Blinded by Science (and Math)

Written by Thomas Morgan aka The Irishsetter

this article originally appeared inrepparttar Precision Shooter Newsletter. To subscribe (it's free), send an email to with subscribe asrepparttar 116285 subject)

First, let me say, in everyday life, there is immeasurable value in having at least conceptual knowledge of science and math. For gamblers, it’s imperative that every player have solid knowledge regarding how mathematics and their game of choice go hand and hand. (There are different philophies as to what extent you should allow math to determine your playing strategy, but that's another article.) With that said, science and math are frequently used and mis-used by marketers and systems sellers to dazzle and bafflerepparttar 116286 average player.

Let’s take this out ofrepparttar 116287 realm of gambling for a moment. Advertisers love to use math and science to sell their product. How many commercials claim that a product is “scientifically proven” to be effective? How aboutrepparttar 116288 sugarless gum commercial that says, “Four out of five dentists recommend (Brand X) for their patients that chew gum?” What are these advertisers doing? They’re trying to sell you a product and imply that their product is superior to others because of a “scientific” study or because it is statistically chosen more byrepparttar 116289 dental profession. It’s not what they’re saying so much as what they’re not saying. Wasrepparttar 116290 “scientifically proven” product tested by an independent laboratory or wererepparttar 116291 scientists onrepparttar 116292 payroll ofrepparttar 116293 company sellingrepparttar 116294 product? How wererepparttar 116295 tests conducted? Was it a double blind study? What aboutrepparttar 116296 sugarless gum statistics? How many dentists were polled? What wererepparttar 116297 options given torepparttar 116298 dentists? After all,repparttar 116299 question could have been;

As a dentist, would you recommend to your patients?

Brand X sugarless gum Brand Y extra sugar bubble gum Dog Food

So, depending howrepparttar 116300 question was posed, or howrepparttar 116301 data was gathered, it seems to me it would be quite simple to get a “4 out of 5 dentists recommend…” statistic. I think it was Mark Twain who said, “There are lies, damned lies, and statistics.” (Alright, if you want to split hairs,repparttar 116302 quote apparently originated with Benjamin Disraeli, but Mark Twain made it famous). I don’t know whetherrepparttar 116303 company sellingrepparttar 116304 “scientifically proven” product orrepparttar 116305 gum manufacturer who says most dentists prefer their gum is tellingrepparttar 116306 truth or not. That’srepparttar 116307 problem. Without further elaboration about howrepparttar 116308 studies were conducted, it would be quite simple to use pseudo-science or bend statistics in a manner which will be beneficial to these sellers.

What does this have to do with gambling? The same tactics used to try and sell you Herbal Viagra or sugarless gum are used to sell you gaming products and services. Ever been offered a betting system which was “scientifically proven” because it beatrepparttar 116309 Zumma book? How about a roulette system guaranteed to win 85% ofrepparttar 116310 time? The person trying to sell yourepparttar 116311 system that beatrepparttar 116312 book isn’t telling you that he knowsrepparttar 116313 72 hour book leans distinctly towards favoringrepparttar 116314 dark side, and therefore it’s pretty darned easy to design a system that beatsrepparttar 116315 book. The roulette system seller isn’t telling you that your total monetary losses may still outweigh your total wins. They’re trying to blind you with science (and math). Inrepparttar 116316 past couple of years,repparttar 116317 sellers have gotten more sophisticated. They’ve developed a real flare for using scientific jargon and evolving scientific theory to sell their systems. Have you heard aboutrepparttar 116318 craps system based on Chaos Theory? How about Parondo’s Paradox? Without getting into why these “scientific” systems work no better than others, I just want you to think about this. Do you really think that a system seller could succeed in using Chaos Theory or Parondo’s Paradox to develop an advantage craps system whenrepparttar 116319 worlds greatest mathematics and scientific minds can’t?

Welcome Doctor To Our Humble Madhouse

Written by Thomas Morgan aka The Irishsetter

I have a friend, probablyrepparttar most intelligent person I’ve ever met, who occasionally joins my group in our Las Vegas excursions. We refer to him as “Doc” as he has a Phd. from one ofrepparttar 116284 ivy league schools. He’s tall, excruciatingly thin, and appears to be made up of only arms and legs. If you were to meet him in passing, his appearance and demeanor would leave you withrepparttar 116285 impression that he’s a bit of a stiff. When my friends and I would head forrepparttar 116286 craps tables, he would go to play blackjack. He’s a moderately strong BJ player, and would probably be an excellent one if he played more frequently and was more passionate aboutrepparttar 116287 game.

One night, awhile back, instead of his normal routine, Doc followed us torepparttar 116288 craps tables. “Just want to see what you guys get all wound up about…” Three of us settled onto a table with Doc standing behind looking over our shoulders. In between rolls, we explainedrepparttar 116289 basics ofrepparttar 116290 game, which he quickly grasped. We couldn’t have timed our arrival any better asrepparttar 116291 table began to shift from cold to warm aboutrepparttar 116292 time we placed our first bets. Within 15 minutes, my friends and I were all up about 20 units. “You shouldn’t be winning, you know….the odds are stacked against you.” Doc said. We nodded and continued to call out our wagers. He continued to watch.

The stick calls, “Five, payrepparttar 116293 line!” The table erupts in cheers, laughter and high fives.

Forty minutes pass. Chip racks are filling and what was once a half full table is now packed with players standing elbow to elbow. No one is having monster rolls, but nearly everyone is making at least a pass or two and throwing some numbers in between. Doc, who has a thoughtful scowl on his face, seems almost irritated that things are going so well for us. “Doc, come on! We’ll make some room. Squeeze in and play!” I said. He shakes his head, “The probabilities have to start evening out soon. This has been going on far too long. A correction is due.”

I tried to explain that he was over thinking, being too analytical, but he would have none of it. We continued to win at a steady pace, allrepparttar 116294 while Doc appeared to be doing math computations in his head. I think I even heard him say something about standard deviations andrepparttar 116295 Gaussian curve!

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