How Does the Gambling Fallacy Affect You in Australia?
Oliver Moore / 3 January 2022

What is the Gambler’s fallacy as a concept?

Gambler’s fallacy definition in easy words: Would you ever bet on black based on the last few red spins when you walked past a roulette table? The player’s misconception is that you will be a victim if you do this and believe it to be true. The gambler’s fallacy is the one that always comes up among the “systems” and “superstitions” that people have about how to win at gambling.

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What Is the Gambler’s Fallacy in Australian Gambling

The Gambler’s fallacy is a false belief that if a particular event occurs more frequently than usual during a specific time, it will happen more often in the future, or the reverse is true. Every roll of the dice, flipping the coins or the hole cards in Hold’em is a unique event that follows random processes. Gambler’s fallacy may lead to the thought that if the coin dropped by the player falls heads twice in order, the next time, it will most likely be tails.

It is crucial to know the gambler’s fallacy because it significantly influences people’s thinking, especially when gambling but also in other areas of daily life. This concept is also known as the gambler’s fallacy bias, and it makes you believe you have a higher chance of winning if you gamble.

Example of Gambler’s Fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy applies only to completely unexpected circumstances. Let’s take a look at the coin toss. The flip of a coin is random, meaning that it will occur on heads 50 % of the time and fall in the tails 50% of the time in the long term. Imagine you are flipping a coin once, and it comes up heads. The coin is then flipped, and it heads back. What is the chance for the coin to flip to tails at the next toss? There are 50 % or similar odds to the initial toss. You are a victim of the player’s illusion if you believe that it is more likely to fall tails since it has repeatedly hit heads.

In fact, each toss is independent of the previous. There is no carryover, and there is no reflection on the history of tosses. Coins cannot remember, and there isn’t any magical force or police to solve any mathematical anomalies. The reason why people get confused is because of the way they think. We strongly suggest skipping onto the following section for those who don’t enjoy math. We will try our best to simplify it.

A coin’s probability of hitting heads is 50% or one in two. This can be expressed by the percentage of 1/2. To calculate the odds of two different events happening in a sequence, multiply the odds in fractions of each.

Monte Carlo fallacy example

In 1913, a roulette table at a Monte Carlo casino witnessed the most prominent example of gambler’s fallacy. The ball had landed on black for the last ten spins of the roulette wheel.

Gambling Fallacy

Gamblers were betting against black because they thought a red would soon appear. Yet, the ball continued to land on black. Seeing the trend continuing, the gamblers became more and more convinced that the next turn would land on red. The stakes and crowds increased, and so did the losses.

A streak of 26 consecutive blacks didn’t end until the ball landed on red after 27 straight blacks! The casino had made a fortune. As a result, the gambler’s fallacy became known as the Monte Carlo fallacy.

Gambler`s fallacy in financial analysis

Gambler’s fallacy has been shown to affect the financial analysis. Interesting, but investors tend to hold stocks that have fallen in price rather than sell them. They call this a “general disposition to sell winners too early and have losers too long.” Investing professionals may perceive the continuing rise in a stock’s value as a sign that it will crash soon, and therefore sell. Conversely, it can be interpreted as an appreciation sign when a stock has lost weight, so they hold onto it. Here investors may be using the gambler’s fallacy because they are trying to predict the outcome of a somewhat random event (the stock’s price) by comparing its price trend to the history of similar events in the past.

Why does the Gambler’s Fallacy Occur?

There are two connected ways in which the gambler’s fallacy bias manifests itself.

  • Independent events that have occurred more frequently than predicted in the past are unlikely to recur in the future if they have happened at a greater frequency than expected.
  • A particular independent event may occur less frequently than expected if it has occurred less frequently than expected in the past.

The Gambler’s Fallacy originates from our tendency to think that if an unplanned event has been repeated several times before, the probability is that it will happen more or less frequently shortly. We make this assumption for a variety of reasons. One reason is that we dislike randomness. Therefore, we attempt to rationalize random incidents to provide a sense and appear predictable.

Random Events

Random events are the result of chance. This makes them unpredictable. Most of us find this unsettling, while others may view it as exhilarating. Gambler’s fallacy statistics rationalize a random event by searching for patterns or indications in the past of events similar to it – even when they are unrelated. In this way, we can understand the chaotic world because it is a natural way of functioning our mind.

Faith in Chance

Chance is viewed by many as a self-correcting process. According to them, chance strives towards a balanced and fair equilibrium. A gambler’s fallacy statistics example would be the slot machine players. Whenever they have a streak of wins, they expect losses because they think each machine’s turn is filled with wins and losses.

Conclusion

The reason for the gambler’s fallacy is often called “the illusion of clustering”. This means that people consider random events that appear in streaks as non-random in the short run. The problem is the following “streaks” or “runs” or “patterns” are much more likely to occur in smaller samples than what people believe they are. Some people think that seeing four heads in a row seems impossible, but it isn’t. If you flip a coin 16 times, it will hit heads four times in one row.

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Written by

Oliver Moore

Oliver Moore is the leading online casino expert and editor of all posts at Spin Paradise. Oliver believes in luck but considers tactics to be equally important.

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FAQ
  • What is Gambler's Fallacy?

    It is the belief that if something occurs more frequently (i.e. more often than the average) during a given period, there is a lower likelihood that it will happen again in the future.
  • Is there a way to avoid the Gambler's fallacy?

    It is better to approach each event as a beginning rather than a continuation of previous events to avoid the Gambler's fallacy.
  • Is the Gambler`s fallacy real?

    Yes, it is real and true. However, it is the erroneous belief that past events can influence future events, which in reality are entirely independent of them.