• Question: We are doing a science and maths project. We wanted to know how do you always win in tic-tac-toe and poker and the game 21. Thanks:)

    Asked by felicia978 to Amy, Drew, Julia, Kimberley, Sara on 20 Jun 2011.
    • Photo: Drew Rae

      Drew Rae answered on 17 Jun 2011:

      Hi there Felicia.

      You can’t always win at any of them.

      There is a strategy in tic-tac-toe for never losing, but it doesn’t guarantee a win as either noughts or crosses (since the other person can always use the strategy for never losing too).

      Poker and 21 are both games of odds. It is possible to have even odds in poker if you bet exactly based on the cards showing and ignore the behaviour of the other players. It is possible to improve or reduce these odds by anticipating or bluffing the other players.

      In the right circumstances, it is possible to have slightly better than even odds in 21, but it relies on knowing what cards have been dealt over a long period of time.

    • Photo: Julia Griffen

      Julia Griffen answered on 19 Jun 2011:

      I have no idea!

    • Photo: Sara Imari Walker

      Sara Imari Walker answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Oh wow! Sounds like you are doing a neat project. I think Drew’s got you pretty much covered here. I am not so good at games (especially not beating the odds), so I am going to trust him on this one!!

    • Photo: Kimberley Bryon

      Kimberley Bryon answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      I don’t think that you can always win although you can learn tactics to make it more likely that you will win

    • Photo: Amy MacQueen

      Amy MacQueen answered on 20 Jun 2011:

      Hmmm…good tips!! I guess they wouldn’t really be much of a game if you could always win. Other people are unpredictable but, as Drew said, you can work out the probabilities of things and play accordingly to heighten your chances of success!! 🙂