The Gambler's Fallacy and How It Causes Players to Lose Money

Players that get involved in gambling at casinos whether it be with cards, dice, or roulette have a tendency to get overinvested. This is understandable as players are investing their personal funds, and failure to win means that they will lose money. As a result, there are many things players do to improve their chances of winning. Notably, card players will do a lot of studying to ensure that they are playing optimally. That being said, there are some tendencies that players fall into that can be a major issue for them. Notably, there are many players that start to believe in the gambler's fallacy.

What Is the Gambler's Fallacy?

The gambler's fallacy is the mistaken belief that the odds of something occurring in isolation are impacted by the events of the past. In other words, this fallacy is the belief that if an event occurred more frequently than it was expected in the past, it is less likely to occur in the future. For example, if a player were to play roulette, it would be very unlikely that the ball would land on black five times in a row. After all, there is a 49.5 percent chance that the ball lands on black on any given round. The odds of it happening five times in a row is very low. Someone who believed in the gambler's fallacy would bet a lot of money on red on that sixth spin because they think that the odds are extremely low for it to land on black a sixth time. However, the odds are exactly the same as it is every round, 49.5 percent.

The Psychology of the Gambler's Fallacy

It is important to keep in mind that the gambler's fallacy only exists when two things happen in isolation of each other. For example, the result of a coin flipping once has no effect on the result of another coin flipping. Believing that it did would be falling into this fallacy. However, if you were playing Texas Hold 'em and all three cards in the flop were spades, you would be right to believe that there is not a great chance that the next card will be a spade. That is because the cards in play are no longer in the deck. As a result, the odds of certain types of cards being played have changed. So, playing your hand under the assumption that the next card will probably not be a spade is not an example of a gambler's fallacy.

This fallacy is more likely to affect people that are in a slump with their bets. Players that fall into the fallacy have probably experienced a string of bad luck as a result of the unlikely string of roulette spins or dice tosses. Players are more likely to perform poorly when they believe in the gambler's fallacy. They are more likely to make bigger bets on low chance events because they believe the ball is "due" to land on red. As a result, this fallacy has led many experienced and decorated players to lose a lot of money.

Where Did the Fallacy Come From?

Although there have been people that have fallen into this fallacy ever since gambling existed, there was not a name for it until the early 20th century. An incident occurred in 1913 at the Monto Carlo Casino during a game of roulette. In this roulette game, the fall fell on black 26 times in a row. Since the odds of this happening are extraordinarily low, players lost millions of dollars betting on the streak ending. This led the gambler's fallacy to be referred to as the Monte Carlo Fallacy in sine circles.

Can This Fallacy Effect People Outside the Gambling World?

There are certainly examples of people believing in the gambler's fallacy outside of the world of gambling. For example, it is common for people that have had two children of one gender to have a third simply because they want a child of the other gender. They might logically understand that there is still a 50 percent chance that they will have a boy or a girl, but they will have another child anyway.

The gambler's fallacy is dangerous for anyone that is looking to start playing cards, slots, dice, or roulette. It will lead you to make poor decisions that will lose your money. As a result, it is important to remember that independent events have no effect on each other. So, when there is an unlikely streak on the roulette table, do not get overly tempted to bet against the streak. Doing this could lose you a lot of money playing in online casinos..