Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays: Volume 1 2nd Edition

8 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-1568811307
ISBN-10: 1568811306
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Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays: Volume 1 + Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 2 + Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Volume 3
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Editorial Reviews

Review

" ""Winning Ways is an absolute must have for those who are interested in mathematical game theory. It is sure to please any fan of recreational mathematics or simply anyone who is interested in games and how to play them well."" -Jacob McMillen, Math Horizons, November 2005
""This new edition confirms the status of the book as a standard reference, which it will continue to be for at least another decade."" -Adhemar Bultheel, Bulletin of the Belgian Mathematical Society , December 2005"
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Product Details

  • Paperback: 296 pages
  • Publisher: A K Peters/CRC Press; 2 edition (January 16, 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1568811306
  • ISBN-13: 978-1568811307
  • Product Dimensions: 0.5 x 7.5 x 9.2 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.1 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #303,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

38 of 38 people found the following review helpful By Charles Ashbacher HALL OF FAMETOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on February 23, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is the most difficult collection of puns that I have ever read. Of course, that has something to do with the fact that they are surrounded by some of the most complex mathematical analyses of games that you will find. The types of games that are examined are processes that have the following general structure:

1) There are two players.
2) There are many different positions, with one singled out as the starting position.
3) Players move according to very specific rules.
4) The players move alternately.
5) Both players have complete information.
6) There is no chance element to the play. For example, dice are not involved.
7) The first player unable to move loses the game.
8) The game will always move to a state where a player cannot move, which is an ending condition.

The hardest part of the material is the notation, it is unusual and absolutely necessary to understand the treatment of nearly all the games. However, once you get over that, something that took me a couple of passes, the games become interesting. Some of them turn out to be trivial, although at first reading, that would not be your conclusion.
I also would caution you that this is not recreational mathematics in its base form. These games and problems are nontrivial and most require some serious thought, even when the result is simple. As I read through these games and the mathematical examination of the consequences of playing them, I was struck by two semi-profound thoughts.

1) The human mind can create a game out of just about anything. Some of these games are nothing more than colored marks on paper.
2) Even simple rules can generate complex results.
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39 of 43 people found the following review helpful By A Customer on March 1, 2001
Format: Paperback
This is a classic set of books, and greatly improved from the original version. But if you're looking for the old Volume 1, this book will disappoint. The second edition of Winning Ways is split into 4 separately published books. So THIS Volume 1 is just half of the old Volume 1. Be prepared.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Physicsmind on June 8, 2008
Format: Paperback
Surely, no other books on this subject can be better than this series by Berlekamp and Conway, both are masters of the field! There is no doubt to this. But if someone, like a high school math teacher would like to experience the same thrills but at an elementary level, what is better than Mathematical Games and Pastimes by Domoryad, one of The Popular Lectures in Mathematics Vol. 10. Similar entertainment and taste but more accessible. ISBN B0006AYRNK
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5 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark R. Roop-kharasch on October 18, 2001
Format: Paperback
This book is dazzling. It can be pretty tough going but it is
well worth the effort. You can always tell the work of a genius because it illuminates the landscape and shows us things we have never seen before. I design games for a living and this book rocks! Hackenbush, Nimbers, games with 1/2 move advantage. Well illustrated. ONLY PROBLEM: Where are volumes 2-4?
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Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays: Volume 1
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