Thursday, May 06, 2004

Hitting it big

My friends have taken up recreational gambling as a pastime. I don't gamble, because I know that the casino will bleed me dry in the long run (Gambler's ruin problem), and I'd rather blow my money on eating out, watching movies, playing video games or spending it on people I care about. I do give my friends moral support at the casino and analyze their "foolproof" schemes for beating the casino. Invariably, I poke holes in their theories.

That said, I was intrigued when I saw a story from Wired on the MIT blackjack team, who managed to win big at the one game where the casino can be beaten: blackjack. Especially since I have a similar background to the MIT players, I got to thinking... But I ultimately decided it wasn't worth the effort, although some of my mathematically gifted younger friends have expressed a strong interest in the concept after I discussed it with them.