Gambler’s Fallacy

gambling mathsAs already mentioned before, casino players often hold a number of misconceptions related to the nature of random events. A great part of these misconceptions are based on the very nature of random events as well as on understanding the phenomenon wrongly.

The above-mentioned beliefs are called erroneous or also fallacious beliefs. They are actually related to the players’ attitude toward luck, control, chances and prediction. However, a clear line must be drawn between the unrealistic beliefs of some gamblers and the actual reality to illustrate the main errors casino players usually make as well as the origin of these errors.

The basic problem of most gamblers is the misconception that they could beat the games’ odds and actually win. Strangely, even players who know the odds still believe they can beat them and generate a winning. Some experts argue that such a concept is not an erroneous belief but a result of the player’s experience with random events that could create a wrong impression that random outcomes could be actually predicted.

Another problem is that people are predisposed to looking for certain patterns and can hardly be convinced that long winning or losing streaks could be a pure coincidence. On the other hand, some people believe that random events have no cause and find that mysterious, not to mention that they truly believe they could influence the random outcome. Other casino players do not believe in such a thing as random event. Theoretically, part of this concept is true, but in practice, a random event could occur when a complex process is combined with a certain problem and this leads to full uncertainty about the probable outcome.

As a matter of fact, randomness is a mathematical concept. However, the predictability of random events is not relevant. In fact, calling a certain event a random one simply means that the observer does not know what the outcome will be. Actually, the nature of most “random” events could be determined, but it is practically impossible for a player to predict them and their consequences.

In addition, different random events are not equal when it comes to their probability, because some of them are more likely to occur in comparison to others. This is especially true when the joint events’ chances or the chance of one event happening compared to another are taken into account.

What a lot of casino players do wrong is actually holding fallacious ideas about a certain random chance’s nature. What they should actually do is explore the two basic concepts upon which most gambling activities actually depend – probability and randomness. Not understanding probability properly could turn out to be the main reason why a player has a gambling problem. On the other hand, correcting misconceptions could result in preventing problematic gambling.

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Major Fallacious Beliefs in Gambling

Almost all casino players hold a number of fallacious beliefs mostly related to random events’ nature. A great number of these misconceptions are based not only on the nature of random events, but also to not understanding the words used to describe the phenomenon properly.

Various systems of classification for erroneous beliefs related to casino and gaming activities have been actually proposed. The most common ones are related to the categories that are called “gambler’s fallacy” and “illusion of control”, but the truth is that none of these systems have taken into account that they can be interrelated.

Here is a list with the most commonly-met misconceptions as well as their true nature’s decryption.

One of the most common misconceptions is that events are consistently erratic. In fact, random events are sometimes called clumpy, as sometimes long streaks of wins or losses occur.

Another much spread belief is that things even out eventually. This, however, is not statistically and mathematically proved, as such a thing would not necessarily happen.

According to some gamblers, it is possible for random events to self-correct themselves. In fact there is no such thing. No matter if it comes to a long winning or losing streak, it could be followed by an ordinary outcome that could not be very valuable for the player as more events are added to the gameplay.

Some players strongly believe that if a certain number has not come up yet, it is due to. This is not true. Numbers that have not appeared could never appear over a certain gameplay, because dice, roulette balls or coins do not have any memories and an eventual outcome could not be predicted. That is called independence of events.

Another widely-spread misconception is that a player is due to win after a streak of losses. Of course, this would not necessarily happen, as a player is not actually to due to win or lose. What would happen during the game is not predetermined by the things that happened in the past.

Casino players also usually believe that there is a bias in case that a number appears too often. It is true that actual biases may occur due to some technical issues, but usually apparent bias is not what it seems to be.

According to some casino players, there are no patterns when it comes to randomness. This is also not true, because random events could actually form certain patterns and there is such thing as a coincidence. Gamblers also usually say that random events and patterns are two incompatible terms. As already mentioned, there could be some apparent patterns but no future events would be based on these patterns. In addition, past patterns are hardly possible to be repeated.

There are also some misconceptions that a player can get an advantage over the casino by strictly looking for what is due to happen. Remember that after all, nothing is certain when it comes to gambling, no nothing is actually due to happen and events are totally independent from one another.

Some casino players actually believe that using certain betting systems, lucky charms and even superstitions actually does work. Though such things may sometimes appear to work, players should never depend on the belief that success is likely to be repeated.

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The Gambler’s Fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy, which is also known as the “fallacy of the maturity of chances”, is actually the mistaken belief that if a certain event has happened for a long time, it is more likely for it to happen less frequently in the future, and vice versa – if something has happened less frequently than normal over a certain period of time, it will surely happen more regularly in the future.

According to some scientists, gamblers are more likely to be looking for various patterns that give them a misconception that they would be able to always beat the odds in a game of chance. In fact, such casino players mistakenly think they do have chances of winning against the house that is better than the average ones.

The gambler’s fallacy actually involves beliefs related to certain series of independent events. On the other hand, if two events are considered as independent, their occurrences are not affected by one another. It is important for players to understand that prior outcomes over the gameplay will hardly have an effect on the outcome of any subsequent independent event.

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