FAQ: Conditionals & Logic - Coin Flip Demo

This community-built FAQ covers the “Coin Flip Demo” exercise from the lesson “Conditionals & Logic”.

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In the coin flip problem, when i put some number in place of (time(NULL)), the output comes out to be tails always. Why is it so?/

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Hello there. I would also like to know :slightly_smiling_face:

You can pass in a pointer to a time_t object that time will fill up with the current time (and the return value is the same one that you pointed to). If you pass in NULL , it just ignores it and merely returns a new time_t object that represents the current time.

So when you seed that value and then do

  int	coin = rand() % 2;

You then flip based on that value % 2. What it equates to determines if its heads or tails. What it sounds like is based on that link is that your feeding it a constant value, so your getting a constant result.

So, with what it ask you to do, you are always returning the else statement.

#include <iostream>
#include <stdlib.h>
#include <ctime>

int main()

  // Create a number that's 0 or 1
  int coin = rand() % 2;

  // If number is 0: Heads
  // If it is not 0: Tails

  if (coin == 0)
    std::cout << "Heads\n";
    std::cout << "Tails\n";

To add to Scott’s excellent reply, you could insert this line of code just below the line with time(NULL) in it:

std::cout << time(NULL)<< "\n";

This way, the value that is being used as a pseudorandom number, or a value very close to it, will be displayed, too.

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Interesting but difficult to learn complex concepts.

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i’m on the coinflip exercise and the run button is there, but is not actionable, like my cursor doesn’t change when going over it, cant click. nothing. directions are to run the program 5 times… so i cant click net until i run it ://