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#1 Puzzles and Games » Math challenge: Come up with a way to play Monopoly by mail » 2013-07-30 09:41:53

Replies: 3

I recently moved, and was having a conversation online with a friend. We both loved playing Monopoly and lamented that we would not be able to play anymore. I joked that we should play Monopoly by mail, like people do (or used to do, anyway) with chess.

It got me thinking though: is there a way to truly play Monopoly by mail? How could two people ensure the integrity of the dice rolls? After all, if I'm four spaces away from a property I really need, what's stopping me from sending in the mail "Yay, I rolled a 4!"

So here's the challenge: You need to come up with a way to generate a number between 2 and 12 whose outcome neither party can predict in advance. (EDIT: It technically has to be two numbers between 1 and 6, because if you roll a "4" the game will differ whether it's two 2's or a 3 and a 1. Rolling doubles lets you roll again.)

You also need to simulate the Chance and Community Chest decks (16 cards in each): at the beginning of the game, the decks are shuffled and placed face down. Once the game begins, there is a set order to the cards (they aren't shuffled once the deck runs out, merely the whole deck is placed face down again). You need to find a way to establish an order for the Chance and Community Chest cards, but neither player can know the order in advance. When one player lands on a Chance or Community Chest Space, he has to "draw" the top card, but neither player can know in advance what that card will be.

Only written snail mail can be used: no Internet, no video (so no sending a video tape of Player A rolling the dice).

I have devised a solution to this problem, but I want to see what other people come up with!

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