- Hardcover: 192 pages
- Publisher: Mathematical Assn of Amer; 2 edition (July 15, 2006)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 0883856468
- ISBN-13: 978-0883856468
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.6 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 4.3 out of 5 stars See all reviews (6 customer reviews)
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #643,822 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Mathematics of Games And Gambling: Second Edition. The Anneli Lax New Mathematical Library 2nd Edition
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Review of first edition: 'The whole book is written with great urbanity and clarity. It is hard to see how it could be done better or more readably. The main virtue lies in the close and clever interweaving of theory and example.' Mathematical Gazette<br /><br />Review of first edition: This is an informal, well-written, and witty exposition of the usefulness of mathematics and its analytical processes. The book covers gambling and betting schemes in math in greater detail than do most textbooks on introductory probability. --The Mathematics Teacher
High school students will find this book a good preparion for doing an elementary statistics and probability course at university level. This book is also a good resource for first year university students, in particular in mathematics and statistics, to understand the theories behind the games. --Boris Choy, The Australian Math Teacher
The new edition of a favourite, introducing and developing some important and beautiful elementary mathematics needed to analyse various gambling and game activities. Most of the standard casino games, some social games and various other activities (state lotteries, horse racing) are treated in ways that bring out their mathematical aspects.
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Top Customer Reviews
The writing style is light and enjoyable. The author even touches on life's lessons and philosophies of life, but most importantly he provides insight into the thought process employed by consistent winners. Along with the number of charts and tables that layout odds, decision trees, and probabilities, there are exercises at the end of each chapter for the reader to increase his understanding of the material presented. It is a book that can be read through from beginning to end or read in sections. The book is certainly digestible for the casual, interested reader, but maybe not all in one meal. Digesting it section by section worked better for me. Again there is a wide range of information on gambling theory with broad application.
The book starts with a brief history of gambling, even referencing some literature in which gambling played a role. The book studies basic theory involved in probability and expectations, permutations, binomial distribution and game theory. There are sections dedicated to various games from dice to poker to backgammon along with applications to more serious topics such as prisoner interrogation, faith beliefs and even war.
In today's age in which people are trying to engage in activities that exercise their minds, this book with its material and exercises provides ideal mind stimulation. It is a broad, educational and entertaining math book.
Modern college texts require a much higher level of preparation plus about four or five times the effort to assimilate. That's no fun, and truthfully of little value, to the average gambler who just wants to calculate the odds of throwing a 5 at craps. If you can't solve that problem and a hundred others after reading this book, you probably should stop trying.
There is fascinating historical and motivational material woven throughout dozens of examples taken from modern gambling scenarios. The essential combinatorics are developed and the normal distribution is described intuitively as a limit to the binomial. There's even a derivation of the famous gambler's ruin formula -- all without calculus.
A gambler will be more than just sharp after reading this book, he will become dangerous!
The book uses gambling as its entré to basic probability theory. Not a bad idea, but the title was clearly ambiguous.
If you are looking for an introductory text, it is probably a 4-4.5 star choice. For my purposes it gets a 2; the historical context was interesting and completely lacking in most texts (otherwise I would have gotten nothing out of it). The writing quality was also very good (easy to read and the explanations were straightforward and complete).
Recommended for beginners, NOT recommended for people looking for more advanced tools to solve more complicated gambling problems. Due to the titles ambiguity, I had to average my rating between the appropriate 'beginner's text' rating of 4-4.5, and the rating of 2 stars I give it for what I was looking for.