Heads or Tails is a coin-tossing game. Most coins have a side where the imprint of a person, such as a current or former head of state, is impressed — this side is called the "heads" side. The other side is called the "tails" side, irrespective of its design. Technically, the heads and tails sides are known as the obverse and reverse, respectively.
In 1870 Brewer's Dictionary of Phrase and Fable describes heads in a similar way and details tails as being the opposite and obvious reverse to heads. The expression 'can't make head nor tail of it' expresses this concept of opposites. Generally, one person throws the coin up in the air, and the second person must predict which side of the coin will lay face up after it rests back on the ground. A correct prediction results in a win. Another variation has the person catch the coin in one hand and slap it on the back of their other hand. Traditionally, the second person calls out "heads" or "tails" while the coin is in the air.
A related game, Cross and Pile, was played in England for many centuries. The cross was the major design element on one side of many coins, and the Pile was the bottom part of the die used to cast the other side of the coin (see hammered coinage). Cross and Pile is derived from the Greek pastime called Ostrakinda, played by the boys of ancient Greece. Having procured a shell, they smeared it over with pitch on one side and left the other side white. A boy tossed up this shell, and his antagonist called white or black (In the Greek, nux kai hemera, that is, 'night or day') as he thought proper, and his success was determined by the white or black part of the shell being uppermost.
In Italy this game is called Testa o croce, in Spain Cara o cruz and in Catalonia the game is called Cara o Creu (all "head or cross"). In Germany the game is called Kopf oder Zahl ("head or number", because the other side shows the coin's value). In Latvia the game is called Cipars vai ģerbonis ("number or the coat of arms"). In Ireland it is usually called Heads or Harps, since the reverse side of Irish coins (both Euro and the former currency, the Irish punt) always shows a harp. In Brazil, it is called Cara ou Coroa ("face or crown"). On Brazilian coins, one of the sides are called "Cara" (marked with a face); the other side is called "Coroa" (crown, or another symbol). In Mexico it is called Aguila o Sol (Eagle or Sun). In Peru it is called Cara o Sello ("face or seal", because the other side shows the Great Seal of the State). In Russia it is called Орёл или ре́шка (Oryól ili réshka - eagle, or another symbol), similar in Poland – orzeł i reszka. In Hong Kong, it is called 公定字 ("Head or word"). On Hong Kong coins, the obverse side of the coin are words that describe the value of the coin. The reverse side, however, is a flower, but Hong Kong citizens still use the term "head" to call the game. In Norway kron denotes the side that shows the kings profile, while mynt is the side that showns the coins value. Swedes use krona eller klave ("crown or hoof"), as old Swedish coinage depicted the regent (or the insignia of the regent) on the obverse (the word "crown" often being used to mean the king), and a highly stylized heraldic shield, reminding people of a hoof, on the reverse. In Israel the game is called Ets o Pally ("tree or Pally"). This name originates in the time of the British Mandate of Palestine when the coins bore the value of the coin with an olive branch on one side and the name Palestine on the other. Today Pally usually refers to the value side of the Israeli coins, while Ets refers to the other side.
Same or Different
Same or Different is a two person game in which a player tries to guess if two coin flips will be the same or different. The First person flips and then reviles whether they have heads or tails. The second person calls “same” or “different” and flips their coin. If the second person is correct he/she wins (often the stakes in this game are the coins used for flipping), and if the guess was incorrect, the opponent wins. This game is often played with the call (same or different) being made before the coins are tossed, and the two player toss at the same time. This game is most often played with quarters.
Most is a two player game in which one player tries to guess the most common result of multiple coin tosses. This game has two player positions; a thrower and a caller. The thrower tosses up any odd number of coins (usually an amount less then 10 for ease of counting) and the caller tries to guess the most common face prior to the throw. If the guess is correct, the caller wins, and if the guess is incorrect, the thrower wins.
Odd Man Out
Called Odd man out or simply “flipping” this game is played with multiple people, all with coins. Everyone flips their coins at the same time, and compare. If all of the coins but one match (for example one coin shows heads and the rest show tails), the person with the mismatched coin is called the odd man out and loses the game. Coins are flipped again and again until there is an odd man out, who has to pay all of the other players a predetermined amount. Odd Man Out is often played in offices for a cup of coffee or a soda form the vending machine. After the first few flips it is common for new rules to be added to make the game go faster. Rules usually eliminate the players with the most common face showing (for example, a person would call “most out” and on next flip if heads is the most common face shown, all players with heads are eliminated.) and this process is repeated until there is only one player left. That player has lost the game.
The Baisch rules are a standard set of rules for odd man out. The rules were created for playing in an office. The common bet is soda from a vending machine. The rules are as follows: