PROBABILITY OR LUCK?
by Michael Geiswhite

SUBJECT:
Statistics

TOPIC:
Probability


Michael Geiswhite
To obtain a downloadable copy of the worksheet that accompanies this bulletin board, click on the button below.

TITLE: Probability or Luck?

SUBJECT: 12th grade Statistics class.

TOPIC: Finding the probability.

INTERACTIVITY: The students will give each “player” two cards, one at a time. They will then put one card in the “not used” pocket and one in each of the “flop” pockets. The will proceed by putting one in the “not used” pocket and one in the “turn” pocket. The last step of interactivity will be for the students to put one more card in the “not used” pocket and one card in the “river” pocket. Between each step they are to find the probability of each hand.

DIRECTIONS FOR USE: There are eight players at the table; you are the dealer.

  1. Deal two cards to each player (one at a time and place it in one of the pockets at that persons seat) and put one card, face down, in the “not used” slot.
    1. Record what cards each player received in their slots.
    2. Figure out which player has the better chance of winning by finding the probability of them having the best hand so far.
  2. The next step is to put one card in each of the pockets in the “flop” slots. Proceed by putting another card face down in the “not used” slot again.
    1. Record what cards were put in the “flop” slots.
    2. Figure out the probability of each player having the best hand again.
  3. The next card goes in the slot labeled “turn” and place another card, face down, in the “not used” slot.
    1. Record what card was placed in the “turn” slot.
    2. Find the probability of each player having the best hand once again.
  4. The last thing you do is put a card in the slot labeled “river.”
    1. Record what card was placed in the “river” slot.
    2. Find the final probability of each player having the best hand.

Not all poker games are won based on probability. Some people win simply because they have good luck. So after you have finished finding the probability, decide whether you think that person should have won or if they just got lucky on one of the last two cards.

TIME: Estimated time to do the bulletin board is an hour.

SPECIAL CONSTRUCTION: For my border, I used poker chips from a box and I super glued them on one at a time. All the felt pockets on the bulletin board are glued on with material glue. The top of the pockets are open for the students to slide the playing cards in and out.

CREDIT: This bulletin board is designed for extra credit due to its level of difficulty and the time needed to complete the bulletin board.

OTHER COMMENTS: This bulletin board is your basic game of Texas Hold 'em.

Michael Geiswhite
Spring 2007