We are a commune of inquiring, skeptical, politically centrist, capitalist, anglophile, traditionalist New England Yankee humans, humanoids, and animals with many interests beyond and above politics. Each of us has had a high-school education (or GED), but all had ADD so didn't pay attention very well, especially the dogs. Each one of us does "try my best to be just like I am," and none of us enjoys working for others, including for Maggie, from whom we receive neither a nickel nor a dime. Freedom from nags, cranks, government, do-gooders, control-freaks and idiots is all that we ask for.
I remember a short story about two guys who show up at a hotel, the one is tired and goes to bed, the other wants to visit the bar/casino downstairs. In the morning, the one who slept asked the other if anything interesting had happened. The second guy related how the roulette wheel seemed to be stuck on red and the longer the streak of reds went on, the more people showed up to bet until the whole town seemed to be there betting on the wheel. Until they ran out of money. The first guy asked, "You mean they broke the bank?" and the second guy replied, "No, it was the town that ran out of money - they were all betting on black."
Of course, ignorance of probabilities also leads to the problem of "p hacking" - scientific studies are based on the probability ("p") of an observed phenomenon happening purely by random chance. Introduce enough variables and the chances of something with a low probability of occurring actually occurring reaches nearly a certainty. Somebody's going to win the lottery, it's just not going to be you.
Say you wanted to study the question of whether or not drinking prune juice cures warts, setting up such a study is fairly straightforward. But if you go into it just looking at whether or not drinking prune juice causes some sort of weird effect, well, you can look at a million different possible effects and surely, just purely by chance, you're going to find at least one result that seems improbable. And that's the one result you report. Cures warts? Causes warts? Improves vision? Degrades vision? Causes traffic accidents? Prevents traffic accidents? Leads to pregnancy? Prevents pregnancy? Surely there's something you can find among your test group that is out of the ordinary statistically speaking. Of course, you would have found the statistical anomaly regardless of whether or not they were drinking prune juice, but you can claim it's the prune juice that made the difference.
Fans of the notion of colonizing the galaxy should read the other article there "Interstellar Travel Is Hard", although in fairness I have to warn them it may harsh your mellow (I'm looking at you, Glenn Reynolds).
The funny thing about logic and probability is that some people are just lucky. Not smarter but simply follow an inner voice and win. Yeah! I know, just as often and maybe more often you can point to people doing this and losing but it cannot be denied that some people are luckier or better or trickier or something and they simply win more often than they should. I knew a guy who got banned from the casinos in Vegas. This was in the 60's, probably wouldn't happen today. He would win big at blackjack and the pit boss would come over to watch and then they would close the table. After a few nights of this the pit boss banned him and took a picture of him and passed it around to some of the other big casinos in town and he was banned.
Blackjack is inherently different than other table games. In poker, cards are shuffled between hands to reset probabilities. As the article mentioned, dice and roulette wheels "have no memory".
Blackjack is different. The contents of a blackjack shoe reflect what has already come out of it. it has, in effect, a memory of previous hands, and all cards played are visible to all players, so they too have access to that same information.
A skilled player can adjust his betting strategies to adapt to a strong or weak shoe.
Thus card counting stands a chance to place the player into a positive expectation against the house, and recognizing when this occurs is the key. Vegas loves players who can count cards but don't know how to properly change up their bets to take advantage. That's the chapter missing from the booklets on card counting they even sell in their gift shops.
Another Guy named Dan
A few of the dirty tricks the pit bosses used to deploy against this guy were:
They would put a shill on one or both side of him.
They would change dealers.
Close the table.
They even tried bringing him alcoholic drinks even though he would only drink water.
He told me he didn't count cards. He knew when aces and face cards were dealt but never counted them to know how many were left. He said he only used two things to make a decision; the odds of getting what he needed to win and his gut. He never tried to beat the odds.