The Perfect Bet

How Science and Math Are Taking the Luck Out of Gambling


By Adam Kucharski

Formats and Prices




$23.99 CAD



  1. Trade Paperback $18.99 $23.99 CAD
  2. ebook $13.99 $17.99 CAD

This item is a preorder. Your payment method will be charged immediately, and the product is expected to ship on or around September 26, 2017. This date is subject to change due to shipping delays beyond our control.

“An elegant and amusing account” of how gambling has been reshaped by the application of science and revealed the truth behind a lucky bet (Wall Street Journal).

For the past 500 years, gamblers-led by mathematicians and scientists-have been trying to figure out how to pull the rug out from under Lady Luck. In The Perfect Bet, mathematician and award-winning writer Adam Kucharski tells the astonishing story of how the experts have succeeded, revolutionizing mathematics and science in the process. The house can seem unbeatable. Kucharski shows us just why it isn’t. Even better, he demonstrates how the search for the perfect bet has been crucial for the scientific pursuit of a better world.

  • "An elegant and amusing account... Anyone planning to enter a casino or place an online bet would be advised to keep this book handy."
    Wall Street Journal
  • "This book is full of magic. It's brimming with clever people and clever ideas."
    New Scientist
  • "Beautifully written, solidly researched, and full of surprises."
    New York Times' Numberplay blog
  • "Brilliant new book."

On Sale
Sep 26, 2017
Page Count
288 pages
Basic Books

Adam Kucharski

About the Author

Adam Kucharski is an associate professor and a Sir Henry Dale fellow at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, where he works on analysis of infectious disease outbreaks. He is also the author of The Perfect Bet. He lives in London.

Learn more about this author