# Fair coin

## Statistical concept / From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

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In probability theory and statistics, a sequence of independent Bernoulli trials with probability 1/2 of success on each trial is metaphorically called a **fair coin**. One for which the probability is not 1/2 is called a **biased** or **unfair coin**. In theoretical studies, the assumption that a coin is fair is often made by referring to an **ideal coin**.

John Edmund Kerrich performed experiments in coin flipping and found that a coin made from a wooden disk about the size of a crown and coated on one side with lead landed heads (wooden side up) 679 times out of 1000.^{[1]} In this experiment the coin was tossed by balancing it on the forefinger, flipping it using the thumb so that it spun through the air for about a foot before landing on a flat cloth spread over a table. Edwin Thompson Jaynes claimed that when a coin is caught in the hand, instead of being allowed to bounce, the physical bias in the coin is insignificant compared to the method of the toss, where with sufficient practice a coin can be made to land heads 100% of the time.^{[2]} Exploring the problem of checking whether a coin is fair is a well-established pedagogical tool in teaching statistics.