From slot machines and amusement park rides to dice games and shuffled cards, chance and chaos pervade everyday life. Sorting through the various meanings of randomness and distinguishing between what we can and cannot know with certainty proves to be no simple matter. Inside information on how slot machines work, the perils of believing random number generators, and the questionable fairness of dice, tossed coins, and shuffled cards illustrate how tricky randomness can be.

Online Biliography

A list of Web articles, books, and other resources that deal with various aspects of randomness.

General References

Beasley, J.D. 1989. The Mathematics of Games. Oxford, England: Oxford University Press.

Bennett, D.J. 1998. Randomness. Cambridge, Mass.: Harvard University Press.

Ekeland, I. 1993. The Broken Dice and Other Mathematical Tales of Chance. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Huff, D., and U. Geis. 1959. How to Take a Chance. New York: W.W. Norton.

Peterson, I. 1995. The Jungles of Randomness: A Mathematical Safari. New York: Wiley.

Weaver, W. 1963. Lady Luck: The Theory of Probability. New York: Wiley.

Folger, T. 1991. Shuffling into hyperspace. Discover 12(January):66-67.

Keller, J.B. 1995. How many shuffles to mix a deck? SIAM Review 37(March):88-89.

Klarreich, E. 2002. Coming up trumps. New Scientist 175(July 20):42-44.

Kolata, G. 1990. In shuffling cards, 7 is winning number. New York Times (Jan. 9).

______. 1985. Prestidigitator of digits. Science 85 6(April):67-72.

Mackenzie, D. 2002. The mathematics of . . . shuffling the Stanford flip. Discover 23(October):22-23.

Trefethen, L.N., and L.M. Trefethen. 2000. How many shuffles to randomize a deck of cards? Proceedings of the Royal Society, London A 456(Oct. 8):2561-2568.