What’s the optimal strategy for taking on the Big Numbers?
Game show fan and math aficionado Dave Mattingly has a fantastic in-depth read on the optimal strategy for playing the bonus round of the game show High Rollers.
For those that don’t know, High Rollers’ Big Numbers game has players trying to shut off lights labeled from 1 through 9. The player rolls the dice, and whatever they roll, they have to remove from the board. So, if they roll an 11, they can remove the 9 and the 2; or the 8, the 2 and the 1. Rolling a doubles gives the player insurance against a roll they can’t remove from the board, but a bad roll and no insurance means the game is over. It’s based on a popular, traditional board game called Shut the Box.
So how do you do it? Well, we’ll let Dave explain:
Since there are nine different numbers, and each number has two states (either still on the board or removed), that means that there are 512 (2 to the 9th power) possible combinations of numbers that you could be left with at some point during the game.
Um… shit. That’s a lot of math. You better read Dave’s whole article to work out exactly how to win (and play around with his interactive High Rollers widget).