What if Not?: Connecting Probabilities Involving the Sum of Dice

William Beggs, Dane Camp


First paragraph: In the study of probability at the high school level, most students will solve problems involving the sum of two dice. A typical problem might be to find the probability that the sum is eleven when two dice are tossed. Teachers will often vary this problem by asking students to find the probability that the sum is less than eleven, or that the sum is seven or eleven. A creative way to generate more challenging problems is to use the “What if Not?” technique.


Probability; High School; Problem Solving

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