Can we find some ways from rulebooks or the rest of the site and put them up? I don't have much time. Thanks in advance. --ManyHills 18:22, 9 May 2005 (GMT)
Extended RPS?[edit source]
Is there some way to do something reasonably fair, like coin flipping or rock-paper-scissors, for three or more people? I'm assuming that there's not someone that everybody trusts to be the disinterested official, like a master.
A RPS tournament isn't fair in this sense, because that tends to favor people who are good at RPS. Coin flipping may or may not be fair, but it's not trivial to design a coin-flipping tournament that can offer Huey, Dewey, and Louie equal chances. Possible, but not trivial.
I'm looking for a way a group of N players can easily and quickly pick one of their number in such a way that everybody is reasonably sure that all N players had an equal chance. Even better would be for a way that sorts the N players into an order such that any player has an equal chance of being in any given position.
Here's a way to do the first one, maybe. Players each procure an item with a unique serial number of at least eight digits, such as a bank note. All players reveal the last eight digits of their number. Several players independently calculate and announce S, which is the last eight digits of the sum of all players' revealed numbers. The first player is the one whose number is the smallest number greater than or equal to S, or (if there was no such number) the smallest number overall.
Can you cheat? It's not too easy. But if you can figure out enough about what S is going to be, perhaps because you and some friends are colluding to be the last ones to reveal your numbers, one of you might have the right serial number in your wallet. So this method favors those with literally fat wallets, if they're willing to work at it. If players must set their bills face-down under beermats before anyone reveals a number, cheating becomes all the more difficult.
And that's why this method can't be extended to find an order for play. It seems tempting to say that the players should go in order by serial number, starting with that first player. But now players have even more reason to collude about their choice of number, since they can choose in what order they themselves will play, which could be quite significant at the start of a large tournament.
Oh, and did I mention that calculating S is a royal pain? I'm looking for a way that's fun, not tedious. But I'll be happy if we get so far as not a total funstopper.
Maybe the solution requires something different than dice, coins, playing cards. That's why I chose serial numbers in the example above. Maybe the solution is some different kind of game, like RPS, that's quick and definitive, but with NO strategy that lets anyone do better than anyone else. In other words, it's a failure as a game on its own, precisely because there's no point to it; the outcome is random.
- Yes, it's identical. I never knew they changed the name. On their website, they still sell "Punchcards".-JEEP 16:39, 28 May 2005 (GMT)
- The best multi-player RPS I've played is Ready, Aim, Fire. It reduces a large group of people very quickly and is very fun. Everyone in the circle points on the count of three, either to another person, to themselves, or up in the air (to nothing). People who are shot are dead, except for people who are simultaneously being shot at and shooting themselves - in that case, the victim survives and the shooter(s) are killed. On the theory that it's rude to shoot a suicide. [I am pretty sure I read this game in Richard Garfield's column in Duelist magazine.] - misuba 08:40, 28 May 2005 (GMT)
- RAF is good. -JEEP 16:39, 28 May 2005 (GMT)