What is the likelihood of winning at craps?

Craps is an exciting yet fickle game. It’s often featured in television and movie scenes, with occasional hooting and hollering around the craps table. So why all the excitement? And what’s the deal with 7?

Calculating the probability of winning is cumbersome — the casino relies on the complexity of the calculation to hide their edge. However, what makes it cumbersome is a slightly complicated sample space and conditional probabilities! In this lesson, students learn about the game of craps as the avenue for some sophisticated theoretical probability calculations, and they learn why, in the long run, the house always wins.

- Generate experimental data for a simplified version of craps
- Determine the sample space for the sum of two dice, and compare experimental and theoretical probabilities
- Generate experimental data for the full game of craps
- Calculate the theoretical probability of winning a game of craps

- Dice (2 per student or per small group)