Gambler’s Fallacy and Roulette

People like to seek patterns where they hardly exist. This is a tendency examined by psychiatrists who even linked it with the beginning stages of schizophrenia. Seeking patterns in random information is particularly related to gambling where players tend to find meaningful patterns in random events. Due to its nature, Roulette is one of the casino games where the gambler’s fallacy happens.

What Is Gambler’s Fallacy?

By definition, a fallacy is a mistaken belief based on unsound arguments. When applied to gambling, the gambler’s fallacy can be defined as a belief that a sequence of random events can become more predictable. Of course, each belief needs something we will base it on, so in the case of gambling, it would be a pattern we have identified. The gambler’s fallacy is also known as the doctrine of the maturity of chances.

According to the Encylopaedia Britannica, the gambler’s fallacy “falsely assumes that each play in a game of chance is dependent on the others and that a series of outcomes of one sort should be balanced in the short run by the other possibilities”. That led to a number of systems invented to supposedly help players beat the casino. The article on the Britannica website also states that casino operators are happy to encourage players to use such systems thus exploiting “any gambler’s neglect of the strict rules of probability and independent plays”.

To put it simply, the gambler’s fallacy is a belief that something will happen less frequently in the future if it has happened more frequently over a certain period of time. The opposite also applies, meaning that if a number has landed less frequently during a certain period, it will most certainly land more frequently in the future. By clinging to such a belief, the player fails to notice the randomness of the process and the very nature of the game they play.

What It Has to Do with Roulette?

Actually, the gambler’s fallacy originated from a Roulette table. Back in 1913 at the Monte Carlo Casino, the ball landed on Black for 26 times, one round after another. The present gamblers kept betting against Black believing that the ball will eventually land on Red and lost millions. This is a typical example of the gambler’s fallacy. There is also the so-called reverse gambler’s fallacy which is a belief that something will most certainly happen again if it has happened more frequently over a certain period of time.

Knowing that Roulette is a game of chance and that each round is an independent event, the premise behind the gambler’s fallacy or the reverse gambler’s fallacy doesn’t make sense at all. However, Roulette players are humans who tend to seek patterns in random events. It is in our psychology and some say that it is one of the survival traits we have acquired. This helps us feel more comfortable and believe that we have control over things and events. In the next chapter, we will discuss the concept based on the gambler’s fallacy that has been applied to the game of Roulette.

Concept of Hot and Cold Numbers

When playing Roulette online, you can notice that some games include the statistics which shows the numbers that have appeared most frequently in the previous rounds. These numbers are referred to as Hot numbers. Hot numbers are those that appear most frequently. We also have Cold numbers, which are those that appear least frequently. Some players believe that this concept is a way to lower the house edge. Their belief is further encouraged by the game developer that incorporated the feature that registers these numbers instead of them.

When playing RNG-operated Roulette games, playing on Hot or Cold numbers is complete nonsense. The numbers the ball will land on are determined by the Random Number Generator (RNG) and are completely random and unbiased. We can talk about Roulette wheel bias at casinos using physical equipment or dealer signature at Live Roulette tables, but all of these can help you identify the section of the table where the ball will land at best. Knowing the exact number the ball will land on in the next round is impossible even when you have statistics that show you the most frequent numbers in the last 1,000 rounds.

Closing Thoughts

There are different ways you can get an advantage over the casino when playing Roulette, but holding on to a mistaken belief is not one of them. Playing this table game should be fun and if you seek patterns in the way the ball moves around the wheel, at the end of the day, you can feel bad. Your strategy will most certainly let you down and you may end up with empty pockets. Instead, make sure to understand the nature of the game and choose one with the lowest edge. You should always go for the European version of the game instead of American Roulette.

If you are new to this casino game, learn all about betting options if offers. There are many of them and not all of them provide players with the same odds of winning. Check out the best and worst bets we have listed for you and once you start playing, always keep an eye on your bankroll. Efficient bankroll management is the only thing that will help you have control over the game.