Examples of Markov chains

A game of snakes and ladders or any other game whose moves are determined entirely by dice is a Markov chain, indeed, an absorbing Markov chain. This is in contrast to card games such as blackjack, where the cards represent a ‘memory’ of the past moves. To see the difference, consider the probability for a certain event in the game. In the above-mentioned dice games, the only thing that matters is the current state of the board. The next state of the board depends on the current state, and the next roll of the dice. It doesn’t depend on how things got to their current state. In a game such as blackjack, a player can gain an advantage by remembering which cards have already been shown (and hence which cards are no longer in the deck), so the next state (or hand) of the game is not independent of the past states.

Google‘s PageRank algorithm is essentially a Markov chain over the graph of the Web.[1][not in citation given]