Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling, and Mathematical Modeling to Win!

This is a book about a gambling system that works. It tells the story of how the author used computer simulation and mathematical modeling techniques to predict the outcome of jai-alai matches and bet on them successfully -- increasing his initial stake by over 500% in one year! His method can work for anyone: at the end of the book he tells the best way to watch jai-alai, and how to bet on it. With humor and enthusiasm, Skiena details a life-long fascination with the computer prediction of sporting events. Along the way, he discusses other gambling systems, both successful and unsuccessful, for such games as lotto, roulette, blackjack, and the stock market. Indeed, he shows how his jai-alai system functions just like a miniature stock trading system.

Do you want to learn about program trading systems, the future of Internet gambling, and the real reason brokerage houses don't offer mutual funds that invest at racetracks and frontons? How mathematical models are used in political polling? The difference between correlation and causation? If you are curious about gambling and mathematics, odds are this is the book for you!

Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling, and Mathematical Modeling to Win is copublished by Cambridge University Press and the Mathematical Association of America.

``One of the best math books I've read in years.'' -- Keith Devlin, National Public Radio

``I couldn't put it down. The informal style is terrific; we should have more books written this way.'' -- Persi Diaconis, Stanford University

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Excerpts from book


Reviews of Calculated Bets

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Goals of the Book

I tell this story as a vehicle to introduce to explain several things which have long interested me: