Winning Ways for Your Mathematical Plays, Vol. 4
By Elwyn R. Berlekamp, John Horton Conway. Guy,
Publisher: AK Peters
Number Of Pages: 150
Publication Date: 2004-03-30
Sales Rank: 308184
ISBN / ASIN: 1568811446
Manufacturer: AK Peters
Studio: AK Peters
Average Rating: 5
Total Reviews: 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
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
In Volume 4, the authors present a Diamond of a find, covering one-player games such as Solitaire.
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?
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
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
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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