The Gambler’s Fallacy

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The Gambler’s Fallacy

  1. Blog
  2. The Gambler’s Fallacy

What is The Gambler’s Fallacy, and how does it work?

The Gambler’s Fallacy is the mistaken idea that if something happens more frequently than predicted in the past, it would happen less frequently in the future. Even if the events are unrelated, it’s easy to become caught up in this way of thinking.

In other words, we wrongly rely on a law of averages, even though each case has a set probability. Simply failing to see that previous events have no bearing on future events can lead to serious consequences.

That slot machine has pay off soon. The ball must now land on red. The other team is due for a penalty shot. We frequently hear these and similar statements, particularly during an event involving chance. This is especially true for those who play casino games. The ball somehow hits black again, and the slot machine doesn’t pay off. What are the chances of this happening?

Even though it seems reasonable, an event’s probability does not necessarily alter from one instance to the next. The Gambler’s Fallacy is the name given to this type of poor reasoning. The phenomena occurs in business, sports, and all throughout life, and it is all too often the case in casinos.

Some of the Most Common Gambler’s Fallacies

So, you’ve decided to flip a coin ten times. The first six coin flips have all resulted in heads, thus tails must be next. This is when the fallacy enters the picture.

Each coin flip has a 50-50 probability of landing on its head or tails. We overlook this fixed likelihood far too often.

The spinning of the Roulette wheel 

Have you ever walked up to a roulette table and seen ten red numbers hit in a row?  It’s natural to think that the roulette ball is  expected to land on a black number next, according to everyone. However, this is simply another example of the gamblers fallacy. The ball has the same chance to land on black or red with each subsequent spin.

Taking a Plane Trip

The more flights you take, the more probable you are to be involved in a plane crash at some point. Doesn’t it make sense? No.  Every flight is unique and distinct. According to the research, the chances of your plane going down are one in 12 million. This does not change with each successive flight.

The mindset of Gambler’s Fallacy:

Our minds are wired this way for a reason. It’s known as cognitive bias, or a disposition to wander from reason as a result of how we receive and analyze data. We think in terms of small numbers, which leads to the erroneous assumption that small samples must be the same as larger ones.

Randomness is also surprisingly painful to us. We prefer everything to be in order, consistent, and simple to understand.

The Gambler’s Fallacy should be avoided at all costs.

We’ve all come across the Gambler’s Fallacy as gamblers. We know that a winning or losing streak will come to an end at some point, so we bet on it. Many players use progressive wagers, despite the fact that many betting systems do not account for long losing streaks.

You must be aware of the independence of each event in order to avoid the Gambler’s Fallacy. Just because a game’s RTP is 96.9 percent doesn’t mean it will be reflected in the 35 rounds you play. For the math to balance out, it may take hundreds of spins or dice rolls.

Consider the fact that the dice have no memory of prior rolls and that the ball has no control over future spins. Don’t base your decisions on unimportant previous events; instead, focus on the current probabilities.

Not Every Situation With a High Probability Is a Catch-22

The Gambler’s Fallacy does not apply in several casino games.

For example, in poker, the odds change as the hand progresses. Because there are a set amount of cards, when some are revealed, you know they won’t be dealt again or in your opponent’s hand.

In addition, in blackjack, card counters keep track of which high and low cards have already been shown from the shoe. They can use arithmetic to more precisely calculate the odds of hitting them on the following draw.

Luck and random game results are simply just that, nothing more, nothing less.

The Gambler’s Fallacy is more common in smarter people, than in people with lower IQs. This is one time where being smart can actually be harmful to you!

At the end of the day, all games of chance are accompanied by odds and probability. Trying to predict a result at an online casino that uses a random number generator is very difficult. You might be able to determine the number of cards left in the shoe in person, but it’s difficult to do it online because each new hand is created from the ground up.

You’ll be a better player if you ignore previous outcomes and examine random possibilities on their own. Furthermore, you will always be at the mercy of the odds and a little luck.

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