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Brian Le-Lauren Livernois-Elizabeth Stacheit

Mrs. Dewey

FST 10A

21 March 2017

Suit

Carnivals are a fun way to spend time and money. Most people can say that they have

been to one before, but what is it that really makes a carnival so much fun? You do not see

carnivals without carnival games. Most carnival games are games of chance, not skill, though

there are some that require skill as well. Carnival games may look like they are easy to win, but

most of them are not fair games. A fair game is a game where the player nor the operator gain or

lose money. So what is it about carnival games that makes them so enticing to the public? This

paper will describe the creation of a carnival game and the probabilities of winning, as well as

the amount of money expected to be lost or gained.

I. Description, Rules, and Directions

Description:

This game costs $1 to play. There is a deck of cards set out that the player first draws

from. After, the player will pick two balls out of a box containing 8 balls. There are 2 balls that

contain each suit on them. One of those balls is red with the suit black, and the other is black

with the suit red. The color of the ball does not have any effect on the player winning because the

balls are drawn without replacement. If the suit of the card drawn matches one of the balls, the

player will receive a small prize. If the suit of the card drawn matches the suit of both of the

balls, the player receives a large prize. The small prize is 10 Jolly Ranchers, and the large prize is

$10. The price of the 10 Jolly Ranchers is $0.31. That cost is calculated by taking the price of a 5
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pound bag of Jolly Ranchers from Amazon, $11.69, dividing that cost by the amount of Jolly

Ranchers in the bag, about 378, and multiplying that by 10.

Directions:

1. The player picks a card without looking at them (the player can look after the card is
picked)

2. The player randomly picks a ball out of the box

3. If the suit on the ball matches the card suit that was drawn, the player gets a small prize**

4. *The player picks a second ball from the box without replacing the first

5. If the player matches the suit of the second ball with the suit of the first card and the first
ball, they win a big prize**. If the suit of the second ball matches with the suit of the card
drawn, the player gets a small prize.

Notes: *The player still gets to draw the second ball even if they do not match the first ball to
the card suit. If they match the second ball to the card suit, they get a small prize

**If the player receives a large prize, they do not receive the small prize

II & III. Theoretical Probability I and II

There are two different ways to win in Suit. This game can be won by matching one of

the balls to the card drawn or by matching both of the balls to the card drawn. There are 64

outcomes possible in this game. The player will win this game about 46.43% of the time, yet the

operator still makes money.

Sample Space: (H= heart, D= diamond, C= club, S=spade) {HHH, HHD, HHC, HHS, HDH,

HDD, HDC, HDS, HCH, HCD, HCC, HCD, HSH, HSD, HSC, HSS, DHH, DHD, DHC, DHS,

DDH, DDD, DDC, DDS, DCH, DCD, DCC, DCS, DSH, DSD, DSC, DSS, CHH, CHD, CHC,

CHS, CDH, CDD, CDC, CDS, CCH, CCD, CCC, CCS, CSH, CSD, CSC, CSS, SHH, SHD,

SHC, SHS, SDH, SDD, SDC, SDS, SCH, SCD, SCC, SCS, SSH, SSH, SSD, SSC, SSS}
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Figure 1. Probability of Losing Calculation

The probability of randomly picking the first ball and it does not match the suit of the

card is 6/8. This is because there are eight total balls in the box and two of the balls have the

same suit as the card, so six of the balls do not. If the first ball matches the suit of the card, then

the player wins. This means that if the player did not win, the first ball did not match the card

and there are still two balls in the box that match the suit of the card. This also means that there

are only seven balls left in the box because a ball was pulled out of the box on the first attempt.

There are now five balls left in the box that do not match the suit of the card. So, the probability

of picking the second ball and it does not match the suit of the card is 5/7. To calculate the total

probability of losing, 6/8 and 5/7 need to be multiplied together. In order for the player to lose

the game, neither of the balls can match the card.

Figure 2. Probability of Winning a Big Prize

To win the big prize, both balls must match the suit of the card. Eight balls are in the box

when the player picks the first ball and two of the balls match the card suit. So there is a 2/8

probability of choosing a ball that matches the suit of the card. When the player picks the second

ball, there are only seven balls left in the box. Since the player had to have chose a matching ball

the first time, there is only one matching ball left in the box, so the probability of choosing it is

1/7. To win the big prize, both of these events must occur, so the probabilities are multiplied

together.
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Figure 3. Probability of Winning a Small Prize

It is easiest to think about the probability of winning a small prize as the probability of

not losing or not winning a big prize because the probability of winning a small prize is the only

other outcome. In the calculation above, the probability of winning a big prize was added to the

probability of losing. This sum was then subtracted from 1 to find the probability of winning a

small prize.

Table 1
Theoretical Probability of Winning
Big Prize Small Prize Lose

$ 9 -0.69 -1

P($) 0.0357 0.4286 0.5357


Table 1, above, shows the probability of winning a big prize, winning a small prize, and

losing the game. Winning a big prize gives the player a net gain of $9. Winning the small prize

gives the player a net loss of $0.69. Losing gives the player a net loss of $1.

Figure 4. Expected Value

Figure 4 shows the amount of money that the user is expected to lose from playing

Suit. The user is expected to lose about $0.51 for every game of Suit played.

IV. Relative Frequency

Playing the Game Results

Table 2
Results of Playing Game
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Big Prize Small Prize No Prize

1/50 23/50 26/50


The table above shows the relative frequencies for 50 trials of playing the actual carnival

game. These relative frequencies are fairly close to the theoretical probabilities. It is clearly

shown that the frequency of winning a big prize was small and that the frequency of winning a

small prize was close to the frequency of losing.

Figure 5. Histogram of Relative Frequencies

The figure above illustrates the relative frequencies of the 50 trials. The player won the

big prize 2% of the time, won the small prize 46% of the time, and lost 52% of the time. See

appendix A for all of the trial results.

Figure 6. Average Amount of Money Lost Per Trial


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Figure 6 shows the calculation for the average amount of money lost per trial of playing

the actual carnival game. The relative frequency of winning a big prize was multiplied by the net

gain of winning the big prize, $9. The relative frequency of winning a small prize was multiplied

by the net loss of winning a small prize, $0.69. Keep in mind that when a player wins a small

prize, they actually lose $0.69 because the prize of 10 jolly ranchers cost the game creators $0.31

and the player pays $1 to play. The relative frequency of losing (no prize) was multiplied by the

net loss of $1 because the game costs the player $1 to play. The sum of these calculations

produced the average amount of money the player loses per trial, about $0.66.

Simulation Results

A simulation was designed to run 500 trials of Carnival Game Name. The simulation was

a series of 3 random number generations. Each trial was a set of 3 randomly generated numbers.

500 trials were run. The steps that were used in the trial are shown below.

1. Generate a number 1-4. This will represent the card suit drawn.

2. Generate a number between 1 and 4; if it matches the number in column 1, the person wins a

small prize.

3. Generate a number between 1 and 7; if the number is a 1, they found a matching ball to the

card and the first ball chosen and they get a big prize; if the first ball did not match the card, if a

1 or 2 is generated, they get a small prize. The first number generated represents the card suit that

is drawn since there are 4 suits.

The second number generated represents the first ball drawn out of the box. There is a

2/8, or ¼, chance of matching the first ball to the card drawn, which is why 4 numbers are being

generated. There is a ¼ chance that the second number generated will match the first number

generated.
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The third number generated represents the second ball drawn out of the box. There is a

1/7 chance of picking a ball that matches the card drawn as well as the first ball. There is a 1/7

chance because the first ball was not put back in the box, so there are 7 balls left. Since the other

ball with the same suit on it was already pulled out, there is only one ball with that suit left on it,

which is why it is a 1/7 chance (only 1 out of 7 numbers possible constitutes as a win).

There is a 2/7 chance of drawing a ball that matches the card suit on the second draw if

the first ball did not match. The reason for that is because the first ball was not replaced after it

was drawn. There are only 7 balls left in the box, and two of them match the suit on the card

since neither of them were drawn the first time. That is the reason that 2 out of the 7 numbers

possible count as a win.

Table 3
Results of 500 Trials
Big Prize Small Prize No Prize

11/500 220/500 269/500


Table 3 shows the results of the 500 trials run in the simulation. It can clearly be seen that

the most occurring prize type was winning no prize at all, followed by winning a small prize, and

then a large prize. The probability of winning a large prize is very unlikely, as can be seen in the

table shown above. A big prize was only won 11 times out of 500 trials. See Appendix B for

some of the trial results.


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Figure 7. Prize Results

Figure 7 shows a graph of the prizes won during the 500 trials that were run for the

simulation. The big prize only occurred 2.2% of the time, while the small prize occurred 44% of

the time, and no prize occurred 53.8% of the time.

The expected value of the game was found by multiplying the player’s net gain/loss by

the probability of it happening. In this case, the experimental probabilities from the simulation

were used.
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Figure 8. Expected Value

In the 500 trials run in the simulation, the player lost about 64¢per game played. That is

a higher amount of money lost than the expected value calculated from the theoretical

probability.

Java Program Results

A Java program was also made to simulate the experiment for 5000 trials. One trial

consists of generating two numbers and analyzing them. The steps of each trial are listed below.

1. A counter is set equal to 0, and a number between 1 and 8, inclusive, is generated to

represent the first ball picked.

2. That number is checked if it is equal to 1 or 2 because there are two balls that match the

suit of the card drawn.

3. If step 2 is true, the counter is increased by one.

4. Another number is generated, but is between 1 and 7, inclusive, this time to represent the

second ball picked.

5. The new number is then checked if it equals 1, if part 2 was true, or if the number equals

1 or 2, if part 2 was false.

6. If step 5 is true, the counter is increased by one.

7. If the counter is equal to zero, the money is subtracted by one because of the loss. If the

counter is equal to one, the money is subtracted by 0.69 because of the win of a small

prize. If the counter is equal to two, the money is added by 9 because of the win of a large

prize.

8. Steps 1 to 7 are repeated 5000 times and the amount of losses, small prize wins, and large

prize wins are recorded.


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9. The amount of money the players loss from the 5000 trials, amount of money loss per

trial, and frequencies of losing, winning a small prize, and winning a large prize are

outputted.

Table 4
Results of 5000 Trials
Big Prize Small Prize No Prize

176/5000 2146/5000 2679/5000


Table 4 shows the results of the 5000 trials run in a java program. It can clearly be seen

that the most occurring prize type was winning no prize at all, followed by winning a small prize,

and then a large prize. The probability of winning a large prize is very unlikely, as can be seen in

the table shown above. A big prize was only won 176 times out of 5000 trials. See Appendix B

for some of the trial results.

Figure 9. Java Trials

Figure 9 above shows the result of the simulation using a Java program to run 5000 trials.

No prize was won 53.58% of the time, the small prize was won 42.92% of the time, and the large

prize was won 3.52% of the time. The total amount of money the players lost was $2,575.74
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from the 5000 trials, and the players lost, on average, $0.52 per trial. The code for the Java

program can be found in Appendix C.

Compare and Contrast Simulations

In all three of the trials, on average the player lost more money than was expected

through the theoretical probability. From playing the real game 50 times, the user lost about

$0.66 per game. The player lost about $0.64 on average from running a simulation of 500 trials,

and from running a java program 5000 times, the user lost about $0.52 per game. The law of

large numbers is at work since as the number of trials increase, the experimental probability and

expected value approach the theoretical probability and expected value.


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V. Summary

People should play Suit because it is fun and easy to play. Theoretically, there is a 0.4643

probability that the player will win something, either a small or large prize. This is intriguing to

the player because there is a pretty good chance that the player will win a prize, and if they do

not win a prize on their first try, they might want to play again because they know that the

probability of winning will not change. Few carnival games have this high of a probability of

winning something. This is also a multi-step game with multiple chances at winning in only one

game. If the first ball a player pulls from the box does not match the suit of the card, they can

still win a prize if the second ball matches the suit of the card.

Suit will be a good money maker for the fundraiser because it easy for the operator to

earn a profit. There is a large probability of winning a prize, but if a player wins a small prize,

they still lose money and the fundraiser gains money. There is about a 42.86% theoretical chance

of winning a small prize (10 jolly ranchers), but the 10 jolly ranchers only cost the game creators

$0.31. The player actually loses $0.69 because they paid $1 to play. It is possible for a person to

gain a profit by winning the big prize of $10. They would make $9, but the theoretical

probability of winning the big prize is only 3.57%, so it is very unlikely that this event would

occur.

Elizabeth, Brian, and Lauren worked cooperatively and collectively on this project. The

group members tried to split up the work as even as possible. Brian had the task of constructing

the game and designing the parts to fit the card suit theme. Brian also wrote the Java program to

simulate the game and summarize the results of the 5,000 program trials. Elizabeth designed a

simulation with 500 trials, described the simulation procedure, and recorded the relative

frequencies of the simulation. Lauren ran the actual game’s 50 trials and recorded the relative
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frequencies. Elizabeth and Lauren split up the rest of the paper. Elizabeth completed the

description, rules, and directions section and the theoretical probability II section. Lauren

completed the theoretical probability I section and the summary.


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Appendix A: Playing the Game


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Appendix B: Simulation

Appendix C: Java Program


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