Optimal casino betting: why lucky coins and good memory are important

19 February 2015

We consider the dynamic casino gambling model initially proposed by Barberis (2012) and study the optimal stopping strategy of a pre-committing gambler with cumulative prospect theory (CPT) preferences. We illustrate how the strategies computed in Barberis (2012) can be strictly improved by reviewing the entire betting history or by tossing random coins, and explain that such improvement is possible because CPT preferences are not quasi-convex. Finally, we develop a systematic and analytical approach to finding the optimal strategy of the gambler. This is a joint work with Prof. Xue Dong He (Columbia University), Prof. Jan Obloj, and Prof. Xun Yu Zhou.