Thursday, June 21, 2007
Gambling and Maths
Mathematics i often thought to be dull and difficult, but a knowledge of one branch of it is necessary to gamblers. Indeed, nothing else more sorts out the serious gamblers from the mug punters. That branch is the one which deals with the theory of probabilities, and to the true gambler it can be fascinating. A knowledge of it will not guarantee a profit from betting, but it will cur out unnecessary losses.
The gambler needs to know about the calculation of odds, permutations and combinations, what constitutes a fair bet, how to spot the flaws in apparently impregnable system, and how to calculate the percentage against him arising from a casino's or bookmaker's need to make a profit.
Most discussions of probability begin by looking at the possibilities which arise from tossing coins. It must be assumed, at the start, that if a coin is tossed fairly, the chances of it landing head or tail upper most are equal. This need not necessarily be true, as the two sides of the coin are different and a physicist might one day be able to show that any coin is fractionally more likely to land on one side than the other. However, for the purpose of argument we we must assume that heads and tails are even propositions.