# Basic(?) probability question: A boy has three one-dollar coins...

#### jullunety

##### New member
Hi, I need help with this probability question. An explanation would be very helpful.

Question:
A boy has three one-dollar coins. He can distribute the coins amongst himself, his brother, and his friend in any way he chooses. How many possible outcomes are there?

#### Subhotosh Khan

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Hi, I need help with this probability question. An explanation would be very helpful.

Question:
A boy has three one-dollar coins. He can distribute the coins amongst himself, his brother, and his friend in any way he chooses. How many possible outcomes are there?

Please share your work with us ...even if you know it is wrong.

If you are stuck at the beginning tell us and we'll start with the definitions.

http://www.freemathhelp.com/forum/announcement.php?f=33

#### Dr.Peterson

##### Elite Member
A boy has three one-dollar coins. He can distribute the coins amongst himself, his brother, and his friend in any way he chooses. How many possible outcomes are there?
In addition to showing your work, you should tell us how much you have learned about combinatorics (permutations, combinations, counting rule, ...) so we have a sense of what help you need and what level it should be at. This could be treated either as a very simple problem, or a rather advanced one.

Have you tried just listing the outcomes? That's what I would do.

And do you know whether the coins are to be considered distinguishable? I am guessing not.

#### stapel

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
A boy has three one-dollar coins. He can distribute the coins amongst himself, his brother, and his friend in any way he chooses. How many possible outcomes are there?
In how many ways can he give all three to one person?

In how many ways can he split the coins, one to one person and two to another?

In how many ways can he give one coin to each person?