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Probability Dice Game

Probability Dice Game Activity

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5th Grade Math Games

With all of the different outcomes that may result from a single roll, dice are the perfect way to introduce probability math. This game in particular will help your kid learn how to answer some of those tough probability questions, such as, “How likely is it that the total of two rolled dice will be six?” or "What is the probability of rolling two threes?"

By the time you're finished playing your kid will easily be able to tell you the difference between the likelihood of rolling Snake Eyes versus the Lucky Number Seven!

What You Need:

  • A pair of dice, two different colors (for example, red and blue)
  • A piece of paper
  • Some M&M’s or another little treat

What You Do:

  1. Tell your child that he's going to learn all about probability using nothing but 2 dice.
  2. Ask him how many different outcomes are possible if he was to roll 2 dice. Remind him that there are 6 options on both sides. Together, you can determine that there are 6 x 6 = 36 possible rolls.
  3. Ask him how many ways there are to roll a total of “2” using two dice. After thinking, he should conclude that there’s only one way: 1 + 1.
  4. Ask him how many ways there are to roll a total of “7.” He should come up with 6 combinations: 1 + 66 + 12 + 55 + 23 + 44 + 3.
  5. Time to figure out all of the rolls. Have him fill out the last two columns of the following chart. He has already figured out “2” and “7,” and he can figure out the rest the same way.
Total to Roll
Ways to Get the Total
Probability of that Roll
2
1
1 /36
3
 
   / 36
4
 
   / 36 
5
 
   / 36 
6
 
   / 36 
7
6
6 /36 = 1/6
8
 
   / 36 
9
 
   / 36 
10
 
   / 36 
11
 
   / 36 
12
 
   / 36 

 

When he’s done, the chart should look like this:

 
Total to Roll
Ways to Get the Total
Probability of that Roll
2
1
 1 / 36
3
2
 2 / 36 = 1/18
4
3
 3 / 36 = 1/12
5
4
 4 / 36 = 1/9
6
5
 5 / 36
7
6
 6 / 36 = 1/6
8
5
 5 / 36
9
4
 4 / 36 = 1/9
10
3
 3 / 36 = 1/12
11
2
 2  / 36 = 1/18
12
1
 1 / 36
 

Take It Further:

Here’s a dice challenge for you: First, tell your kid the roll you want him to try and get. Then, give him two chances to roll. If he rolls what you requested, he receives a reward (a small piece of candy). He can win another for correctly guessing the probability of rolling whatever you asked him to roll. Good luck!

  • Roll a total of “9”                     (1/9)
  • Roll a total of “11”                    (1/18)
  • Roll a total of 8”                       (5/36)  
  • Roll a total of “12”                    (1/36)
  • Roll a total of “5”                      (1/9)
  • Roll a “7” or an “11”  (6/36 + 2/36 = 8/36 = 2/9)
  • Roll a “2” or “6”                      (1/36 + 5/36 = 6/36 = 1/6 )
  • Roll a “2” or a “6” or a “7” or an “11” (1/36 + 5/36 + 6/36 + 2/36 = 14/36 = 7/18)
Updated on Jun 24, 2014
Printable Workbooks from Education.com
Find a printable workbook to go along with this fun activity. See Workbooks
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