Mathematicians make the Best Gamblers

Mathematicians make the Best Gamblers

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A recent survey of successful gamblers, including both professional gamblers and amateurs, has proven once and for all that gamblers with formal qualifications in mathematical subjects are the most successful. This is not to say that in order to be successful at gambling it is necessary to be a mathematical genius, but it certainly helps.

 

A perfect example of this is one of the most successful gamblers of modern times, Edward O Thorp. He was a highly successful gambler who wrote ‘Beat the Dealer’, a book on blackjack that turned the world of gambling upside down. The book used a mathematical and scientific approach to winning the game and introduced card counting. He also invented one of the first wearable computers as a way to help beat the casinos. His qualifications include a Ph.D. in Mathematics from the University of California, an M.A in Physics from the University of California and a B.A. in Physics from the University of California; quite a bundle of impressive qualifications. He went on to make a fortune on the stock market.

 

There are numerous other examples of mathematicians becoming successful gamblers, but what is the reason? Many people believe that gambling is a fools game, that in the end it is only the bookies and the casinos that make any money. If this is true, then you would expect mathematicians with their greater grasp of probabilities and statistics to confer. The group of people that is best equipped to make a decision regarding the potential profitability of gambling are in fact the same group who are successful at it.

 

Possibly the major reason for this is that they are very good at assessing risk. All gamblers are risk takers, but most gamblers are not fully aware of the level of risk they take. In a number of games it is possible to minimise risk and maximise potential reward. Blackjack is a perfect example of this where simple mathematical tricks such as card counting are able to reverse a casino edge to a personal one.

 
 

 

 

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