Wednesday, August 10, 2011

I am probably a bad person according to the gaming industry

I don't think counting cards in a blackjack game is cheating, despite what the casinos say.  You're playing a game, and you're keeping track of the cards that are being used in the game.  They try to keep known card-counters out, but as far as I'm concerned, they're being bad sports.  It's a game and it's perfectly legitimate to develop strategies to play it well.

Now we've got a four time lottery winner who's pocketed $20M in total.  Joan Ginter, a Texas resident, is either incredibly lucky, or as an article in Harper's magazine posits, she could be very good at figuring out the algorithm that places winning tickets in certain places. (She's a former mathematics professor with a specialization in statistics.) However, unless she's bribing people or otherwise depriving others of their fair chance at this (by, say, ensuring no one else buys the ticket, etc.), I have no quibble with it.  Really--figuring out how a system works is not dishonest or illegal or even unethical.

Though apparently she lives in Vegas.  I wonder if she counts cards?

(And no, I don't gamble, because I know the chances of me winning big are nil and it bores me to tears.  I went to a casino with my parents once, got a roll of quarters for the slot machines, then thought, hey! I can use this for laundry! And proceeded to just walk around the overpriced shops outside of the gaming area.)

Hat tip: MSN Money Blog.

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