# A strange game

i don,t know where to put htis thread..but here it go...
let,s suppose we have N objects on e of this being a black ball, goal of the game is to pick the N-1 objects (all except the black ball) to win the game..my question is what would be the strategy to follow to be the winner?..an extra rule is that you can pick 1,2 or 3 objects at a time but no more than 3, N can be odd or even...hope someone can help.

Last edited:

matt grime
Homework Helper
Try working out various (geometric) rvs to see what you get, but the chances of a win seem to be 1/N if you take them one at a time or all N-1 at once. I know that wasn't allowed in your rules, but there's notthing to stop you looking at drawing (possibly) more than 3 at a time to see what happens.

SGT
Can you explain a little more? How many people are playing? Can the players see all the objects?

-Players can see all the objects...
-There are only 2 players
-Any player can pick up 1,2 or 3 objects at a time but not 4,5 or 6...
-There are N objects (N-1+black ball) N can be Odd or even.

By the way this game appeared in a children TV progrma of my childhood, i don,t know if you will remember it it was called "Vickie the Viking"..in the show explained how to do..but i never understood.

SGT
In your play before last, you want to leave 5 objects for your opponent, so that no matter how many objects he picks, you will be able to pick 4 minus his pick and leave the black ball for him.
So, in the prvious play you must leave 5 + 4 = 9, so that no matter his play, you can allways leave 5 for him in the next play and so on.
So, for winning the game you must leave allways 4m + 1 objects for your opponent.

matt grime
Homework Helper
eljose said:
-Players can see all the objects...
-There are only 2 players
-Any player can pick up 1,2 or 3 objects at a time but not 4,5 or 6...
-There are N objects (N-1+black ball) N can be Odd or even.
By the way this game appeared in a children TV progrma of my childhood, i don,t know if you will remember it it was called "Vickie the Viking"..in the show explained how to do..but i never understood.

why didn't you include this information the first time round since the question is impossible to answer without it. As you can see I thought it was a game of chance you were talking about.