Synopses & Reviews
An easy-to-read, fun look at some common probability traps and fallacies and how they can be used to put the odds in the reader's favor. Written by a math expert, who uses real-life examples that can be understood by general readers, Taking Chances: Winning with Probability shows how to make better betting decisions in such games of chance as: lotteries, football pools, dice, roulette, card games, tv game shows, horse racing, and betting with bookies. It will interest all those who are interested in gaining the extra advantage when it comes to winning the lottery, making money in the casino, winning the football pool, or backing the right horse.
Review
"Haigh, a cheerful Yorkshireman in his late fifties . . . is on a roll at the moment . . . After 33 years at the University of Sussex, where he's Reader in Mathematics and Statistics, he has belatedly risen from the academic ranks this year to become that most envied of creatures: a media don. His recently published book . . . has proved an unlikely hit that could well change his life. . . . For a start, you can see at a glance that Haigh, while respectable, is not rich. His trousers have seen better days . . . He may know how to beat the system, but he doesn't appear to have done so. In fact, . . . Haigh never gambles . . . Is gambling a mug's game, then? 'Not necessarily. Some people make money from gambling. And some people who don't make money from gambling are none the less often acting sensibly . . .' Haigh offers a golden rule: 'In an unfavourable game bet boldly, in a favourable game bet timidly.'"--The Independent on Sunday
"This text will appeal greatly to those who enjoy having their logic and intuition challenged. Probability is an ancient and fascinating subject, and John Haigh gives a clear account of its application to a variety of fun puzzles, real-life situations and popular games. The analyses are presented in a simple and logical fashion, needing no more than a good intuitive appreciation of probability, and the ability to count and to follow logical argument. Rather deeper and more mathematical analyses are provided in the appendices for the reader with a mathematical background. . . . Throughout, the reader is challenged with 'problems to solve', with solutions provided later. . . . This book will appeal to readers who regard probability as a fascinating, but somewhat mysterious subject. John Haigh's extraordinary, lucid text gives a great deal of intellectual satisfaction."--Times Literary Supplement
"Haigh (Univ. of Sussex, UK) offers a very interesting and entertaining book on probability and taking chances; he gives the layperson the opportunity to take a closer look at such things as roulette, the lottery, football pools, and other games of chance. Since many things in everyday life revolve around probabilities and likelihood, the author explains some of the basic notions of probability that might broaden the average person's appreciation of this important topic. The book does not require a sophisticated understanding of mathematics or statistics and is therefore mathematically accessible to all. There are 13 chapters, each of which has a common theme; for example, some chapter coverage includes football pools, dice, lotteries, English television games, casino games, and English sports. There are five appendixes that offer more mathematical depth if the reader is so inclined, as well as self-test quizzes with solutions. Recommended for general readers."--Choice
Table of Contents
What is probability
The National Lottery
Football Pools
Premium Bonds
Dice
Coins
Roulette
Matrix games
Matching Problems
TV shows
Benford's Law
Best of n
Card games
Bookies, the Tote, Spread betting
Miscellaneous applications in sport
Appendices