# snakes_matrix

snakes_matrix, a Python code which computes the transition matrix for the game of Snakes and Ladders.

Snakes and Ladders is a children's game played on a 10x10 numbered board. A player's turn consists of rolling a single die, and moving the indicated number of squares. If the final square is the foot of a ladder, the player moves up to a higher numbered square. If the final square is the mouth of a snake, the player moves downward.

By adding a square 0, where the player begins, the game board can be modeled as a vector of length 101, and the transitions from one square to another can be modeled by a transition matrix. Most commonly, the entries in row I will be zero except that columns I+1 through I+6 will have the value 1/6. However, rows which correspond to a snake or ladder, and rows for which I+6 is greater than 100, must be handled specially.

Given the transition matrix A, the one player game can be modeled as a Markov Chain Monte Carlo system. In particular, given an initial starting vector v, the probability distribution after one move is the vector A' * v, and repeated multiplication by A' will display the exact probability distribution at every step.

### Languages:

snakes_matrix is available in a MATLAB version and a Python version.

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### Reference:

1. Steve Althoen, Larry King, Kenneth Schilling,
How long is a game of Snakes and Ladders?,
The Mathematical Gazette,
Volume 77, Number 478, March 1993, pages 71-76.
2. Nick Berry,
A Mathematical Analysis of Snakes and Ladders,
https://www.datagenetics.com/blog/november12011/index.html