A Gentle Introduction using R
Covering both random and strategic games, Probability, Decisions and Games features a variety of gaming and gambling examples to build a better understanding of basic concepts of probability, statistics, decision theory, and game theory. The authors present fundamental concepts such as random variables, rational choice theory, mathematical expectation and variance, fair games, combinatorial calculus, conditional probability, Bayes Theorem, Bernoulli trials, zero-sum games and Nash equilibria, as well as their application in games such as Roulette, Craps, Lotto, Blackjack, Poker, Rock-Paper-Scissors, the Game of Chicken and Tic-Tac-Toe. Computer simulations, implemented using the popular R computing environment, are used to provide intuition on key concepts and verify complex calculations. The book starts by introducing simple concepts that are carefully motivated by the same historical examples that drove their original development of the field of probability, and then applies those concepts to popular contemporary games. The first two chapters of Probability, Decisions and Games: A Gentle Introduction using R feature an introductory discussion of probability and rational choice theory in finite and discrete spaces that builds upon the simple games discussed in the famous correspondence between Blaise Pascal and Pierre de Fermat. Subsequent chapters utilize popular casino games such as Roulette and Blackjack to expand on these concepts illustrate modern applications of these methodologies. Finally, the book concludes with discussions on game theory using a number of strategic games.