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Life Or Death 3 june

Life Or Death Puzzle

You are a prisoner sentenced to death. The Emperor offers you a chance to live by playing a simple game. He gives you 50 black marbles, 50 white marbles and 2 empty bowls. He then says, 'Divide these 100 marbles into these 2 bowls. You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles. Then I will blindfold you and mix the bowls around. You then can choose one bowl and remove ONE marble. If the marble is WHITE you will live, but if the marble is BLACK... you will die.'

How do you divide the marbles up so that you have the greatest probability of choosing a WHITE marble?

For Solution: Click Here


  1. 1 white marble in one bowl, and rest of the marbles in other bowl.

    The chances of survival becomes:

    (1/2)*1 + (1/2)*49/99

  2. same to same.......

  3. Place 1 white marble in one bowl, and place the rest of the marbles in the other bowl (49 whites, and 50 blacks).

    This way you begin with a 50/50 chance of choosing the bowl with just one white marble, therefore life! BUT even if you choose the other bowl, you still have ALMOST a 50/50 chance at picking one of the 49 white marbles.

  4. command the Emperor to manage the separation. Since he said that "You can divide them any way you like as long as you use all the marbles."

    1. What does that accomplish?

  5. Given these rules I would play this game thousand times over and still live to tell the tale. And if you can't see the obvious solution to how I'd be able to achieve that whilst reading the rules of the game again, then you can't see the forest for the trees.

  6. Put all the black marbles in to the bowls equally . Them cover them with the white marbles. While the bowls be mixed around, nothing was said about mixing the marbles around ( from my daughter aged 8)