The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic book cover

The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic

Early in his rise to enlightenment, man invented a concept that has since been variously viewed as a vice, a crime, a business, a pleasure, a type of magic, a disease, a folly, a weakness, a form of sexual substitution, an expression of the human instinct. He invented gambling.

Recent advances in the field, particularly Parrondo's paradox, have triggered a surge of interest in the statistical and mathematical theory behind gambling. This interest was acknowledge in the motion picture, "21," inspired by the true story of the MIT students who mastered the art of card counting to reap millions from the Vegas casinos.

Richard Epstein's classic book on gambling and its mathematical analysis covers the full range of games from penny matching to blackjack, from Tic-Tac-Toe to the stock market (including Edward Thorp's warrant-hedging analysis). He even considers whether statistical inference can shed light on the study of paranormal phenomena. Epstein is witty and insightful, a pleasure to dip into and read and rewarding to study. The book is written at a fairly sophisticated mathematical level; this is not "Gambling for Dummies" or "How To Beat The Odds Without Really Trying." A background in upper-level undergraduate mathematics is helpful for understanding this work.

Suitable for those interested in probability, statistics, or gambling and gamblers with an interest in theory and analysis and a basic understanding of undergraduate mathematics.

Hardbound, 465 Pages

Published: November 2012

Imprint: Academic Press

ISBN: 978-0-12-397857-8


  • "This special edition remains the comprehensive unified mathematical treatment for a wide range of games of chance and skill. It includes the counter-intuitive Parrondo's paradox: a winning strategy can result from switching between losing games. An entertainment for all who read it, a text for innovative university courses, and a reference for those concerned with probability and game theory."--Edward O. Thorp, author of BEAT THE DEALER and BEAT THE MARKET


    1. Kubeiagenesis
    2. Mathematical Preliminaries
    3. Fundamental Principles of a Theory of Gambling
    4. Parrondo's Principle
    5. Coins, Wheels, and Oddments
    6. Coups and Games with Dice
    7. The Play of the Cards
    8. Blackjack
    9. Statistical Logic and Statistical Games
    10. Games of Pure Skill and Competitive Computers
    11. Fallacies and Sophistries


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