1st Edition

Luck, Logic, and White Lies
The Mathematics of Games

ISBN 9781568812106
Published December 10, 2004 by A K Peters/CRC Press
504 Pages

USD $79.95

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Book Description

This book considers a specific problem—generally a game or game fragment, and introduces the mathematical methods. It contains a section on the historical development of the theories of games of chance, and combinatorial and strategic games.

Table of Contents

Preface -- I Games of Chance -- 1 Dice and Probability -- 2 Waiting for a Double 6 -- 3 Tips on Playing the Lottery: More Equal Than Equal? -- 4 A Fair Division: But How? -- 5 The Red and the Black: The Law of Large Numbers -- 6 Asymmetric Dice: Are They Worth Anything? -- 7 Probability and Geometry -- 8 Chance and Mathematical Certainty: Are They Reconcilable? -- 9 In Quest of the Equiprobable -- 10 Winning the Game: Probability and Value -- 11 Which Die Is Best? -- 12 A Die Is Tested -- 13 The Normal Distribution: A Race to the Finish! -- 14 And Not Only at Roulette: The Poisson Distribution -- 15 When Formulas Become Too Complex: -- The Monte Carlo Method -- 16 Markov Chains and the Game Monopoly -- 17 Blackjack: A Las Vegas Fairy Tale -- II Combinatorial Games -- 18 Which Move Is Best? -- 19 Chances of Winning and Symmetry -- 20 A Game for Three -- 2 1 Nim: The Easy Winner! -- 22 Lasker Nim: Winning Along a Secret Path -- 23 Black-and-White Nim: To Each His (or Her) Own -- 24 A Game with Dominoes: Have We Run Out of Space Yet? -- 25 Go: A Classical Game with a Modern Theory -- 26 Misère Games: Loser Wins! -- 27 The Computer as Game Partner -- 28 Can Winning Prospects Always Be Determined? -- 29 Games and Complexity: When Calculations Take Too Long -- 30 A Good Memory and Luck: And Nothing Else? -- 3 1 Backgammon: To Double or Not to Double? -- 32 Mastermind: Playing It Safe III Strategic Games -- 33 Rock-Paper-Scissors: The Enemy’s Unknown Plan -- 34 Minimax Versus Psychology: Even in Poker? -- 35 Bluffing in Poker: Can It Be Done Without Psychology? -- 36 Symmetric Games: Disadvantages Are Avoidable, but How? -- 37 Minimax and Linear Optimization: As Simple as Can Be -- 38 Play It Again, Sam: Does Experience Make Us Wiser? -- 39 Le Her: Should I Exchange? -- 40 Deciding at Random: But How? -- 41 Optimal Play: Planning Efficiently -- 42 Baccarat: Draw from a Five? -- 43 Three-Person Poker: Is It a Matter of Trust? -- 44 QUAAK! Child’s Play? -- 45 Mastermind: Color Codes and Minimax -- Index.

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" This book serves as an introduction to the mathematics of games. It seeks to show to the reader how it is that games have their power--how they manipulate chance, hidden information, and combinatorics... -Musings, Ramblings, and Things Left Unsaid, February 2005
most interesting and unique book, encompassing games of chance and games of perfect and imperfect information, stimulating and thought-provoking both to the sophisticated layman and to the well-informed expert."" -Aviezri Fraenkel, April 2005
in plain terms, Luck, Logic, and White Lies teaches readers of all backgrounds about the insight mathematical knowledge can bring and is highly recommended reading among avid game players, both to better understand the game itself and to improve one's skills."" -Midwest Book Review, April 2005
""Anyone who has ever tried to analyse a game mathematically knows that things can get very complicated very quickly..."" -Marianne Freiberger, Millennium Mathematics Project, University of Cambridge., May 2005
""The aim is to introduce the mathematics that will allow analysis of the problem or game. This is done in gentle stages, from chapter to chapter, so as to reach as broad an audience as possible. . . . Anyone who likes games and has a taste for analytical thinking will enjoy this book."" -Peter Fillmore, CMS Notes, May 2005
""The best book I've found for someone new to game math is Luck, Logic and White Lies by Jörg Bewersdorff. It introduces the reader to a vast mathematical literature, and does so in an enormously clear manner..."" -Alfred Wallace, Musings, Ramblings, and Things Left Unsaid, August 2005
""The book is well-written and can be recommended to all readers with interest in game theory."" -EMS Newsletter, June 2005
""He reviews the mathematical foundations, probability, combinatorics, and mathematical game theory, and emphasizes the implementation of these techniques so that players can put them to work immediately."" -L'Enseignement Mathematique, August 2005
""Ce Livre est bon. . . pour un coup d'oeil général sur le domaine, je ne pense pas qu'on puisse mieux trouver."" -Robert Bilinski, Lu pour vous, October 2005
""This book is a must for anyone interested in gaming... Students with an interest in mathematics will find this book to be of interest."" -Holly Flynn, E-Streams, August 2005
""I would recommend this book to high school and college teachers for their own enrichment, as a resource book for good students, and as a source for classroom activities."" -John Leamy, Mathematics Teacher, December 2005
""Translated (by David Kramer) from German, this book continues Martin Gardner's tradition of explaining how to play and to win at various mathematical games..."" -Paul J. Campbell, Look Smart, February 2006
""It is really good news that J. Bewersdorff's successful book has now, after the enthusiastic reviews of the previous three German editions been translated into English to reach the worldwide readership it deserves."" -Zentralblatt MATH, March 2006
""For anyone interested in what's really going on in games they play, this is an extremely interesting book. "" -January 2007
""This book is unusual in making the illustrative examples and the more technical and theoretical aspects of probability equally interesting and clear... What I liked particularly was the clarity, yet non-triviality of the examples used, leading to a well-founded understanding of these ideas."" -The Mathematical Gazette, November 2006
""The author (successfully) addresses a broad audience of readers interested in games."" -SpringerWienNewYork - Monatshefte fuer Mathematik, May 2008"

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