Monday, June 4

Luck, Probability and Skill

Mr Beaver is a staff in my company who has a reputation of winning 4D (lottery) on a fairly regular basis. I asked him whether he had any secrets to winning, and was told that he and a group of like-minded 4D enthusiasts analyse 4D patterns every month. And before he left, he told me that his boss, Mr GuildWars' carplate number will win this month.

And the number won 2nd price one week later.
Isn't the probability of winning any 4D number supposed to be 1 in 10000?

As a Mathematician myself, I have always been sceptical on this thing called luck. The reason why casinos win is because the statistical odds are stacked against us. I don't believe in superstitions like red underwears, not tapping one's shoulder's etc...

Some may argue that he has consistently beat the casinos. But Law of Averages will say that in the long run (as in millions of years), he will still return all the money back. And no one lives for a million years.

There's bound to be winners and losers, just that there will probably be more losses on average in a biased game.

If I lost mahjong yesterday, it doesn't mean I have no luck. Because someone will have to lose. So why can't the loser be me? All skills being equal, I would have a 25% probability at winning.

And that is where skill comes in during mahjong. It is a game where attention and basic probability will increase what people call luck. Which explains why not its not a flat 25% chance for anyone to be the biggest winner at mahjong.

All in all, skill increases probability in a controlled game.
And may that bring you more luck.

Coming back, I can't help but be amazed about Mr Beaver's prediction.
Think I'll talk to him more. $_$

1 comment:

si oj said...

just letting you know, phy's sheepyfly blog is back =)

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