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Gamblers Fallacy in Roulette and Blackjack

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Ever been told by a friend that he has a roulette system that always wins? Just wait for a run or red results, then bet bet black because the odds of yet another red coming up has become really low?

The belief that past outcomes can effect the probability of future events, where each event is independent is a common misconception that brings many a gambler unstuck.  It’s so common there’s a name for it: the Gambler’s Fallacy.

What is the Gambler’s Fallacy?

The Gambler’s Fallacy is a belief or an assumption that the outcome of an event can be influenced by past events in a random sequence of trials. It is a common error in reasoning that occurs when someone assumes that the likelihood of an event happening is directly influenced by previous outcomes.

For example, in a game of coin tossing, if heads have come up 5 times in a row, a gambler might think that tails are now more likely to come up on the next flip. However, the likelihood of heads or tails is always 50-50, regardless of the outcome of previous flips.

In gambling, the Gambler’s Fallacy can lead to irrational decisions such as continuing to play after a losing streak, or betting more money after a series of wins in the belief that a losing streak is due. This is a dangerous belief to have, as it goes against the principles of probability and can lead to significant financial losses.

The Gambler’s Fallacy is also known as the Monte Carlo Fallacy, after an infamous incident that took place in 1913 at the Casino de Monte Carlo, where gamblers lost millions of francs after believing that a run of black results in the game of roulette was due to be followed by a run of red.

In conclusion, the Gambler’s Fallacy is a flawed belief that past events can influence the outcome of independent, random events. It’s important to understand the principles of probability and to avoid making irrational decisions based on this fallacy.

Does it apply to the game of roulette?

Yes, the Gambler’s Fallacy can certainly apply to the game of roulette. Roulette is a classic example of a game of chance where the Gambler’s Fallacy can come into play.

In roulette, players bet on where a ball will land on a spinning wheel that is divided into numbered pockets. Each spin of the wheel is an independent event and has no influence on the outcome of future spins. However, some players might believe that, for example, if red has come up several times in a row, then black is “due” to come up next, when in reality the likelihood of red or black is always the same, regardless of previous outcomes.

This belief is based on the Gambler’s Fallacy and can lead to incorrect assumptions and bad betting decisions. It is important to remember that each spin of the roulette wheel is a separate, independent event, and that past outcomes do not affect the outcome of future spins. The probability of a particular outcome remains constant throughout the game.

The same can be said of SicBo. Outcomes each round are completely independent of each other.

Does it apply to the game of blackjack?

A game of blackjack, dealt from a depleting shoe, is a slightly different story. As cards already dealt cannot come out again, prior outcomes do effect the probabilities of future hands. As a simple example, if all 32 Aces have already been dealt from an 8 deck shoe then you know the probability of Blackjack being dealt is zero.

Future deals are impacted by past rounds dealt from that shoe. As such each round cannot be said to be completely independent. It is for this reason that counting cards can be an effective blackjack strategy.


Card counting is a legitimate strategy that involves keeping track of the ratio of high cards to low cards remaining in the shoe. Card counters use this information to determine the advantage they have over the dealer and make informed decisions about when to bet more, when to bet less, or when to avoid playing altogether.

Card counting is based on the principle that the player’s odds of winning increase when there are more high cards left in the shoe, as the player is more likely to receive a hand with a value closer to 21. Card counting requires a high level of skill, discipline, and concentration, and it is illegal in many casinos.

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