Gamblers Fallacy: Truth, Lies, Or A Bit Of Both?

Have you ever heard the term gambler’s fallacy? Don’t worry if you haven’t, in short order you will understand what it is all about and how to work your way around it if you need to.

Here goes, a definition you can take home with you today. Gambler’s fallacy is a term used to explain a false or unsubstantiated expectation. Specifically, gambler’s fallacy refers to the tendency to expect something to happen just because it hasn’t happened in a long time. In other words, an event that has not occurred recently is “overdue” and bound to happen. Uh, not so much. It doesn’t work that way in the real world, at least as far as the math people explain it to us.

You see, the math, or in other words, the statistics behind any game play aren’t emotional or erratic. A toss of a coin really does have odds of fifty fifty. In the real world, you could actually get 7 heads in a row. Yet, that does not change the fact that the odds on the very next coin toss is still fifty fifty. Hint: the coin does not remember the results of the last toss.

You may have seen this sort of thing around the roulette table. Take a look at this example: player waits on three reds in a row, then immediately places a bet on black. Does this make sense? Not really, at least from a mathematical or logical point of view. Much like the coin toss example above, the roulette wheel does not remember where it stopped last time.

Now you understand what gambler’s fallacy is, how can you use it maximize your winnings and minimize your losses? The quick and easy answer is to not fall into this false expectancy trap. More to the point, don’t fall for any hucksters promoting any sort of system that takes advantage of this sort of nonsense. Sadly, quite a few of this type of supposedly winning strategy systems are out there for the hopeful casino player. The truth is you are better off understanding just a little bit about probability and statistics and enjoying your casino play with knowledgeable game play.

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