The Mathematics of Slots: Configurations, Combinations, Probabilities
Autor: Catalin Barboianu
Anul publicarii: 2013
Format: 6 x 9 inci, 366 pagini, coperta soft
Categorie: Matematica aplicata – Jocuri de noroc - Sloturi
This eighth book of the author on gambling math presents in accessible terms the cold mathematics behind the sparkling slot machines, either physical or virtual. It contains all the mathematical facts grounding the configuration, functionality, outcome, and profits of the slot games. Therefore, it is not a so-called how-to-win book, but a complete, rigorous mathematical guide for the slot player and also for game producers, being unique in this respect. The book itself proves the principle that the author has stated several times before – “For most games of chance, a book with the words "how to win" in its title is a waste. A player would be better off using that bookʼs price to play a new game or place a new bet instead” – which also applies to slots.
As it is primarily addressed to the slot player, its goal is to present practical applications of the mathematical models of slot games, in order to provide numerical results that a player can use as criteria for gaming decisions or just as information for any slot game and any predicted winning event. These results are focused on probability and expected value, these being the most important parameters for decisional criteria in slots. The book is packed with plenty of figures, tables, and formulas.
The content is organized so that readers can skip the theoretical parts and go picking the practical results (numerical, in tables of values where possible, or ready-to-compute formulas) for the desired situation. The practical results are gathered in the last chapter, titled “Practical Applications and Numerical Results,” the largest part of the book, for the most popular categories of slot machines, namely with 3, 5, 9, and 16 reels. Any other category of slot games is covered in the theoretical part of the book, where the general formulas apply not only to existing slot games, but also to possible future slot games of any design and configuration.
Given the wide variety of slot machines with regard to parametric design and rules, the author fulfilled the challenging task of finding their optimal categorization in order to develop both the mathematical model and the collection of practical results.
The author reminds readers that the lack of data regarding the configuration of a machine – coming from the secrecy of the game producers on the so-called PAR sheets – prevents anyone from estimating numerically the odds of winning and other mathematical indicators. He does not just throw the slot mathematics to the audience and run away, but offers an ultimate practical contribution with the chapter "How to estimate the number of stops and the symbol distribution on a reel", a surprise for both players and producers, where one can see that mathematics provides players with some statistical methods as well as methods based on physical measurements for retrieving these missing data. Having these data along with the mathematical results of this book, anyone can generate the PAR sheet of any slot machine.
The author also answers the question concerning the practical utility of the mathematical results, as a skeptic could ask why we need “all this math stuff” associated with slots, a game with no opponents. His answer is simple: information and strategy.
It is a basic principle that being informed on all parameters of a game one plays is an advantage, especially when money is involved. It is as if someone asks you to bet you can jump from a high place and land on your feet; of course, it is an advantage for you to know in advance the height from which you will jump or measure it before you bet, as you might decline the bet or propose another one for a specific measurement – and this means decision.
As concerns the strategy, the only strategy in slots is the strategy of choosing – choosing one game or another, choosing how many paylines to enable, choosing the parameters of your time and money management, or choosing to quit one game for another.
In the last decade, mathematics has been taken more and more seriously into account in gaming, as being the essence that governs the games of chance and the only rigorous tool providing information on optimal play, where possible. For the popular game of slots, mathematics already fulfilled its duty by providing all the data that it can provide and that cannot be found on the display of the slot machines – it is all here in this book.
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