Thursday, August 27, 2015

if you want to major in gambling.

I will never forget my first time in a Vegas casino. I walked right up to an employee and said with confidence, "can you please tell me where the Russian roulette table is?" And I was not kidding. I honestly thought that roulette was called, Russian roulette. He gave me the strangest look and responded, "we don't do that here". Needless to say I was super confused until I explained the encounter to my girlfriends and they took away my right to be anywhere by myself except for our hotel room. That was my first brush with real gambling, other than the horse races in my small town where I would bet $2 to place. Maybe it was fate that I received Mark Bollman's Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers Behind The Neon when I did, just in time for labor day at the racetrack.

The whole idea of Bollman's book is to explain to readers the mathematics involved in analyzing games of chance such as casino games, horse racing, and lotteries. It is very much a textbook that focuses on probability and statistics, not necessarily how to win regularly at your gambling drug of choice. I don't imagine readers becoming the next Rain Man by reading this book, but it's definitely interesting.

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