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What's Luck Got to Do with It? by Joseph Mazur

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Image CHAPTER 8 Image

Someone Has to Win

Betting against Expectation

The probable is that which for the most part happens.—Aristotle, Rhetoric

Play a game of chance, any game of chance. It could be flipping a coin, shooting craps, playing roulette, or betting on a horse race. In the end you either lose or win. Let us introduce some notation: P(A) will represent the probability that event A will turn out successfully. For example, if W represents a win and L a loss, then P(W) is the probability that you win your chosen game and P(L) the probability that you ...

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