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The Doctrine Of Probabilities Applied To Gambling

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The Gaming Table by Andrew Steinmetz, Volume II

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The Doctrine Of Probabilities Applied To Gambling

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Casino Gambling in history

1. 'Every game of chance presents two kinds of chances which are
very distinct,--namely, those relating to the person interested,
that is, the player; and those inherent in the combinations of
the game.'

In the former there is what must be called, for the want of a
better name, 'good luck' or 'bad luck,' that is, some mysterious
cause which at times gives the play a 'run' of good or bad luck;
in the latter there is the entire doctrine of 'probabilities'
aforesaid, which, according to M. Houdin's gaming hero, may be
completely discarded for the following axiom:--

2. 'If chance can bring into the game all possible combinations,
there are, nevertheless, certain limits at which it seems to
stop. Such, for instance, as a certain number turning up ten
times in succession at Roulette. This is possible, but it has
never happened.'

Nevertheless a most remarkable fact is on record. In 1813, a Mr
Ogden betted 1000 guineas to ONE guinea, that calling seven as
the main, the caster would not throw that number ten times
successively. Wonderful to relate! the caster threw seven nine
times following. Thereupon Mr Ogden offered him 470 guineas to
be off the bet--which he refused. The caster took the box again
and threw nine,--and so Mr Ogden won his guinea![56] In this
case there seems to have been no suspicion whatever of unfair
dice being used.

[56] Seymour Harcourt, The Gaming Calendar.

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