'Elegant and amusing... Anyone planning to enter a casino or place an online bet would be advised to keep this book handy' – Wall Street Journal
The Perfect Bet
How Science and Maths are Taking the Luck out of Gambling
A guide to how the world's smartest gamblers are using science to take on the house – and win – whether they're playing blackjack, having a flutter at the racetrack, buying scratch cards or laying in-play football bets at the bookies'.
Gamblers have been trying to figure out how to game the system since our ancestors first made wagers over dice fashioned from knucklebones: in revolutionary Paris, the 'martingale' strategy was rumoured to lead to foolproof success at roulette; today professional gamblers are using cutting-edge techniques to tilt the odds in their favour. Science is giving us the competitive edge over opponents, casinos and bookmakers. But is there such a thing as a perfect bet?
In The Perfect Bet, Adam Kucharski looks beyond probability and statistics to examine how wagers have inspired a plethora of new disciplines – spanning chaos theory, machine learning and game theory – which are not just revolutionizing gambling but also changing our fundamental notions about chance, randomness and luck. Explaining why poker is gaming's last bastion of human superiority over artificial intelligence, how methods originally developed for the US nuclear programme are helping pundits predict sports results and why a new breed of algorithms are losing banks millions, The Perfect Bet has the inside track on any wager you'd care to place.