## Thursday, July 15, 2010

### The Game of Pig

Pig is one of my favorite probability games.  I have played the game with kindergarten through college level students and used it in teacher training sessions.  Everyone LOVES the game and it's fun to watch who plays it safe and who's the risk-taker.

In my own classroom experience, I have found that this is best introduced as a class activity. Students collect points for each toss of the die unless a ONE is tossed, which means they lose all of the points they have collected in the round. To prevent losing their points, students may elect to stop at any point in the game before a ONE is tossed and they get to keep the points they collected but get no further points. Students love the game and begin to appreciate that theoretical probability and experimental probability are often quite different!

I devised a method that uses only one die tossed by the teacher, so this is a great transition activity that quiets a class as they strain to hear and record the results of the die toss AND decide if they will stop or continue to play.   It's a win-win because students feel that they're playing, but they're actually learning a lot about the probability of a one-die toss.