There is no definitive list of mathematicians who have beaten the casino as it is generally known that the house always has an advantage in the long run. However, there have been some notable mathematicians who have made significant contributions to the field of probability theory and applied their knowledge in casino-related scenarios. Here are 10 famous mathematicians known for their work in probability and gambling-related studies:
1. Blaise Pascal: While not specifically known for beating the casino, Pascal’s contributions to probability theory, including his development of the Pascal’s triangle, laid the groundwork for gambling mathematics.
2. Pierre de Fermat: Fermat’s correspondence with Pascal on the topic of analyzing gambling problems introduced the concept of expected value and probability theory.
3. John von Neumann: A renowned mathematician and game theorist, von Neumann made significant contributions to the development of modern probability theory and its applications to gambling and economics.
4. Ed Thorp: Considered one of the pioneers of quantitative finance, Thorp used his mathematical skills to develop card counting techniques in blackjack and beat the casinos in the 1960s.
5. Edward O. Thorp: Known for his work on the Kelly criterion, which is a method for maximizing the long-term growth rate of wealth, Thorp applied his theories to beat the casino in blackjack and other games.
6. Richard J. Epstein: Epstein is known for his contributions to the mathematics of gambling, specifically related to the analysis of casino games and optimizing betting strategies.
7. Peter Griffin: Griffin was a mathematician known for his work on the mathematics of casino games, particularly blackjack. He analyzed optimal strategies and betting techniques to gain an edge against the house.
8. Tom Ferguson: Known for his work in mathematical finance and the theory of gambling, Ferguson developed the concept of the Kelly criterion and examined its application to blackjack.
9. Donald E. Knuth: Knuth, a computer scientist and mathematician, analyzed and developed strategies for various casino games, including blackjack. His work concentrated on optimizing tactics to gain an advantage.
10. Eliot Jacobson: Jacobson is a mathematician and gambling expert who has studied various casino games and their probabilities. His work has focused on analyzing and exposing flaws in casino operations.
Note that while some of these mathematicians have used their knowledge to gain a short-term advantage over the casino, the overarching idea is that the casinos have safeguards in place to minimize potential losses in the long run.