Taking Chances: Winning with Probability

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OUP Oxford, Mar 4, 1999 - Games & Activities - 400 pages
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What are the odds against winning the Lottery, making money in a casino, or backing the right horse? Every day, people make judgements on these matters and face other decisions that rest on their understanding of probability: buying insurance, following medical advice, carrying an umbrella. Yet many of us have a frightening ignorance of how probability works. Taking Chances presents an entertaining and fascinating exploration of probability, revealing traps and fallacies in the field. It describes and analyses a remarkable variety of situations where chance plays a role, including football pools, the Lottery, TV games, sport, cards, roulette, coins, and dice. The book guides the reader round common pitfalls, demonstrates how to make better informed decisions, and shows where the odds can be unexpectedly in your favour. This new edition has been fully updated, and includes information on "Who Wants to be a Millionaire?" and "The Weakest Link", plus a new chapter on Probability for Lawyers.
 

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Contents

1 What is probability?
1
2 Lotteries
13
3 Football Pools Premium Bonds
41
4 One coin many games
54
5 Dice
73
6 Games with few choices
95
7 Waiting waiting waiting
128
8 Lets play best of three
151
13 Lucky for somemiscellanea
271
14 Probability for lawyers
299
Appendix I Counting
321
Appendix II Probability
327
Appendix III Averages and variability
339
Appendix IV Goodnessoffit tests
349
Appendix V The Kelly strategy
357
Solutions to test yourself quizzes
361

9 TV games
168
10 Casino games
191
11 Bookies the Tote spread betting
224
12 This sporting life
247

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About the author (1999)

John Haigh is Reader in Statistics at the University of Sussex. His interest in probability was awakened by various card games, and he has made a particular study of lotteries, cards, and dice.

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