Gamblers commonly claim to be able to identify ‘patterns’ in results of casino games – especially in baccarat – that they believe can assist them in predicting the outcome of the next hand; but such thinking can sometimes lead to pathological gambling behaviour, says a new book by a Macau academic.
“An Introduction to Baccarat’” was written by Samuel Huang Guihai (pictured), an associate professor at the Macao Polytechnic Institute and a member of the Macau government’s Responsible Gambling Task Force. Mr Huang teaches at the institute on topics relating to responsible gambling.
His book has been published by the Macau Responsible Gaming Association, a body set up in 2012 which describes itself as a non-profit organisation dedicated to promoting responsible betting behaviour among local people.
Mr Huang told GGRAsia his book aims to explain how the various strategies favoured by Chinese gamblers in baccarat are in effect disproven by statistical studies: they cannot help at all in enhancing the winning chances of gamblers, he said.
Mr Huang explained: “When playing baccarat, many Chinese gamblers love following the winning gamblers, identifying patterns from historical outcomes and adopting the ‘double-up’ money management method… But these gamblers are not aware that in practice, these strategies, which are fun to adopt, cannot help the players to improve their chances of winning.”
The popularity of baccarat amongst Chinese gamblers has spawned a market locally in guide books purporting to offer tips on how to win at the game, noted the scholar.
“[My] new book aims to objectively present to readers the mathematical studies… [regarding] baccarat games,” Mr Huang said.
“The book is targeted at readers that already have some knowledge of baccarat games,” the scholar added.
“With the statistical findings – on the nature of the baccarat games – in the book, an ultimate aim of this publication is to educate readers that baccarat is just a form of entertainment, not a way to make quick money.”
Representatives from the Macau Responsible Gaming Association launched “An Introduction to Baccarat” earlier this month at Fundação Rui Cunha. The philanthropic organisation was started by Rui Cunha, the legal adviser of former Macau gaming monopolist Stanley Ho Hung Sun and an executive director of Mr Ho’s SJM Holdings Ltd. The book is only available in Chinese language version.
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