Winning a Coin Flip

For when you need that added elim edge

If you’re looking for a way to randomize your choices in a given dilemma, put away that quarter. It’s useless. (Sorry, Two-Face.)

But if you’re trying to game the game, flip away. Researchers at theĀ University of British Columbiaproved it can work.

After an argument about how to divide patients randomly into groups for a clinical trial (some wanted to use a coin toss, others argued that coin tosses could be manipulated), they tested their theories on a group of medical residents. When given some basic pointers and five minutes of practice, the subjects could intentionally show heads as much as 68 percent of the time. Here’s how they beat randomness.