- Format: Kindle Edition
- File Size: 14175 KB
- Print Length: 284 pages
- Publisher: Chapman and Hall/CRC; 1 edition (13 June 2014)
- Sold by: Amazon Australia Services, Inc.
- Language: English
- ASIN: B00L2EBJ76
- Text-to-Speech: Not enabled
- Word Wise: Not Enabled
- Customer Reviews: 10 customer ratings
- Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #1,728,173 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind The Neon Kindle Edition
|Language: English||Format: Print Replica|
- Due to its large file size, this book may take longer to download
Kindle Monthly Deals
New deals each month starting at $1.49. Learn more
Customers who bought this item also bought
"Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon focuses on applying introductory probability theory to a plethora of well-known card games, dice games, casino games, and lottery games, as well as to their many less famous variations. ... This book is appropriate for readers who wish to understand the basics of probability theory, educators who wish to incorporate more concrete and exciting examples into their courses, and garners who wish to understand the mathematics behind their favorite pastimes. With its clear mathematical descriptions and multitude of examples and exercises, this book would even make an excellent supplement to any introductory probability course."
―Kathleen Ryan, in Mathematical Reviews Clippings, July 2015
"… the author does an excellent job at contextualizing probabilities and combinatorial quantities … Too many times, introductory probability books leave readers with a feeling that probability should be useful in building strategies for game play, yet these books do not explicitly make this connection for its readers. However, Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon does indeed make this connection.
This book is appropriate for readers who wish to understand the basics of probability theory, educators who wish to incorporate more concrete and exciting examples into their courses, and garners who wish to understand the mathematics behind their favorite pastimes. With its clear mathematical descriptions and multitude of examples and exercises, this book would even make an excellent supplement to any introductory probability course. Moreover, by incorporating visuals, such as diagrams of casino tables and images of old-time punchboards, and by also providing historical background for games, commentary on state gambling laws, and insight into the inner workings of casinos, this book successfully transforms an already fun topic into an even more enjoyable read."
―Mathematical Reviews, July 2015
"… it offers advice, backed up by detailed calculations, on standard gambles found in casinos and on the variations used to spice up these games. Most of these ‘extras’ turn out to have a far larger house advantage, but in their zeal to hook in potential customers, casinos may offer bets that favour the punter, or even free bets. Savvy readers can discover here how best to exploit these baits. … Useful tables list the basic data for a variety of games … The final chapter runs through a plethora of general betting strategies that have been suggested and explains their deficiencies patiently. … Reading this book would be time well spent for anyone contemplating a vacation in Las Vegas."
―John Haigh, London Mathematical Society Newsletter, November 2014
"Mark Bollman has written a wonderfully illuminating and accessible survey of the mathematics behind gambling. Firmly grounding his analysis in the historical and social context of the games, Bollman is able to explain both the theory behind the games and the practical application of that theory in a range of games, including not only the casino standbys of roulette, craps, and blackjack, but also new variations on those games. The included exercises give readers a chance to work out problems for themselves, which will undoubtedly enhance the usefulness of this book. This is a fantastic guide to gambling math, both for the beginner and the experienced gambler (or mathematician). As Bollman’s math proves, there’s rarely a sure bet, but Basic Gambling Mathematics comes pretty close."
―David G. Schwartz, University of Nevada, Las Vegas
"Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind the Neon is a must-have book for anyone interested in gambling mathematics. It not only covers all of the most popular casino games (blackjack, craps, roulette, keno), but is also a treasure trove of fascinating variants and novel games from casinos all over the world. Professors, students, and general gambling enthusiasts will all find something to capture their attention."
―Mike Ferrara, Associate Professor and Graduate Program Director, Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences, University of Colorado Denver
"….the book presents the mathematical analysis of fortune games in an easy style. It is an advantage that the book is completely understandable even for readers being not familiar in probability theory. From this point of view, the book is recommended for everybody without limitations. However, if the reader is interested in deeper technical details on the subject then he or she must look for a more advanced source."
―Gábor Szűcs, Szeged, 2017--This text refers to the paperback edition.
|5 star 23% (23%)||23%|
|4 star 22% (22%)||22%|
|3 star 55% (55%)||55%|
|2 star 0% (0%)||0%|
|1 star 0% (0%)||0%|
Review this product
Top international reviews
The book can be viewed either as an introduction to probability and statistics, perhaps as a college textbook, or something interesting for the layman to read. First off, be aware that there is math at the beginning of the book, math in the middle, and math at the end. The good news is that you've had most of it in high school, and the little that you didn't, the author explains in easy to follow language. The first couple of chapters introduce you to the mathematical definitions and concepts that you'll be seeing, while the rest of the book breaks down odds the various games of chance and discusses strategies on how to maximize your return. Note that this means, with the possible exception of some pay table variations for video poker, you will not win money in the long run, you'll just lose it more slowly. :-)
He shows, via mathematical proofs, that the best possible strategies are often counter-intuitive. Using the just mentioned video poker as an example, oftentimes the best strategy is to turn down a sure payout in hopes of getting a much larger payout. With a five coin-bet, the payout for a flush may be 40 to 1, while the payout for a royal flush may be 4700 to one. If you have, say, the 4, 10, Jack, Queen, and King of hearts, the best strategy is to discard the 4, and hope to draw an Ace of hearts. Although the chances of drawing that Ace is only 1 in 47, because of the much high payout for the Royal Flush, you'll make about triple the money you'd get vice standing pat with the flush, over the long run.
You don't have to delve deeply into the mathematical equations if you don't want to, as you can just allow that the author's results are correct and follow along with the results. If you do want to do the math, he has problems and exercises (and like most textbooks, includes half of the answers) within the book. While there are books out there that go into greater detail on various betting strategies for individual games, this is an outstanding effort that not only gives you the best strategies for a large number of games, and mathematically shows you while they're valid. Five stars.
It is clear that this book was spawned from the ethos of a college class. It is a textbook. But that should not stop you from getting this book. If you are the type of person who wants to really understand the mathematics behind the games of chance that you play, then this is a great book. If you are looking for a simple and easy to read "dummies" book, then this is not for you. You will not be able to read this in a weekend and then be done.
The book is dense on info, but not overly so,m it covers basics and then gives great examples.
If you are the type that can sit down and read a book with purpose and patience then this will make you a better gambler (well more specifically one that understands the game of chance behind it)
It starts off simply enough with basic set theory but quickly gets more complicated with summations, unions, intersects etc. For the most part this is high school level mathematics, which for someone like me who's been out of high school for a number of years and have forgotten most of my math class makes the book a little daunting however Mark Bollman does a wonderful in explaining the symbols and terms used and you quickly start remembering what you learned in school.
The book takes a myriad of casino games and reduces each one the mathematics behind the probability of winning. Games range from well known ones like craps, roulette and blackjack to ones I've never heard of like the ninety percenter punchboard, pai gow poker and sic bo.
Although the book is very math heavy it is not dry and the author keeps you interested throughout with little tidbits of knowledge and history regarding the particular game you are reading about.
Dispersed throughout the book are little exercises for you to perform and calculate which aid greatly in both the understanding of what is being talked about and the calculations themselves. The exercises don't take long to complete.
Although the book doesn't cover every single casino game there, by the end of it you will have enough knowledge and confidence in your abilities that you could extrapolate the game down to its basic mathematical equations for yourself.
This book may not be for everyone but I can see those interested in math and probability and also those with more than a passing curiosity of gambling enjoying it. It does not read like a university thesis like other books on the subject I have previously read.
An enjoyable and informative book.
The book itself provides a mathematical foundation in the form of simple proofs and lessons in the mathematical foundation for the methods needed to compute the probability. Of course, once you've computed the probabilities for any given situation, you need not recompute it over and over since the answer doesn't change, but with the methodology provided in the book, most industrious readers should be able to adapt to variations to understand the odds in some new situation. And this is really the point since intuition is developed from a strong knowledge base. And even better than intuition is the ability to validate that your intuition is correct.
The mathematics itself is primarily based on combinatorics and doesn't exceed advanced high school or elementary college mathematics. If you can't quite get the proofs, it shouldn't detract from understanding the computations themselves (you'll just have to take them as truths). But I especially liked the authors appendix on proof by induction. This concept is generally more advanced, even if it's initially taught as wearly as the 10th grade!
But all in all, the book is excellent and an easy recommendation for anyone that wants the ability to compute the odds. And although playing against the house is not an investment strategy, this book shows you why Craps provides the best attempt at an advantage against the house (short of counting cards in Blackjack). But for all the poker players (where you're playing not against the house, but against other people with money to lose), you can get a decided advantage by understanding the underlying probabilities.
I wish this book had been available back then, if it had been I would have gladly purchased it. I wish too that when I was in college there had been a course based around this subject/textbook - I would have signed up for it. While this is a book that can be read by the general population, it appears to me to be designed more for use in a classroom (with an instructor to guide students through the math). There are exercises located at the end of each chapter that helps to illustrate and reinforce the concepts presented in the chapters. And helpfully, there is a section in the back of the book that provides answers to the odd number ones. The mathematics covered is not really hard - if you have had some college level math. But even if you haven't - I think most people could still get a lot from reading the non-mathematics portions of the book. The author goes into some detail on the history of the different games of chance, which was something I found fascinating.
The section on lotteries was what drew me to this book, but I enjoyed reading about the other games as well. The chapter that generated the most discussion among my friends was the last one on betting strategies. Everybody seem to have an opinion on that (and a favorite strategy for whatever game they liked to play).
There is a rather extensive index in the back of the book - something that I'm always appreciate of. In reading a book like this, I tend to like to jump around a lot - and having a good index really facilitates doing that. There are also several appendixes and a bibliography in the back of the book - along with the answers to the end-of-chapter exercises I previously mentioned.
I would easily recommend this book to anyone interested in mathematics and gambling.