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How Many People Will Notice A Slightly Rigged Game Of Chance?

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Author: Sharon Cooper

Many people appear to love gambling and many people play the lottery. Are these people aware that the odds are stacked against them? Does this even matter to them? Would there be a noticeable difference between the number of people who were willing to play a fair game of chance, and the number of people who were willing to play a slightly rigged game of chance?

Materials:

  • A game of chance (of your choosing)
  • A rigged game of chance

Experimental Procedure

  1. Create two games of chance of your own devising. One game should be rigged in your favor, the other game should be exactly even.
  2. Discuss this project with the owner of a public place. Get permission to set up the experiment in a visible area with lots of foot traffic.
  3. Set up one game on one day, and the other game on a different day. Have a friend run the game while you keep track of how many people play and how many people watch. What sorts of people play? Do they seem to know that the game is rigged/not rigged?
  4. Ask the people who have played the game whether they felt it was fair. Ask them whether they believed it was fair before they began playing.
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