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Coin-tosses aren't fair

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posted on Aug, 26 2009 @ 12:54 PM
I'm not sure where to post this, but predictions seems like a good place, as one would predict the outcome of a coin toss to be 50/50; however, that does not seem to be the case.

Many statistics examples start with "assuming a fair coin-toss..." But it turns out that coin-tosses aren't fair; depending on your toss, there's a small-to-alarming bias in the result.

1. If the coin is tossed and caught, it has about a 51% chance of landing on the same face it was launched. (If it starts out as heads, there's a 51% chance it will end as heads).

2. If the coin is spun, rather than tossed, it can have a much-larger-than-50% chance of ending with the heavier side down. Spun coins can exhibit "huge bias" (some spun coins will fall tails-up 80% of the time).

3. If the coin is tossed and allowed to clatter to the floor, this probably adds randomness.

4. If the coin is tossed and allowed to clatter to the floor where it spins, as will sometimes happen, the above spinning bias probably comes into play...

I think that from now on I will spin the coin instead of flipping it...and will choose tails every time. This could be a fun experiment for us ATSers. Try each method and see what your personal results are.


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