

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    tossing the two coins together, until for the first time either two heads appear ....

    Tom and Bob play a game by each tossing a fair coin. The game consists of tossing the two coins together, until for the first time either two heads appear when Tom wins, or two tails appear when Bob wins.

    1) Show that the probability that Tom wins are or before the nth toss is \frac{1}{2} - \frac{1}{2^{n+1}}

    2) Show that the probability that the game is decided at or before the nth toss is 1-\frac{1}{2^n}
    Last edited by mr fantastic; June 1st 2010 at 06:09 AM. Reason: Re-titled.
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    Quote Originally Posted by acevipa View Post
    Tom and Bob play a game by each tossing a fair coin. The game consists of tossing the two coins together, until for the first time either two heads appear when Tom wins, or two tails appear when Bob wins.

    1) Show that the probability that Tom wins are or before the nth toss is \frac{1}{2} - \frac{1}{2^{n+1}}

    2) Show that the probability that the game is decided at or before the nth toss is 1-\frac{1}{2^n}
    The coins can come up TT, TH, HT, HH

    The probability that Tom wins is

    \frac{1}{4}+\frac{2}{4}\ \frac{1}{4}+\frac{2^2}{4^2}\ \frac{1}{4}+\frac{2^3}{4^3}\ \frac{1}{4}+.......

    This is an infinite geometric series, with first term=a=0.25 and common ratio=r=0.5

    Hence S_n=\frac{0.25(1-0.5^n)}{1-0.5}

    The game is decided if two tails appear or two heads appear.

    The probability of this is

    \frac{2}{4}+\frac{2}{4}\ \frac{2}{4}+\frac{2^2}{4^2}\ \frac{2}{4}+......

    This time "a" and "r" are both 0.5.
    Last edited by Archie Meade; June 1st 2010 at 05:05 AM.
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