How quantum physics could revolutionize casinos and betting – if you can understand it

  • Concept of ‘quantum gambling’ could end ‘third party’ supervision by ruling out possibility of cheating or rule-bending
  • Scientists believe principles could create a whole new gambling framework

Many of the answers to life’s great questions have been laid at the door of the mega-brained scientists who specialise in quantum physics. Is there evidence of a god? How did the universe begin?

But what about using the theories to revolutionize how we play casinos?

Could quantum physics change the face of casinos and betting? Potentially, if anyone can ever understand it.
Could quantum physics change the face of casinos and betting? Potentially, if anyone can ever understand it. Pictures: Thinkstock.

Protocol based on rationality

A team of scientists from China and Bristol has come up with the idea of a gambling protocol that doesn’t depend on the integrity of the participants. Instead, this new protocol is founded on the idea of rationality – the rational notion that both parties will make decisions they perceive give them the best winning chances.

This new protocol is based on the mix of game theory and quantum mechanics, and scientists believe it could find its application in online casinos and lotteries sometime in the future.

It is nearly impossible for two players to gamble, putting something of value on the line, without having a third party supervising the game – because of the temptation to bend the rules or cheat. This third party is necessary to make sure everything is fair, and everyone keeps their end of the bargain. However, it seems that quantum mechanics has a solution that would remove the need for the third party altogether.

A theoretical machine

The idea of quantum gambling revolves around the concept of a theoretical machine constructed between two participating players. The machine works based on two important principles: quantum superposition and Heisenberg’s uncertainty principle.

The uncertainty principle is a bit hard to understand for people not familiar with quantum mechanics, but it basically states that observing a particle will create changes in its behavior. Quantum superposition means that the particle can be in the two different states at once.

If this sounds confusing, that’s because it is.

But, the gist of it all is, it would create a situation where one player knows the state of two particles on his or her side but doesn’t know if the states will change by the time they reach the other player. The other player has an option to try and guess the state of the particle he’s been sent, or ask for a different one.

In theory, this would create an environment where both players need to adhere to the best strategy, creating Nash equilibrium.

In this situation, they are playing a ‘zero sum’ game, and there is no need for third parties to supervise the game.
Although this idea only exists on paper at this time, scientists believe it can be used to develop a range of new gambling protocols based on quantum mechanics.

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