1st Edition

Mathematics of Casino Carnival Games

By Mark Bollman Copyright 2021
    318 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    318 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    318 Pages 27 B/W Illustrations
    by Chapman & Hall

    There are thousands of books relating to poker, blackjack, roulette and baccarat, including strategy guides, statistical analysis, psychological studies, and much more. However, there are no books on Pell, Rouleno, Street Dice, and many other games that have had a short life in casinos!

    While this is understandable — most casino gamblers have not heard of these games, and no one is currently playing them — their absence from published works means that some interesting mathematics and gaming history are at risk of being lost forever. Table games other than baccarat, blackjack, craps, and roulette are called carnival games, as a nod to their origin in actual traveling or seasonal carnivals.

    Mathematics of Casino Carnival Games is a focused look at these games and the mathematics at their foundation.


    • Exercises, with solutions, are included for readers who wish to practice the ideas presented

    • Suitable for a general audience with an interest in the mathematics of gambling and games

    • Goes beyond providing practical ‘tips’ for gamblers, and explores the mathematical principles that underpin gambling games

    1. Mathematical Background.  2. Mathematics and Casino Game Design.  3. Wheel And Ball Games.  4. Card Games.  5. Dice Games.  A. Answers to Selected Exercises



    Mark Bollman is Professor of Mathematics and chair of the Department of Mathematics & Computer Science at Albion College in Albion, Michigan, and has taught 113 different courses in his career. Among these courses is "Mathematics of the Gaming Industry," where mathematics majors carefully study the math behind games of chance and travel to Las Vegas, Nevada, in order to compare theory and practice. He has also taken those ideas into Albion's Honors Program in "Great Issues in Humanities: Perspectives on Gambling," which considers gambling from literary, philosophical, and historical points of view as well as mathematically. Mark has also authored Basic Gambling Mathematics: The Numbers behind The Neon and Mathematics of Keno and Lotteries.

    "Overall, the mathematical simplicity, the informative-didactic style and the unifying approach is what makes this book suitable for the double audience (players and maths students), and any non-mathematical person interested in gambling mathematics may start with it as a primer. As for the players, this mathematical perspective not only aims at gaming strategy and information, but includes problem gamblers fairly in the target audience because, by such perspective, the author offers them lessons too throughout the book, sometimes ‘between the lines’ but mostly present in the applied-mathematics content."
    – International Gambling Studies

    "An inherently fascinating, impressively informative, and ground-breaking unique and seminal study, Mathematics of Casino Carnival Games must be considered an unreservedly recommended and core addition to personal, professional, college, and university library Advanced Mathematics and Games Theory collections and supplemental curriculum lists."
    – Midwest Book Review