I am writing this post to make several Excel spreadsheets easily available for you to download. Each of these works the same way. Once you open the spreadsheet, to run a new simulation, you have two easy choices:
What happens if you play 1000 shoes of baccarat? That’s years or a lifetime of play for most people. But we do it in a few seconds and repeat the fun over and over again. This allows us to discuss important topics in gambling, including expectation, standard deviation, reversion (regression) to the mean and the long run.
There are many misunderstandings about what the “long run” means among players, in casino management and in game protection. In this video I present a simulation of 1000 shoes and show how the “normal curve” is the natural outcome. I also discuss “reversion to the mean”, “house money” and a myriad of other misconceptions.
The spreadsheet that is used in this video is free for downloading here: Baccarat_MC_Sim
The opening scene in Tom Stoppard’s brilliant play “Rosencrantz and Guildenstern Are Dead” shows the main characters involved in an experiment in probability theory. Rosencrantz and Guildenstern are on a mountain path when Guildenstern sees a coin on the trail. He picks up the coin, and flips it, then flips it again and again… What follows is unlikely; heads comes up 157 times in a row.
Many years ago I was asked to help edit a book by a low-level card counter who was recounting his Las Vegas adventures. His book told the stories of the various trips he made, what he wagered and what he won or lost. It was really more of a journal than a book, but there was entertainment value in these struggles. For each trip the author also discussed his wager size, the risk he was taking and most importantly his expected value (EV) for the trip.