Hoyle's Games, Improved And Enlarged - online book

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INTRODUCTION.                       3
is not sufficient to enable a player to win, it will at least, in critical cases, serve him as an infal­lible rule of conduct, and will enable him to cal­culate the chances of those ruinous games which are every day becoming more generally intro­duced into this country. Moreover, it will teach him to despise the ignorant presumption of those quacks who affect to be able to turn the wheel of fortune at pleasure, and the besotted credu­lity of those who think that for a few pence they can purchase a system by which they may win thousands. Conduct is fate, and a prudent man will leave as little to chance as possible. We cannot, it is true, draw aside the veil which hangs over futurity ; but in games of chance, and like­wise in manv other events of life, we can calculate with mathematical precision the probability of a particular event.
Some of the greatest mathematicians have de­voted much time and attention to this subject; and the result of their scientific labours ought to terrify the most reckless gamester, by laying open to him the infinite and almost certain dangers to which he exposes his fortune and his happiness, when he engages himself in that labyrinth of chances which sooner or later must overwhelm him. I have, therefore, in the present edition, given a succint analysis of the doctrine of chances, convinced that so far from having a tendency to promote play, it will be found the surest antidote against the glittering temptations of that demon which, above all others, is the most fatal to human happiness.
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