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The Perfect Bet


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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'

About the Author

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.


This book is full of magic. It's brimming with clever people and clever ideas... The links between betting and science run deep and wide, allowing Kucharski to cover some thrilling intellectual territory. * New Scientist *
Terrific: beautifully written, solidly researched and full of surprises * New York Times Numberplay blog *
Elegant and amusing ... anyone planning to enter a casino or place an online bet would be advised to keep this book handy * Wall Street Journal *
Kucharski's clear prose and eye for an entertaining historical anecdote give his book an accessible feel ... an enjoyable account. * Racing Post *
[An] enjoyable... paean to human ingenuity, and a Robin Hood tale of wealth redistribution. * Daily Telegraph *
Great stories of how smart people have used maths, statistics and science to try and beat the odds - legally' -- David Spiegelhalter, Winton Professor for the Public Understanding of Risk, University of Cambridge
A wild ride through the history, psychology, mathematics, and technology of gaming - a remarkable look behind the curtain of what most people think is intuitive, but isn't -- Paul Offit, author of Bad Faith
With an entertaining writing style, Adam Kucharski guides us through the history and state of the art of "The Perfect Bet," showing us how mathematics and computers are used to come up with optimal ways to gamble, play games, bluff, and invest our money. Extremely well-written and carefully researched. I highly recommend it. -- Arthur Benjamin, Author of 'The Magic of Maths'
A lucid yet sophisticated look at the mathematics of probability as it's played out on gaming tables, arenas, and fields... Gamblers and math buffs alike will enjoy it for its smart approach to real-world problems * Kirkus Reviews *

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