<!DOCTYPE html><HTML lang="en"> <head><meta charset="utf-8"> <title>Bridge, Probability & Information (MacKinnon (Robert F.)) - Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</title> <link href="../../../TheosStyle.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"><link rel="shortcut icon" href="../../../TT_ICO.png" /> </head> <a name="Top"></a> <BODY> <div id="header"> <HR><H1>Theo Todman's Book Collection (Book-Paper Abstracts)</H1></div> <hr><CENTER><TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../BookSummary_3827.htm">Bridge, Probability & Information</A></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3><A HREF = "../../../Authors/M/Author_MacKinnon (Robert F.).htm">MacKinnon (Robert F.)</a></td></tr><tr><td colspan =3>This Page provides (where held) the <b>Abstract</b> of the above <b>Book</b> and those of all the <b>Papers</b> contained in it.</td></tr><tr><td><A HREF="#ColourConventions">Text Colour-Conventions</a></td><td><A HREF = "../BookCitings_3827.htm">Books / Papers Citing this Book</A></td><td><A HREF = "../BooksToNotes_3827.htm">Notes Citing this Book</A></td></tr></tr></TABLE></CENTER><hr> <P ALIGN = "Justify"><FONT Size = 2 FACE="Arial"><FONT COLOR = "0000FF"><B>BOOK ABSTRACT: </B><BR><BR><U>Cover Blurb</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">Bridge, unlike chess, is a game of incomplete information. We bid with thirteen cards in view, and play each deal seeing only twenty-six: the positions of the rest we must deduce from the auction and from the cards played. Bridge players deal in likelihoods, and only rarely in certainties, therefore some knowledge of the laws of probability is a critical weapon in a successful player's arsenal. In this book, using a semi-fictional narrative approach, the author develops the ideas (but not the equations!) that underlie basic probability and its modern descendant, information theory, and shows how both fields relate to bridge. In fact, they have enormous practical application to the game. Among the topics discussed: </ol><ol type="1"><li>The idea of visualizing  sides', the complete combined holdings of both defenders, and not just the splits in individual suits</li><li>How a known split in one suit can affect the odds in another</li><li>Empirical rules to help make decisions based on incomplete information or in a situation too complex to analyze accurately</li><li>How a priori probabilities (the ones with which we are all familiar) change with each card played</li><li>How an imbalance of vacant places in the defenders' hands affects the odds  and when to change your line of play as a result</li><li>The  Monty Hall Problem' and its bridge cousin, Restricted Choice</li><li>HCP distribution  what partner's bidding tells you about where his high cards are " Information versus frequency: the trade-off in choosing conventions</li><li>Losing Trick Count  does it work, and if so, why?</li><li>Probability, statistics and the Law of Total Tricks  how far can you rely on the LAW? " Cost versus gain: information theory as applied to bidding systems</li><li>Using statistics to help you choose a bidding system that works for you</li></ol></FONT><U>Table Of Contents</U><FONT COLOR = "800080"><ol type="1">Introduction  1<li>WHEN THE DUMMY COMES DOWN  3<BR>& Counting Cards - Alice in Bridgeland  4<BR>& The Inferential Count  7<BR>& Percentage Play  9<BR>& When Virtue Goes Unrewarded  10<BR>& How Probabilities Accumulate  13<BR>& The Enlightenment of Scrooge  16<BR>& In Conclusion  17</li><li>EMOTION, LOGIC, AND HOW WE DECIDE  19<BR>& Where Do Blunders Come From?  20<BR>& Luck, Chance and Design  23<BR>& The Gods Love the Odds  24<BR>& Is Bridge a Science?  25</li><li>THE CONCEPT OF PROBABILITY  27<BR>& Mathematics and Bridge  28<BR>& Probability Is Synonymous with Information  31<BR>& A Glimpse into the History of Probability  32<BR>& Pascal's Triangle  34<BR>& Information and Probability in the 20th Century  35<BR>& Interlude of Movie Madness  37<BR>& Is Bridge Beautiful?  38</li><li>COMBINATIONS AND PERMUTATIONS  39<BR>& Vacation at the Hotel du Paradis  41<BR>& Back to Pascal's Triangle  45<BR>& Card Combinations  48<BR>& Comparisons of Even and Odd Splits  50</li><li>A PRIORI ODDS AND VACANT PLACES  51<BR>& Old Hat Problem  53<BR>& Vacant Places and Variable Odds  55<BR>& The Dog that Didn't Bark  61<BR>& Reese's Reading of the Much Maligned 3-3 Split  63<BR>& Playdown in a Suit  65<BR>& What Exactly Are Vacant Places?  67<BR>& Vacant Places and Playing for the Drop  70<BR>& Kelsey's Rule  71</li><li>INFORMATION THEORY AND DECLARER PLAY  75<BR>& The A Priori Odds and Suit Splits  75<BR>& The Division of Sides  80<BR>& The Holistic Approach to the Division of Sides  80<BR>& The Distribution of Sides  83<BR>& The 8765 Distribution of Sides  85<BR>& Going with the Odds  86<BR>& The 7766 Division  90<BR>& Emeritus Jones's 7766 Disaster in the Dining Hall  91</li><li>INFORMATION AND SURPRISE ON THE OPENING LEAD  95<BR>& Edith Kemp Was Surprised at First  102<BR>& Silence Is Golden  103<BR>& The Heart Lead Against 3NT  105<BR>& Prelude to Bayes' Theorem  The Journey so Far  107</li><li>APPLYING BAYES' THEOREM  109<BR>& Monty, Marilyn and the Theorem of Bayes  110<BR>& Bayes' Theorem Applied to Card Play  113<BR>& The Bayes Equation  115<BR>& Monty's Messages  116<BR>& Bayes' Theorem and Random Discards  117<BR>& The Effect of a Partial Playdown  122</li><li>NINE-NEVER, EIGHT-EVER, AND BEYOND  127<BR>& When A Priori Doesn't Work  131<BR>& The Eight-Ever Rule  134<BR>& Missing the Jack-Sixth  141<BR>& The Majority Rule Revisited  144</li><li>DEMONSTRATOR DEALS  147<BR>& ET Plays a Hand  147<BR>& The Changing Seascape  150<BR>& Professor Emeritus Jones Takes a View  152<BR>& Aim for the Harbor, but Look for the Shoals  154<BR>& Odds and Evens  156<BR>& Hey. Mister, What's Your Rush?  158<BR>& T L. Abbot's Giant Leap of Faith  162<BR>& Subjectivity and Probability  164<BR>& Descartes Was Understandably in a Bad Mood  166</li><li>HOW EXPERTS PLAY THE HAND  167<BR>& If You Want to Play like Zia  167<BR>& A Shanghai Probability  169<BR>& When Several Honors Are Missing  172<BR>& Fear of the Unknown  174<BR>& Jason Hackett's Direct Approach  177<BR>& Common-sense Probability  180<BR>& A Dubious Signal  182</li><li>HIGH CARD POINTS AND ALL THAT JAZZ  185<BR>& Expectations of HCP Distributions  186<BR>& Information and Flannery 2D Bids  188<BR>& The Obligation to Inform  190<BR>& Conflicting Methods at the USBC 2007  191<BR>& Long Suits versus Short Suits  194<BR>& LTC - The Losing Trick Count  197</li><li>PROBABILITY, STATISTICS AND THE LAW  205<BR>& Statistics and the LAW  207<BR>& Refining the LAW  209<BR>& The Losing Trick Count and Total Tricks  212<BR>& An Appropriate Statistical Approach  213<BR>& Probability in Competition  216<BR>& In Defiance of The LAW?  218<BR>& A Consultative Double  219<BR>& Ms. Lee Regrets...  220</li><li>BIDDING SYSTEMS: INFORMATION AND COSTS  223<BR>& Chen Scores Are Relative  225<BR>& Kludge Rhymes with Fudge  226<BR>& Do Bidding Systems Make a Difference?  227<BR>& Determine Your Pass Rate Comfort Zone  228<BR>& Bidding Space: The Basic Cost of Information  231<BR>& Strong Jumps Must Be Informative  231<BR>& Information and Cost in Modern Systems  233<BR>& What Did They Gain by Passing?  235<BR>& The Cost of Passing  236<BR>& The Majors-First Movement  237<BR>& Finale: Kit's Cri de Coeur  239<BR>& Final Thought  241</li></ol></FONT></P> <a name="ColourConventions"></a><hr><br><B><U>Text Colour Conventions</U> (see <A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1025.htm">disclaimer</a>)</B><OL TYPE="1"><LI><FONT COLOR = "0000FF">Blue</FONT>: Text by me; &copy; Theo Todman, 2018</li><LI><FONT COLOR = "800080">Mauve</FONT>: Text by correspondent(s) or other author(s); &copy; the author(s)</li></OL> </center> <BR><HR><BR><center> <TABLE class = "Bridge" WIDTH=950> <TR><TD WIDTH="30%">&copy; Theo Todman, June 2007 - August 2018.</TD> <TD WIDTH="40%">Please address any comments on this page to <A HREF="mailto:theo@theotodman.com">theo@theotodman.com</A>.</TD> <TD WIDTH="30%">File output: <time datetime="2018-08-02T04:04" pubdate>02/08/2018 04:04:11</time> <br><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_10/Notes_1010.htm">Website Maintenance Dashboard</A> </TD></TR><TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="#Top">Return to Top of this Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="40%"><A HREF="../../../Notes/Notes_11/Notes_1140.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Philosophy Page</A></TD> <TD WIDTH="30%"><A HREF="../../../index.htm">Return to Theo Todman's Home Page</A></TD> </TR></TABLE></CENTER><HR> </BODY> </HTML>