CSE87: The Science of Casino Games (Fall 2013)

Meeting times: Wed 6:30-7:20, CENTR 204

Course Instructor: Joseph Pasquale

This is a freshman seminar on optimal play in casino games, or "How to gamble, if you must" (from the title of the 1965 classic book on stochastic processes by Lester Dubins and Leonard Savage). We introduce some basic concepts in gambling theory, and survey some of the more popular casino games, considering questions such as: What are the best plays in a casino (where the house edge is minimal)? What factors determine how much you should bet? How large does your bankroll need to be? What are the chances that ultimately, you will be "ruined," and how long will it take? Do "betting systems" work? In the end, students learn the unfortunate truth that the odds are almost always stacked against the player (which means you will likely lose money, and eventually, all of it).

Message of the Day

This seminar begins in Fall 2013. Looking forward to meeting all of you!



Course slides for Texas Hold'em poker
Simplified Basic Strategy for Blackjack
A Blackjack game on the web
A Craps game on the web
Galileo on Dice
FAQ on Craps
How to figure out odds

Reading Schedule

Administrative Matters

Instructor:	Joseph Pasquale

Books:		MENSA Guide to Casino Gambling Winning Ways
		Andrew Brisman
		Sterling Publishing, 1999

		Bringing Down the House
		Ben Mezrich
		Free Press, 2002