I love a good night out to the Casino; throwing money i don’t have, on a risky bet with nothing but high hopes of a win. Its an amazing feeling walking away from any game in the casino with a profit; Roulette however, is especially dramatic to come away with a win.
This is due to the higher risk taking within the game of Roulette than compared to blackjack or poker for example. There are several options while betting on a roulette table; Red or black/Even or Odd holds a 1/2 chance of a win, betting in one of the ’12th’ brackets holds a 12/37 chance and betting on any singular number hold a 1/37 chance of winning. The lower the probability of the win, the higher amount of money you could win back.
Therefore looking at the mathematical sides of the game it is very difficult to walk away with a big win on a singular number. Watching Derren Browns documentary ‘How to take down the casino’ opens my eyes to other mathematical concepts within gambling. He studied the speed, distance and time of the wheel spinning in attempt to calculate the point that the ball would stop. Not only was the speed of the wheel important but also the speed of the ball needed to be mentally calculated within seconds. This seems virtually impossible to be done by any human being. He spends years doing mini practises in such like scenarios, such as, estimating the speed that a car is driving within a certain distance. I find this an incredible skill, as he gets them correct by testing his answer against a speed gun.
With all his practise, he finally puts the mathematics theory to the test by betting £5000 on a singular number in roulette. Looking back at the statistics, this holds a one in 37 chance of winning at random. As he used calculates the mathematics while the wheel is spinning, he has a split second to place his bet once the ball is spun. Unfortunately, he was one place off. However this still shows that the mathematics behind it provides a more logical bet than selecting a number at random. Knowing the theory to calculate is also important in itself, even if humans don’t always get it right. It is with this logic, that they have then been able to go on to invent machines that can calculate the answer every time. As we’ve already seen it used in speed detectors, this is an essential part of equipment used in society today.
Therefore, although using mathematical concepts while gambling increases your chances of winning it still cannot guarantee a win but worth a try? This discovery highlights that mathematics surrounds us, even in our social life, we are constantly thinking about the probability of something happening or what the chances that we have to win.