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Re: [GAdetection] "Gambling in Fiction" (1912)

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  • bobhouk@yahoo.com
    Apologies for going off-topic, but I found this interesting: ... at roulette, the chances are one to twenty-six ... I ve read that casinos added the double
    Message 1 of 2 , Nov 9, 2012
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      Apologies for going off-topic, but I found this interesting: " ... at roulette, the chances are one to twenty-six ..."

      I've read that casinos added the double zero to increase their edge, but this indicates that a hundred years ago, there were significantly fewer numbers on the board. Anybody know anything about this?


      --- On Fri, 11/9/12, miketooney49 <miketooney49@...> wrote:

      From: miketooney49 <miketooney49@...>
      Subject: [GAdetection] "Gambling in Fiction" (1912)
      To: GAdetection@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, November 9, 2012, 5:49 PM


      Things haven't changed all that much in a hundred years.

      'The Outlook,' January 20, 1912:


      "According to the New York 'Sun,' more than

      fourteen hundred novels were published in this

      country last year, of which about thirty secured

      a sufficiently wide reading to be regarded as

      successful from the publishers' point of view.

      "During the past five years the average number

      of novels published annually has been one

      thousand, and among these the average number

      of very successful novels has remained practically

      stationary at thirty.

      "This does not mean that a large number of stories

      have not attained a wide circulation; it means that

      only about thirty have gotten into the class of 'big


      "The 'Sun' estimates the chances of popular success

      in fiction at three per cent, and calls attention to the

      fact that at roulette, the chances are one to twenty-

      six, or nearly four per cent, and that in the popular

      gambling game of poker they are probably higher.

      "Looked at from this standpoint, the publishing of

      fiction is a highly speculative business, both for the

      novelist and for the publisher; and the 'Sun' estimates

      that on this basis out of every seven hundred and

      fifty manuscripts offered to the publisher, only one

      put into type would become what is known in the

      trade as a 'seller.'

      "It is fortunate that the wisest and most experienced

      publisher cannot tell in advance whether a book will

      succeed or fail; still more fortunate that, in spite of

      the impression to the contrary, there is a considerable

      number of publishers who are interested in literature,

      and who will publish a book, either in prose or in

      verse, of distinct literary quality, whatever they may

      think of the chances of success.

      "Many of the 'best sellers' disclose on every page

      the secret of their popularity; but there are some

      which find their way into the hands of a host of

      readers and leave no clue behind them for the

      critic. Scores of stories are being sold to-day in

      this country which are not advertised or known

      in the circles of 'good literary society.' They

      belong to the nether region of fiction. Their lives

      are obscure, uncertain, and usually brief, and they

      pass on to unhonored graves; their career is purely

      commercial, and, having no souls, the hour of

      commercial death marks their total dissolution.

      "As a business, not even mining is more purely

      speculative than the writing of novels; as an art,

      few ventures are more remunerative."

      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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