On The Rich Get Richer – student

student from thus spake a.k.

The Baron's latest wager set Sir R----- the task of surpassing his score before he reached eight points as they each cast an eight sided die, each adding one point to their score should the roll of their die be less than or equal to it. The cost to play for Sir R------ was one coin and he should have had a prize of five coins had he succeeded.

A key observation when figuring the fairness of this wager is that if both Sir R----- and the Baron cast greater than their present score then the state of play remains unchanged. We may therefore ignore such outcomes, provided that we adjust the probabilities of those that we have not to reflect the fact that we have done so.

The Rich Get Richer – baron m.

baron m. from thus spake a.k.

Sir R-----! I must say that it is a relief to have the company of a fellow nobleman in these distressing times. That I have had to sell not one, but two of my several hundred antiquities to settle the burden of tax that this oppressive democracy has put upon me, simply to enrich slugabeds I might add, is quite intolerable!

Come, let us drown our sorrows whilst we still have the means to do so and engage in a little sport to raise our spirits.

I have a fancy for a game that I used to play when I was the Russian ambassador to the Rose Tree Valley commune. Founded by the philosopher queen Zway Remington as a haven for downtrodden wealthy industrialists, it was the purest of pure meritocracies; no handouts to the idle labouring classes there!

On Quaker’s Dozen – student

student from thus spake a.k.

The Baron's latest wager set Sir R----- the task of rolling a higher score with two dice than the Baron should with one twelve sided die, giving him a prize of the difference between them should he have done so. Sir R-----'s first roll of the dice would cost him two coins and twelve cents and he could elect to roll them again as many times as he desired for a further cost of one coin and twelve cents each time, after which the Baron would roll his.
The simplest way to reckon the fairness of this wager is to re-frame its terms; to wit, that Sir R----- should pay the Baron one coin to play and thereafter one coin and twelve cents for each roll of his dice, including the first. The consequence of this is that before each roll of the dice Sir R----- could have expected to receive the same bounty, provided that he wrote off any losses that he had made beforehand.

Quaker’s Dozen – baron m.

baron m. from thus spake a.k.

Sir R-----, my fine friend! The coming of spring always puts one in excellent spirits, do you not find? Speaking of which, come join me in a glass of this particularly peaty whiskey with which we might toast her imminent arrival!

Might I tempt you with a little sport to quicken the blood still further?

It lifts my soul to hear it Sir!

I have in mind a game that I learned when in passage to the new world with a company of twelve Quakers. I was not especially relishing the prospect of yet another monotonous transatlantic crossing and so you can imagine my relief when I spied the boisterous party embarking, dressed in the finest silks and satins and singing a bawdy tavern ballad as they took turns at a bottle of what looked like a very fine brandy indeed!

On Share And Share Alike – student

student from thus spake a.k.

When last they met, the Baron challenged Sir R----- to a wager in which, for a price of three coins and fifty cents, he would make a pile of two coins upon the table. Sir R----- was then to cast a four sided die and the Baron would add to that pile coins numbering that upon which it settled. The Baron would then make of it as many piles of equal numbers of no fewer than two coins as he could muster and take back all but one of them for his purse. After doing so some sixteen times, Sir R----- was to have as his prize the remaining pile of coins.

Share And Share Alike – baron m.

baron m. from thus spake a.k.

Sir R----- my fine fellow! Come join me in quenching this summer eve's thirst with a tankard of cold ale! Might I presume that your thirst for wager is as pressing as that for refreshment?

I am gladdened to hear it Sir! Gladdened to hear it indeed!

This day's sweltering heat has put me in mind of the time that I found myself temporarily misplaced in the great Caloris rainforest on Mercury. I had been escorting the Velikovsky expedition, which had secured the patronage of the Russian Imperial court for its mission to locate the source of the Amazon, and on one particularly close evening our encampment was attacked by a band of Salamanders which, unlike their diminutive Earthly cousins, stood some eight feet tall and wielded vicious looking barbed spears.