Probability and Gambling – Check the Odds!
As a gambler, the word odds may not be alien to you. You
would have also come across the word probability many
times. But I doubt whether you would have understood the
deepness of the word in the full. Then here is the article
that would help you understand the relation between
probability and gambling
What is probability?
is basically a theoretical branch of mathematics, which
studies the results of mathematical definitions.
The main point is that probability deals with
predicting the likelihood of future events and therein
lays its relation with gambling.
interesting to note that modern probability theory emerged
from the dice tables of France in 1654. A probabilistic
when sees the dice would think “Oh it’s a six-sided dice?
Presumably each number of the dice is equally likely to
land face up. Now
assuming that each face comes up with
probability 1/6, I can find out what my chances of winning
What is the
relation between probability and gambling?
is framed on the basis of formulas and can give you a few
statistics to work with. A simple example would be - If
the average gambler had not been treated, the estimated
probability of gambling at least weekly would have been
about 0.36 to 0.54.
probability can tell you nothing about you individual
stake. For instance, you know that there are ninety
tickets in a lottery and that five of them will be drawn.
Thus you know all about the behavior of the complete class
of tickets. But with regard to the singular tickets you do
not know anything. Probability would give all tickets an
It is thus a
mistake to believe that the calculus of probability would
provide the gambler with any information which could
remove or lessen the risk of gambling. It however adds to
his knowledge and tells him exactly what the odds are and
how much he is putting at stake. Probability shows that
the gambler does not improve his chances by buying two
tickets instead of one of a lottery in which the total
amount of the winnings is smaller than the proceeds from
the sale of all tickets. So if he bought all the tickets,
he would certainly lose a part of his outlay. Even then
every lottery customer firmly believes that it is better
to buy more tickets than less.
and slot machines never stop. They do not give a thought
to the fact that, since the ruling odds usually favor the
banker over the player, the outcome will more certainly
result in a loss for them the longer they continue to
play. Thus, the attraction of gambling consists precisely
in its unpredictability and its adventurous vicissitudes.
It is the distinguishing feature of gambling that it deals
with the unknown, with pure chance. A gambler's hopes for
succeeding are never based on substantial considerations
and the game of gambling would become rather dull if one
was to bank too much on probability.
The jai-alai world of our
Monte Carlo simulation assumes that we decide the outcome
of a point between two teams by flipping a suitably biased
gambler thinks: "There is a slight chance [or, in other
words: 'it is not impossible'] that I may win; I am ready
to put up the stake required. I know very well that in
putting it up I am behaving like a fool. But the biggest
fools have the most luck.
Anyway! Your simulation
will compute the correct probability of each possible
betting outcome. But all players are not created equal, of
course. By doing a statistical study of the outcome of all
the matches involving a particular player, we can
determine an appropriate amount to bias the coin. But such
computations only make sense if our simulated jai-alai
world is a model consistent with the real world.
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