Duplicating rolls in Trivial Pursuit

Trivial Pursuit is a game of knowledge but it’s also about dice and probability theory.

Usually it’s obvious how to move. Fields which may award wedges are most desirable. Second are “free roll” fields. Least attractive are the ordinary question fields. However, question fields also come in two kinds.

The following image depicts the possible rolls and moves when placed on the rim, between two “free roll” fields.

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Note how every dice roll lands nicely on either a spoke or a free roll. This is a good position to roll from.

Adjacent to a spoke

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Overall, this is a worse position than the one above. In particular, note how fives and twos just lead to another question square.

When does this matter?

It matters in the cases where you cannot avoid moving to a question square, but you can choose the type. One example is the roll of a two in the figure above. Another is the roll of a one or a six when on a “free roll” square:

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All in all, if you need to pick a question square, pick one in the middle between the spokes if you can. If you don’t go by this principle, you’ll end up answering more questions to make the same progress. Maybe not in the specific game but in the long run.

I’m pretty sure that you brainy people knew this all along. You just chose not to tell me.

Stuff that I learned

  • Trivial Pursuit is (also) a game about dice probabilities
  • Brainy people are good at keeping secrets, apparently