The Ultimate Game of Strategy
Chapter 2
Through the looking glass

Borrowing money to play roulette

When Lewis Carroll sent Alice through the looking glass, she encountered a world where things were different and all the rules had changed.

Chapter one was the view of the world as seen from the conventional side of the looking glass. In this chapter we are going to go through the looking glass of the conventional world of rules and values to encounter a strange new world where nothing is as it seems. We'll begin by taking a more professional look at the roulette system described by the man on the train.

In the CD-ROM "How God Makes God", the dialogue that described the optimum roulette strategy was followed by a scene of a man going to a money lender to try to borrow money to play roulette and get free holidays in the same way as the man on the train. This is the start of the dialogue:

Can you lend me 1270 guineas?

What for?

I've discovered an infallible roulette system that will get me free holidays in Monte Carlo.

Why do you need to borrow money if you've discovered an infallible roulette system?

Because it will need a substantial amount of money in order to make it work.

Have you tried out this system yet?

How can I try it out without any money?

By using a computer simulation.

How can I do that?

You write a program to simulate a roulette wheel?

Can you do that?

Yes all computers can be made to generate random numbers so you just get the computer to deliver random numbers between 1 and 37.

I see, each number corresponds to a slot in a roulette wheel.

Yes, 1 to 36 for the numbers and the thirty-seventh for the zero.

I think I will try that.

While you are at it, you might as well program the computer to make the bets for you.

Do I need to do that?

Yes, because it will allow you to run thousands of bets in just a few minutes. You can emulate playing roulette for weeks, months or even years without having to risk any money at all.

But my system is complicated. I think of a sequence of seven reds and blacks and then bet on that sequence not coming up.

I know that system, you double up after every bet you lose.

That's right, but, the clever part is that I finish for the day after any win and, although I don't stand to win a lot of money, I earn a day's free holiday for every day that I play.

That's easy enough to program into a computer. I'll show you.

On the CD-ROM, the reader is then presented with a program that can be used by the reader to simulate going to a casino and trying out the system. Clicking on a button will start an automatic sequence of betting that takes the reader through a continuous series of bets using the exact system described by the man on the train and clocking up not the winnings but the number of days of survival.