Lies, Damned Lies and Statistics

British Prime Minister in the year of 1868 and from 1874 to 1880, Benjamin Disraeli once said: “There are three kinds of lies: lies, damned lies, and statistics.”

Those of us who enjoy casino playing have run into Disraeli’s three types of lies. Often.

Often they are given to us from random players who vow they are explaining the real natures of the games. You can read their views on dozens of gambling message boards. Often these views are given as angry diatribes pitted against other angry diatribes.

More often they are given to us by “experts” who are looking to bolster their eccentric take on the games and how to beat those games. Some of these “experts” are so off base that it seems they are playing in the field of dreams.

First let me get this out of the way: Real statistics and real math are needed to understand the casino games. But these are contained elements and require no spin on the part of the person doing the statistics or computing the math. You can read them and understand them or, at the very least, have them explained to you by someone who actually understands them.

So what are some of the lies and damned lies and statistics being shoveled at us?

Let me take the “statistics” first: These are generally personal statistics in the category of “this is true” because it happened to a friend of mine. Or the reason players lose is that 95 percent of them do not understand the power of power cards in card games such as blackjack. If they did, they wouldn’t lose.

The lies go in the direction of ferreting out the truth about the meaning of the decisions that are happening at a game – a random game no less! If you know the truth about randomness, you know wild things can happen that have no underlying cause, be they mystical or mystically mathematical.

Trend advocates are convinced that numbers hitting out of all proportion to their probabilities in a short run tell us they will continue to hit, OR they will tell us they are soon not to hit. Take your pick.

In fact, in truth, in reality they tell us nothing about the future.

The dice are rolling randomly down the layout and the numbers will appear as they appear based on their probabilities. Not based on some strange short-term trending quality of the universe that a casino player can take advantage of by going with (or against) that wrongly perceived future trend.

There are no “short-term” rules that are in any way, shape or form real rules by which to gage your future playing decisions.

And where do the “damned lies” come from. They come from people who are trying to sell their mystic systems to the poor schnooks who will be braying about the truth of such systems on various message boards.

There are many good gambling authors out there but there seem to be plenty more who are just throwing nonsense out at the public. Don’t believe the nonsense.

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available from Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at bookstores.

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