Gambling may have started as an entertaining way to earn money and test egos centuries ago but it has evolved to a way of life among many in today’s society. There are written and unwritten rules that govern the gambling community and there are norms that people follow. One of the most popular topics in the gambling world is “Gambler’s Fallacy”. What is Gambler’s fallacy? Gambler’s Fallacy, which is also called the Monte Fallacy, is a theory that things that have happened frequently in the past are more likely to happen in the future than things that happened less frequently and vice versa. It allows gamblers to predict winnings and losses alike. Is the gambler’s fallacy accurate or is it just a myth that costs players money?
The Origin of Gambler’s Fallacy
Gambling is based primarily on chance. This means that even if people can employ strategies, chance still has the final cards. Now, if you believe in Gambler’s Fallacy, it means that you’re no longer leaving things to chance and that random activities are now related. Just because a certain activity has happened repeatedly over time, you will be able to predict that the opposite action will happen. It can also be used to predict when something is less likely to happen. A typical example is when you predict that the dice will give you 12 on the 4th roll because it is due for a win based on the previous results. This theory is false. As long as a dice has not been manipulated, there is no way to predict the result of a single throw based on previous or even future throws. Anyone who believes this is applying Gambler’s Fallacy and is risking the entire game.
How did Gambler’s Fallacy start? Gambler’s Fallacy was first tagged Monte Carlo fallacy in 1913 when something strange happened in the casino. It all started during a roulette game. The ball kept falling on the black side of the wheel after every spin. When people noticed that the ball was falling on black continuously, they decided to start wagering that the next spin will land on red because it was long overdue. They kept spinning and it kept falling on black. It wasn’t until the 26th spin that the ball finally fell on the red part of the wheel. All those who had put money on the ball stopping on red won the wager. After winning, they continued betting on the red wheel thinking that all the subsequent spins will fall on red since there were so many blacks before that. Unfortunately, things didn’t work that way and they lost almost all their winnings.
While this is the most common story about Gambler’s Fallacy, it isn’t the only one. Gambler’s Fallacy is applied by gamblers almost every day. Even the day to day lives of non-gamblers is often influenced by Gambler’s Fallacy. People try to predict actions based on repetition. Even when certain events are independent of each other, they make false claims and predictions. Many people believe that someone can’t be bitten by a shark twice in a lifetime. So, if they’ve been bitten before, they are most likely never going to be bitten again. In several accepts of our lives we unknowingly toss chance aside and fall into the clutches of Gambler’s Fallacy.
Why Gambler’s Fallacy Is Inaccurate
Gambler’s Fallacy is inaccurate because it isn’t based on logic or chance. It is based on the false notion that inanimate things are somehow aware of what is happening around them. For example, a person who assumes that he or she would not be struck by lightning more than once in a lifetime is saying that the lightening is taking counts of who and when it strikes. For clarity, remember the events at Monte Carlo in 1913. When the customers in the casino started placing their bets on red, they assumed that the ball was somehow keeping counts of each spin and would know when it is time to even out the streaks. Can you see the inaccuracy of Gambler’s Fallacy now?
On every single spin, there was a 50/50 chance that the ball would either stop spinning when the wheel got to red or black. Each spin was independent of each other. Neither the ball nor the wheel kept tabs on how many spins had been made. Everything was based on chance. The roulette doesn’t obey the laws of average and it doesn’t know how many times it will be thrown. It doesn’t know anything at all. The events at Monte Carlo was influenced purely by chance. Players didn’t know this and that was why they lost so much money. They gave the ball and the wheel more credit than the deserved.
Have you noticed that some gamblers double down on the wagers when they are on a losing streak? They do this based on Gambler’s Fallacy as well. They assume that a losing streak has to be followed by a winning streak. So, they keep placing bets and expecting a big win until there is nothing felt to bet. Some gambling addicts even borrow money from other people when they are on a losing streak because they are confident that the next wager would be in their favor as a win is long overdue. In the mind of the player, streaks, winning and losing, must even out eventually. So, if you’ve been winning for too long, it would be followed by a losing streak to even it out. If you’ve been losing, it would be followed by a winning streak.
Unfortunately, all it is is a fallacy and nothing more. The truth is that you can boost your chances of winning by using certain strategies. Depending on the game, the odds can be calculated precisely. This is why odd markers make a lot of money from predicting the result of games. The average gambler can’t afford to pay for odds and they may not be able to make accurate odd predictions.
The bottom line is that gambling should be viewed as what it is; a game of chance. If you intend to become a successful gambler who is in it for the long haul, you need to stop applying Gambler’s Fallacy and start taking things more seriously. You should know when to reduce your stake and when to increase it. Continuing on a losing streak for a long time isn’t a guarantee that you will win and winning consistently doesn’t mean you will eventually start losing. If you keep following the gambler’s fallacy, you’re going to start losing money in the casino.
To increase your chances of winning you should go for games that have higher odds. For example, when you want to use a slot machine, choose the machine that has a high RTP score. However, note that your chances of winning at video poker are relatively higher than your chances of winning a fruit slot machine game. If you must play a slot game, consider joining a slot club.
Try and focus on placing simple bets and avoid complicated ones as much as possible. Learn all the blackjack strategies available and play European Roulette more than American Roulette. These will help you while you’re in the casino. It’s also important that you learn how to calculate odds. For online betting, stick to wagering on games that you understand rather than games that everyone else understands. The more you understand a game, the higher your chances of making smart betting moves. Do as much as you can, and leave the rest to chance, don’t get caught up in the clutches of Gambler’s Fallacy.