# Coin Flip: All About Flipping A Coin

Since our childhood, we are accustomed to flipping a coin. In fact, we generally flip a coin while deciding between two choices. It is also known as coin tossing. The act involves throwing a coin up in the air in such a way that it rotates edge-over-edge multiple times.

When the coin is in the midair, or before tossing the coin, one of the two involved parties chooses between ‘heads’ and ‘tails’. ‘Heads’ and ‘tails’ denote the two sides of the coin. After that, as per the custom, the coin is allowed to land on the ground, or be caught by the tosser.

Then after the coin comes to rest, the toss is complete. The party who chose the upper side of the resting coin is declared the winner. There is no specific standardized coin for the process. Normally, any coin having two distinct sides may be used for the process. However, larger coins are preferable for the toss. Moreover, in some special cases, the coins for tossing are custom-made.

However, with time, this simple act has assumed certain other usages. In fact, in mathematics classes too, we can flip a coin to explain, mathematical concepts. In fact, nowadays, separate websites and applications have also been designed where we can flip a coin, digitally. Read the article to know more about flipping a coin.

## A Bit Of History

History tells us that metal coins were first manufactured around the 7th century BC. However, the earliest reference to a coin flip may be found in ancient Rome. In fact, in ancient Rome, it was a game known as “navia aut caput”. The expression roughly translates into English as “ship or head”.It is important to mention here that some Roman coins contained a ship head on one side and the head of the emperor on the other side. In fact, History informs us that Julius Caesar also favored the coin flip around 49 BC. During this time the Romans also used to flip a coin to decide on various serious issues related to crime, marriage, and property.

Later, the British named this game “cross and pile”. In fact, the earlier British coins had the symbol of a cross on one side of the coin. On the other hand, the term “pile” is a Middle Engish term, meaning “reverse of a coin”. However, the origin of the flip coin is a much-debated issue.

According to some historians, it originated in ancient Greece. These historians suggest that in ancient Greece, the Greeks used to cover one side of a shell using ‘black pitch’. The other side of the coin was left uncovered. These shells would then be flipped in the air and the players would then call the sides.

In the modern world, a coin flip is practiced throughout the globe as a deciding factor in various sports like football, cricket, tennis, fencing, etc. Moreover, in politics too, we find the use of coin flip as a decision-making option.