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The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic, Revised Edition 1st Edition

10 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-0122407611
ISBN-10: 012240761X
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Editorial Reviews


This classic text, previously available in hardcover only...and out of print for years, has finally been published in a less expensive paperback edition. Every serious player should have this book in his library.
--ARNOLD SNYDER, Publisher and Editor, Blackjack Forum Magazine<$>, Author, BLACKBELT IN BLACKJACK
"Richard Epstein's marvelous book is now a classic account of gambling games and their underlying laws of probability. Its range of topics exceeds that of any comparable work. Clearly written, accurate, it should be on the bookshelf of anyone seriously interested in probability theory, especially in its application to recreational games."
--MARTIN GARDNER, Former Columnist, Scientific American<$>
"This classic book should be part of the library of everyone who wants to better understand games and gambling. The treatment is unique, original, and intriguing."
"Gambling is pervasive: witness the growth of lotteries, horse racing, and casinos; but buying houses, commodity contracts, stocks, precious metals and currencies are subject to similar statistical laws. Epstein's classic work provides a clear treatment of the basic principles to analyze such situations and to separate them into those with edges (investments) and those that are unbeatable (gambles). It's a delight to teach from this book and to browse through the many interesting sections on the various games of chance. Bravo Academic Press for making this seminal work available to more students of gambling and investment."
--DR. WILLIAM T. ZIEMBA, University of British Columbia
"Epstein's classic work is a must-read for anyone planning to teach a course in probability or properly operate a casino. Serious players have known about the book for years. In the 15 years I've been marketing director of Gambler's Book Shop, few other books have ever commanded the respect of this statistical landmark. It's time a whole newgeneration of players and casino management re-discover this challenging yet rigorous treasure-trove of material."
--HOWARD SCHWARTZ, Marketing, Research Director, Gambler's Book Shop, Las Vegas, Nevada
"...Richard Epstein's classic The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic<$> helped kindle my interest in the mathematics of gambling. The book is a fascinating treasury of games and methods to analyze them."
--PETER GRIFFIN, California State University, Sacramento, Author, THE THEORY OF BLACKJACK
"Richard Epstein's classic text, The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic<$> has defined the mathematics of gambling for an entire generation of researchers, statisticians, computer programmers, and serious students of the various games of chance we play. In this monumental work, Epstein has taken it upon himself to answer more questions about more games than any other single book before or since. I do not know of any serious researcher in the field of gambling statistics who does not pay homage to Richard Epstein. It is a boon not only to players, but to the entire gambling industry that this book is now being made available in a paperback edition."
--ARNOLD SNYDER, Publisher and Editor, Blackjack Forum Magazine<$>, Author, BLACKBELT IN BLACKJACK
"Epstein's classic contains all the math you need to analyze casino and other games."
--STANFORD WONG, Author of PROFESSIONAL BLACKJACK, and the monthly Current Blackjack News<$>

From the Back Cover

Richard Espstein's classic book on gambling and its mathematical analysis covers the full range of games from penny matching, to blackjack and other casino games, to the stock market (including Black-Scholes analysis). Epstein is witty and insightful, a pleasure to dip into and read and rewarding to study.

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 450 pages
  • Publisher: Academic Press; 1 edition (1977)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 012240761X
  • ISBN-13: 978-0122407611
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.7 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (10 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,066,464 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

60 of 67 people found the following review helpful By Nils R. Barth on March 12, 2004
Format: Paperback
Buy The Doctrine of Chances: Probabilistic Aspects of Gambling (Probability and Its Applications) instead!

Review of "The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic" follows:

Some parts are interesting, and the writing can be entertaining, but the book is short on insight and clarity and long on tedious tables and uninterpreted computations.

Buy this if you already know probability and would like to see -some- applications and cute games.

Don't buy it if you want insight into particular games; especially, the blackjack and bridge sections (and meager poker section) have virtually no value.

I am a graduate student in mathematics, and enjoy probability theory and games: I should be the ideal audience. The math is no problem for me, but much is boring, and much time is spent writing huge tables without giving much insight.

Research articles in statistics are easier to read, and far more informative.

The math background is awful: if you don't already know it, don't learn it here. (Instead, see "The Cartoon Guide to Statistics", or Feller's "Intro to Probability".) The writing is willfully obscure and florid (though, admittedly, entertaining): gymkhana, panjandrum, kubiagenesis?

My main objection is the lack of insight: the author does (mostly) correct computations and statements but seldom shows much depth of understanding and rarely conveys any to the reader.
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22 of 23 people found the following review helpful By Mark on August 22, 2000
Format: Paperback
This book covers the mathematics behind gambling, in an extraordinarily well-written yet technical manner. The author covers all sorts of games such as blackjack and bridge, and provides mathematical derivations of all sorts of probabilities. There is also a most interesting discussion of the pari-mutuel system used in wagering on horses. A good assortment of challenging problems for the reader are also presented.

The only warning I would give is that the book is probably not suitable for someone who has at least taken 1 university course in calculus and algebra. While Epstein doesn't use any advanced math, there are certainly a lot of formulas and a certain familiarity with math is essential.

This being said, the book is a classic in its field. If you're interested in the mathematical study of gambling you will not be disappointed. This is one book that you can read many times and always find something new and interesting to try.
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17 of 18 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on October 21, 2002
Format: Paperback
I would mostly echo the positive reviewers of this book. This book is indeed a classic in the field of probability theory and applied statistics. It is also a great book for people who want a serious, math-intensive treatment of gambling.
I am writing this review mostly to deal with the criticism that this book has received from some of the other reviewers. I would agree with those critics that this book is not for the faint of heart. This book does require a certain comfort level with mathematics.
However, I don't think it's all that fair to bash this book for those alleged faults. Mr. Epstein's book does not pretend to be anything other than a serious treatment (and a serious treatment would require a great deal of mathematical analysis) of gambling. In fact, the serious analysis of gambling is what gave rise to the mathematical disciplines of probability and statistics. Mr. Epstein is (was) an engineer and the book makes that very clear. FAIR criticism would be based on citing problems with the book based on what the book was INTENDED to be. UNfair criticism of this book is based on what the mathematically challenged reader HOPED it would be.
BTW, I do agree with the math-challenged critics that there are some good books out there dealing with a more math-oriented approach to gambling that were written with the intention of appealing to people who wanted to make use of such information and wanted a lighter touch on the math. Among them are the *Theory of Poker* by Skalansky and the other books mentioned on this page.
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15 of 16 people found the following review helpful By Gregg Lowney on January 31, 2003
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
To the reader who was frustrated by the title of Chapter one, 'Kubeiagenesis', and could not find a definition.
-genesis, is first defined as a suffix, meaning 'origin'.
Kubeia comes from The New Testament Greek Lexicon.
Kubeia (koo-bi'-ah). Definition 1. dice playing 2. metaphor for the deception of men, because dice players sometimes cheated and defrauded their fellow players.
Translated to english in Ephesians as both 'sleight' (KJV) and 'trickery' (NAS).
Clearly, Kubeiagenesis is meant to be the origin of sleight, trickery, and deception.
That it is the first word of the text may be to inform the reader that what follows may be nonintuitive -- but is well defined, documented, and referenced. You may find yourself reading several of the referenced texts before completing the book if you are going to absorb it all.
This book is the Bible on the subject. The author brilliantly interweaves relevant stories, and shows connections to disciplines outside mathematics and gaming. If you simply want answers and don't care how they were calculated, try some of the other texts offered. If you want to understand the subject -- buy this book.
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