Mathematics of Games and Gambling

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MAA, Dec 14, 2006 - Mathematics - 175 pages
The new edition of a favourite which introduces and develops some of the important and beautiful elementary mathematics needed for rational analysis of various gambling and game activities. Most of the standard casino games (roulette, craps, blackjack, keno), some social games (backgammon, poker, bridge) and various other activities (state lotteries, horse racing) are treated in ways that bring out their mathematical aspects. The mathematics developed ranges from the predictable concepts of probability, expectation, and binomial coefficients to some less well-known ideas of elementary game theory. The second edition includes new material on: • Sports betting and the mathematics behind it • Game theory applied to bluffing in poker and related to the 'Texas Holdem phenomenon' • The Nash equilibrium concept and its emergence in popular culture • Internet links to games and Java applets for practice and classroom use. Game-related exercises are included and solutions to some appear at the end of the book.
 

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Contents

The Phenomenon of Gambling
1
Finite Probabilities and Great Expectations
13
Backgammon and Other Dice Diversions
29
The Binomial Distribution
91
Elementary Game Theory
99
Odds and Ends
135
AnswersHints for Selected Exercises
167
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About the author (2006)

Edward Packel is Volwiler Professor of Mathematics at Lake Forest College.

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