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Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 3


Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 3
In the quarter of a century since three mathematicians and game theorists collaborated to create Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, the book has become the definitive work on the subject of mathematical games. Now carefully revised and broken down into four volumes to accommodate new developments, the second edition retains the original's wealth of wit and wisdom. The authors' insightful strategies, blended with their witty and irreverent style, make reading a profitable pleasure.
In Volume 3, the authors examine Games played in Clubs, giving case studies for coing and paper-and-pencil games, such as Dots-and-Boxes and Nimstring.
Date: 2007-02-04 Rating: 5
Review: The math is Kind of Hidden
This is volume four in the series, and it starts with page 801. Do you need to read the first three volumes first? Well, if you want to. The authors would get more royalties if you buy them. Do you need to in order to understand this volume? Generally speaking -- No. Only in a couple of areas might it help.
So, what do we have here?
A discussion of games, such as Rubik's Cube that you can play, and that they give instructions on how to make it come together. But don't get to thinking that this is all simple. Underneath it all, this is a fairly serious book on game theory, but the mathematics behind it are hidden.
Beyond the cube there are several other games discussed in this volume, some very beiefly, some getting a lot more attention - The last chapter in the book on the Game of Life gets some 35 pages.
As much as anything else, the authors witty writing style is a rare treat on a book like this.
Date: 2004-10-05 Rating: 5
Review:Great reference for one person puzzles and games
The new edition of these classic volumes has been completely reorganized, and this volume now contains mostly one person games or puzzles, such as peg solitaire, Soma, Rubik's Cube, mechanical wire and string puzzles, sliding block puzzles, magic squares, and life. The book is very readable and requires no mathematical background. However, this is no lightweight watered-down book and some sections of the books could take you months to understand completely (try the SOMA map or century puzzle map that appears in the Extras). Fortunately you can just skip over these parts if you don't want to dig down to this level of detail.
I have only looked briefly at the other volumes, but I believe this volume "stands on it's own" more so than volumes 2 & 3. Be warned, however, that there are several concepts (such as "nim addition" that you will need the previous volumes to understand).
Conway's game of Life is the subject of the last chapter, perhaps the most interesting chapter in the book, and that which has probably been most changed since the last edition. Still, they could easily have expanded this chapter into a whole volume, and looking at the internet it is already out of date.
Beware that the figures on the covers of these volumes DO NOT necessarily correspond to what is inside. For example, Volume 3 shows peg solitaire on the cover but the subject itself is all in Volume 4!
Date: 1998-10-15 Rating: 5
Review:Enjoyable discussion of many interesting games
Starting with Hackenbush (thanks to Groucho Marx) this book describes and analyzes a great many interesting games. While the authors are mathematicians, and there is mathematics involved, much of the discussion can be followed by the lay reader

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Tags: authors, games, volume, Winning, Mathematical