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Teachers & SchoolsPoor Batman. Basic probability is making his life harder. Just when he's gotten the Penguin locked up and the Riddler off the streets, math has to rear its ugly head.

Language | English Language |

Probability | Probability |

causing since he switched to Geico... ...er... a system based on probability.

For a super villain, being nice isn't exactly easy...

...and the Joker has been losing a lot of sleep wondering where he went wrong.

Two-Face has been getting all the headlines. What's a villain to do?

The answer is to think about probability. Probability is the study of outcomes.

For example, one outcome is that we'll go to Chipotle in the next two days.

Another outcome is that we won't. However, given our penchant for eating burritos...

...the probability may be higher than average for us here at Shmoop.

But let's look at some real numbers. The most important equation in basic probability

is: The number of favorable or wanted outcomes...

...divided by... ...the number of outcomes that are possible.

So, if we go back to our coin-flipping vs. deck of cards situation...

...we can start to see where the Joker went wrong.

When TwoFace flips a coin, he wants to get the side of the coin with the scratched head.

So, that's "one" in the numerator. And with the coin, there are only two possible

outcomes. The scratched side or the unscratched.

We see that this means the probability is one over two that he will be evil...or 50%.

However, for the Joker there are 13 spades in a deck, so we put 13 in the numerator.

And there are 52 possible cards he might choose...so we put 52 in the denominator.

Which means that the Joker only had a 25% chance of being villainous.

No wonder TwoFace has been taking more candy from babies.

Basic lesson for aspiring bad guys: Make sure you know your probability before

deciding on some kind of flashy trick.