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Calculated Bets: Computers, Gambling, and Mathematical Modeling to Win (Outlooks) Paperback – 6 Aug 2001

2.9 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 252 pages
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press (6 Aug. 2001)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0521009626
  • ISBN-13: 978-0521009621
  • Product Dimensions: 15.2 x 1.5 x 22.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 2.9 out of 5 stars 4 customer reviews
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 655,605 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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Product description


'A well told story … [the author] really knows his stuff. I couldn't put it down. The informal style is terrific; we should have more books written this way … Skiena really knows how to teach.' Persi Diaconis, Stanford University

'The book is easy to follow and provides insight to the beginning student of gambling games.' William T. Ziemba, University of British Columbia

'This funny and utterly compelling book is the story of how Skiena and his students constructed an embarrassingly successful computer program called Maven.' Tony Jones, New Scientist

'The book teaches with humor and enthusiasm how to use statistical data and analyze them, how to use computers for processing data, how to create mathematical models that fit your problem, and many other interesting things.' Zentralblatt für Mathematik und ihre Grenzgebiete Mathematics Abstracts

'This interesting book is about a gambling system that works. His methods can work for anyone; at the end of the book the author describes the best way to bet on jai alai. The book will be surely of interest not only for the fun of jai alai, but also for all those who would like to learn about the program trading systems, the future of internet gambling, how mathematical methods are used in political polling, what is the difference between the correlation and causality, and so on. If you are interested in gambling and mathematics, the odds are that this is a book for you!' EMS

'Interspersed with this account are many valuable digressions which make the book a very good general introduction to the ideas of modelling and simulation, enlivened by the highly practical example which forms its core. Skiena writes with wit, clarity and enthusiasm, and his story is an enthralling one. No matter if (like me) you have never heard of Jai Alai before, or never bet on a horse or bought a lottery ticket in your life, the reader identifies with Skiena's quest, and shares vicariously in his success.' The Mathematical Gazette

'Stephen Skiena has a rare gift: … Charmingly self-depreciative, Skiena suggests early on in Calculated Bets he's just a 'mild mannered professor', noting that 'part of the fun' of the title 'is the spectacle of a second-rate mind wasting itself on jai alai'… Concerns for the future of gambling aside, Calculated Bets is an eloquent exercise in prose and effortlessly teaches the less mathematically minded amongst us how computing can be innovative and interesting. It also offers a unique tale of how one man, along with the help of a few friends, can get to grips with betting and beat the bookmakers. It's for these reasons and so many more that we strongly recommend Calculated Bets.'

Book Description

This is a book about a gambling system that works. The author tells the story of how he used computer simulations 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!

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Customer reviews

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17 May 2004
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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7 October 2014
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3 September 2003
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19 January 2013
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Most helpful customer reviews on 4.4 out of 5 stars 13 reviews
4.0 out of 5 starsA curiosity for computer modellers, won't make you rich
27 July 2015 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
One person found this helpful.
Robert Beveridge
4.0 out of 5 starsYou want this, even if you don't know you want this.
7 June 2005 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
12 people found this helpful.
Fred Corsiglia
5.0 out of 5 starsFor Both Jai Alai and Computer Enthusiasts
24 January 2005 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.
Matthew Skoda
5.0 out of 5 starsThe most fun book on math and computer modeling I ever read
1 December 2009 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
4 people found this helpful.
Warin West-El
5.0 out of 5 starsFor Those Who Love Sports Betting
15 August 2016 - Published on
Format: Paperback|Verified Purchase
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