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Kelechi Kizito Ugwu
Kelechi Kizito Ugwu

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Python tutorial for creating a coin-flip simulation

Coin flip simulation is a concept that allows you to explore the randomness of coin tosses and simulate the outcomes of multiple flips.
By simulating multiple coin flips, you can analyze the distribution of different outcomes.
This article is a guide on how to program a coin-flip simulation using the Python while loop.
This article is aimed at Python developers with knowledge of Python concepts such as recursion, loops, stacks, and so on.


  • Overview of a coin-flip simulation

  • Using the while loop

  • Demo of the system

  • Recommendations for other techniques

  • Conclusion

Overview of a coin-flip simulation

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A coin flip is the act of tossing a coin into the air and letting it fall to the ground or a surface. The outcome of a coin flip is determined by which side of the coin lands facing up. A coin has two distinct sides: heads and tails. The outcome of a coin flip is unpredictable.
A coin flip simulation, on the other hand, is a computational approach to mimicking the act of flipping a coin using a computer program.
In a coin flip simulation, a random number generator is typically used to generate random values that represent the two possible outcomes of a coin flip: heads or tails.

Using the while loop
In this section, I will utilize the following:

  • The while loop to enable recursion.

  • Python random module to enable random number generator.
    Follow the ordered steps below:

  1. Import the random module

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  1. Assign a string TH to serve as the coin sides. T for tail and H for head.

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  1. Set an empty string as the value for the intended flip_result. Also, set the number of flips to 0.

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  1. Use the while loop and set a condition using the aforementioned no_of_flips to loop 10 times.

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  1. Use the random module introduced earlier and the choice method to return a randomly selected element from coin_sides. Assign it to a variable.

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  1. Reassign flip to a new variable(flip_result).

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  1. Use the Print function to print flip_result to the screen.

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  1. Set flip_result to an empty string to start all over.

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  1. Use the increment operator += and the integer 1 to increase no_of_flips, to avoid an infinite loop.

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  1. End.

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Code Demo
The screenshot below illustrates how the code works. Where T stands for Tails and H, heads.

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Recommendations for other techniques
The following links provide alternative ways to coding a coin flip simulation using Python:

To recap, you use the while loop and random.choice() to code the simulation.
The while loop to flip 10 times. The random.choice() function to choose between heads and tails
This simulation is not limited to coin flips and can also be extended to simulate other random events or systems.

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