Generalized Gambler’s Ruin Problem: Explicit Formulas via Siegmund Duality

  • Paweł Lorek
Open Access


We give explicit formulas for ruin probabilities in a multidimensional Generalized Gambler’s ruin problem. The generalization is best interpreted as a game of one player against d other players, allowing arbitrary winning and losing probabilities (including ties) depending on the current fortune with particular player. It includes many previous other generalizations as special cases. Instead of usually utilized first-step-like analysis we involve dualities between Markov chains. We give general procedure for solving ruin-like problems utilizing Siegmund duality in Markov chains for partially ordered state spaces studied recently in context of Möbius monotonicity.


Generalized gambler’s ruin problem Markov chains Absorption probability Siegmund duality Möbius monotonicity Partial ordering 

Mathematics Subject Classification (2010)

60J10 60G40 60J80 


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Open AccessThis article is distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 International License (, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided you give appropriate credit to the original author(s) and the source, provide a link to the Creative Commons license, and indicate if changes were made.

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Mathematical InstituteUniversity of WrocławWrocławPoland

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