Author(s): Adam Kucharski
Gamblers have been trying to figure out how to game the system since our ancestors first made wagers over dice fashioned from knucklebones: in revolutionary Paris, the 'martingale' strategy was rumoured to lead to foolproof success at roulette; today, professional gamblers are using cutting-edge techniques to tilt the odds in their favour. Science is giving us the competitive edge over opponents, casinos and bookmakers. But is there such a thing as a perfect bet? The Perfect Bet looks beyond probability and statistics to examine how wagers have inspired a plethora of new disciplines - spanning chaos theory, machine learning and game theory - which are not just revolutionising gambling, but changing our fundamental notions about chance, randomness and luck. Explaining why poker is gaming's last bastion of human superiority over AI, how methods originally developed for the US nuclear programme are helping pundits predict sports results and why a new breed of algorithms are losing banks millions, The Perfect Bet has the inside track on any wager you'd care to place.
A guide to how the world's smartest gamblers are using science to take on the house - and win - whether they're playing blackjack, having a flutter at the racetrack, buying scratch cards or laying in-play football bets at the bookies'
Adam Kucharski is a researcher at Imperial College London and an award-winning science writer. Born in 1986, he studied at the University of Warwick before completing a PhD in mathematics at the University of Cambridge. He has published papers on topics ranging from evolutionary biology to the social structure of epidemics, and in 2013 was awarded a research fellowship by the UK Medical Research Council to investigate disease emergence in Southeast Asia. Winner of the 2012 Wellcome Trust Science Writing Prize, his popular science articles have appeared in the Observer newspaper and BBC Focus and BBC Plus magazines. He currently lives in London.