How to win at gambling: all a matter chance or mathematics?

There are those who believe in Lady Luck and those convinced that luck has nothing to do with it. 
However, in the dynamics of the game, this aspect is of little relevance. Gambling is dominated by the attraction and reassuring thought that "if he can win so can I" and, in 2016, this hope saw Italians bet 96 billion Euro, 49 billion of which with video lottery and newslot.

CHANCE OR MATHEMATICS?

We could start by saying that there is more chance of Earth being destroyed by the asteroid 99942 Apophis in 2036 than of winning the Superenalotto lottery, the most difficult - mathematically speaking - of extraction betting. Despite this, win for life, slot machine, superenalotto lottery, roulette, scratch cards, poker, blackjack, bingo and sports bets are a passion of the Italians (and not only) who continue to try their "luck".
Those who believe in chance often associate it with superstition, that is, the thought that behaving in a certain way will bring about the expected result. This behaviour often blurs reasoning, producing a very common logical error typical of players: the gambler paradox, according to which a series of equal results will be followed by a series of opposite results. 
In reality, gambling has a random outcome, so if the roulette ball stops on black for a certain number of times, the possibility of it stopping on black again is the same, with no correlation with the previous rounds.
Confirmation that gambling is governed by the laws of probability came about in 1946 thanks to the mathematician, Stanislaw Ulam and his "Monte Carlo Method". Ulam studied the probability of chance games based on the empirical results and showed that even if a roulette ball stops on black 26 times in a row, the probability that the next round will be red or black is absolutely equal.

At this point, considering the mathematical laws of chance and probability that govern gambling, how can we talk about luck?
Since casinos were set up, gambling has always forecast an advantage for the bank, which justifies the saying "the bank always wins". Precisely for this reason we can say a player is lucky if s/he wins, or loses less often than is foreseeable; while, on the contrary, those who lose more often than foreseeable can be regarded as unlucky.
So luck cannot change the rules of the game, but can undoubtedly identify those who have managed to satisfy their dream of winning. A challenging endeavour it seems, less likely than being hit by an asteroid!

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Published on 22/12/2017 in Everyday

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