Gambling and Gaming

General class information

This course is an introduction to probability and game theory for people with little mathematical background. The emphasis is on concepts and ideas, which are applied to common games. The class has no prerequisites, but a good working knowledge of algebra is recommended.



There is no required textbook for this course; lecture notes, supplementary materials and homework problems will be available electronically.  Please check the Resources link in eCommons.

For the first part of the course, a few recommended books that can be used to complement the materials presented in the class include:

  • Packel, E. (2006)  The Mathematics of Games and Gambling.  Second Edition, The American Statistical Association.
  • Epstein, R. A. (2009)  The Theory of Gambling and Statistical Logic.  Second Edition, Academic Press.
  • Bewersdorff, J.  (2005) Luck, Logic and White Lies. The Mathematics of Games.  A K Peters

For the second part of the course we recommend:

  • Harrington, J. E.  (2009)  Games, strategies and decision making.  Worth Publishers.
  • Binmore, K. (2007)  Playing for Real. A Text on Game Theory.  Oxford University Press.
  • Fisher, L. (2008)  Rock, Paper, Scissors. Game Theory in Everyday Life.  Basic Books.


Lelys Bravo de Guenni

Office: Jack Basking Scool of Engineering, 357B. Office hrs: TuTh 11:00 am - 12:00 m

Teaching Assistants

  • Lars Johnson: Office: Jack Basking Scool of Engineering, 312 C/D. Office hrs: Wed 12:00 m 1:00 pm
  • Changhui Mao: Office: Jack Basking Scool of Engineering, 312 C/D. Office hrs: Fri 12:00 m 2:00 pm

Instructors and Assistants