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The Three Hat Problem 325

Posted by michael
from the how-mathematicians-occupy-their-time dept.
jeffsenter writes: "The NYTimes has a nice article on the three hat problem, which has recently become quite popular among mathematicians. Three people are given either a red or a blue hat to wear. The goal is to have someone guess the correct color of his/her own hat with no person guessing incorrectly." Read the article for the rules of the puzzle. This problem is quite comparable to the Monty Hall problem, where people initially think that they can't do better than chance, but then realize that there is an extra source of information which can be tapped - either the host's knowledge of which door has the prize, or in this case, the fact that which player makes a guess can be determined after the game has started, that is, based on information available about the hats. Think about it - it's an interesting puzzle.
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The Three Hat Problem

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