Rolling Dice


The purpose of this activity is to engage students in finding an expected number that is based on equally likely outcomes.

Achievement Objectives
S2-3: Investigate simple situations that involve elements of chance, recognising equal and different likelihoods and acknowledging uncertainty.
Description of Mathematics

In readiness for this problem, the students should have familiarity with each of the following components of mathematics. The problem may be solved with different combinations of these components.

  • basic addition facts
  • probability - equally likely outcomes
  • expressing probabilities - unlikely, likely, etc
  • carrying out a probability experiment
  • finding an expected value

This activity may be carried out with guidance, or by allowing the student to follow their own method of solution. The approach should be chosen in sympathy with students’ skills and depth of understanding.


Playing a board game, Otis needs to roll doubles in order to start.

How many turns do you expect it will take before Otis gets to start?


The procedural approach (show more)

  • The student is able to carry out an experiment to find an expected value, with guidance, in a situation involving equally likely outcomes.

The conceptual approach (show more)

  • The student is able to find an expected value in a situation involving equally likely outcomes.
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Level Two