What Exactly Is Gambler’s Fallacy At Casinos?

Have you ever been playing Roulette at a casino, only for someone to declare that the next spin must be a 21? If you ask them why, they’ll explain that it’s because 21 hasn’t come up for a while, hence 21 is now due to make an appearance.

This sounds logical, right? Surely every number on the wheel must appear sooner or later. This notion is referred to as The Gambler’s Fallacy, otherwise known as the Monte Carlo Fallacy. In fact, the chances of a certain result coming up in a game of Roulette never increase. The chances of all numbers coming up remain the same, no matter how many times you spin the wheel.

There is, however, the reality of probability, which tends to muddy the water.

The Gambler’s Fallacy Is Not True

Before we get to probability, let’s first debunk the Gambler’s Fallacy fully. If we take a coin and put money on an outcome, heads or tails, there is always the exact same chance that the outcome will be heads or tails. If heads comes up 5 times in a row, it does not now mean that tales is more likely. It is always a 50/50 chance. Many gamblers fall victim to The Gambler’s Fallacy, and the false notion ruins their gambling strategy.

Smart gamblers know that it isn’t a good idea to bet more or less on perceived outcomes. Smart gamblers assume that, for every bet they make, that the chances of an outcome are always the same. Remember; Roulette wheels, or coins in this case, don’t have a memory.

But if Gambler’s Fallacy isn’t true, what is probability?

Probability Always Balances Out Over Time

If we flip that coin and get heads 5 times in a row, it would be interesting. But what if we got heads 10 times in a row? Since Gambler’s Fallacy isn’t true, heads 10 times in a row is a possibility, right? The answer is that, yes, it is a possibility. It’s also a possibility that heads could come up 20 times in a row.

Even still, the unusual occurrence still wouldn’t mean that tails is more likely. Instead what you’ll find is that, the more we flip the coin, the more the balance of heads versus tails will gradually balance back out to 50/50. What most don’t understand is that probability is a long-term game of balance.

But isn’t that contradicting The Gambler’s Fallacy? No, not when you consider each flip of the coin an individual event. Getting 20 heads in a row is unlikely, even if it’s possible. But the mere fact that 20 heads in a row is possible is a demonstration that a coin doesn’t have a memory. Betting on the idea that probability favours one event over the other, at any given time, is applying logic to something completely emotionless and illogical.

Does This Make Gambling Futile?

Is gambling futile, given that the Gambler’s Fallacy is a false notion? Not at all. In fact, that Gambler’s Fallacy is false makes games of chance all the more interesting. If you head to Jupiter Club casino and play a few games of Roulette, you’ll notice something about the betting table. Namely that the table is designed around letting you strategically cover as much of the table as possible. All the betting options are always open to you, letting you tackle broad probability from multiple angles.

If Gambler’s Fallacy were true, most of the betting table would be irrelevant most of the time, right? You’d simply never bet where the ball has already landed. Or would you, based on Gambler’s Fallacy being so vague? When exactly does the supposed bias kick in?

Gambler’s Fallacy would make games of chance more confusing, and more difficult, rather than the opposite. Since you really have the whole table to help you overcome the odds, for every spin, your options or always rather robust. More to the point, your broad options are always fair and equal.

How Do You Bet Smart?

There are betting strategies that help you have the best chances of scoring a win. Look up betting guides for Roulette, and other casino games, and you’ll find a multitude of options. There isn’t a single betting guide that is perfect, and no sure-fire way to win every time. But, if you stick to a betting guide, keep in mind that gambling is a long-term game, and stick to the plan, you’ll improve your chances of walking away a winner.

You should also quit while you’re ahead and cash out your wins. Quitting while you’re ahead is a cliché for a reason; namely that it’s the best way to leave with more money than when you started. Once you reach a point where you’re ahead, consider simply leaving.

Should You Quit While You’re Behind?

Gambling is a game of chance, which means that there are going to be times when you’re ahead, and times when you’re behind. So, given what we now know about Gambler’s Fallacy and probability, should you quit while you’re behind?

It’s a difficult question to answer, and is probably a decision you should make based on your own intuition. How long have you been playing? How much are you down? Or to look at it another way, if you’re down by a lot how did you land up in that position? Casino games should be dealt with only using small bets, ensuring that you never lose too much on a single wager. If you’re down by a lot, consider revising the way you play overall.

To answer the question; if you’re down by a lot, yes, you should probably quit and try again another day. When you play again try using a different strategy.

Playing Smart Versus Superstition

In conclusion, Gambler’s Fallacy isn’t just an incorrect notion, it borders on superstition. If you want to play and win, forget superstition and focus on smart betting. Professional gamblers, those that have money in the bank, always research rather than hoping odds will magically swing in their favour.

Be a smart gambler, not a superstitious gambler.

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