Gambler’s Fallacy: Definition & Real Examples

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Gambler’s Fallacy and the misguided belief of those who base decisions on a gut feeling is systematically biased. As we at Silentbet want to dispel any false assumptions, our Gambler’s Fallacy article will expand on the thought process of gamblers’ fallacy and how gamblers believe it relates to the outcome of an event.

It is, in fact, a vicious circle – players believe that since they lost, they will definitely win next time, so they keep playing and, maybe losing, while hoping to turn the tables.

what is gambler's fallacy infographic
Samuel Karugu, Seasoned Gambler & Writer
Picture of Samuel Karugu
Believing you can predict the outcome from a sequence of events should be avoided at all costs. I know from experience that the mathematical probability of doing so is almost impossible.
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What is Gambler’s Fallacy?

Gambler’s fallacy, also referred to as the Monte Carlo fallacy, is the thought process that if an event (independent or identically distributed), occurs more frequently than another, it is unlikely that it will happen again in the future.

The Fallacy, which scientists define as a “false or mistaken” idea, is most often associated with gambling. For example, someone believes the next roll of a dice is more likely to be a four because there have been fewer fours rolled than expected.

Key Takeaways:

  • Gambler’s fallacy refers to the false premise that a particular event is more likely or less likely based on a series of events.
  • The fallacy way of thinking is incorrect because you should view every random event as independent of past outcomes.
  • The phenomenon, often referred to as the Monte Carlo fallacy, was first observed at the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco in 1913. (Source)
  • Day traders and investors frequently commit gamblers fallacy when they believe a specific stock will increase or decrease in value based on sessions that had an opposite outcome.

Examples: Myth or Truth?

As we mentioned, Gambler’s Fallacy is the misguided belief of those who base decisions on a gut feeling. Unfortunately, the best way to explain this is to address the differences between myth and truth.


Coin Toss

coin toss gif

Many gamblers believe they have a 50/50 chance of correctly predicting the outcome of a coin toss. Based on that, the coin will either land with the “head” side up or it will land the “tail” side up. In other words, no matter how many times you flip a coin, the odds remain the same.

The reality is, a coin does not care which side it lands on, nor does it have a memory of where it landed previously. Unfortunately, this is where the gambler’s fallacy comes into play. Let’s say you tossed ten times and somehow landed on heads ten times.

Based on that, you logically think that the next coin toss will be tails because the probability of a coin landing on heads eleven times in a row is 1 in 1,126. The problem with this is no matter how many times you toss a coin, the 50/50 game rules never change.

  • Verdict: MYTH
Do you agree?

Previous Failures Mean Success

It is not uncommon for gamblers to believe that their previous failures mean success. They use this to adjust their betting strategies on the premise that they learned something from their past failures.

Knowing this, it is easy to see how this applies to the gambler’s fallacy. Unfortunately, many people use this to rationalize this decision. Most do not like random outcomes, but more often than not, that is exactly what you get when you are gambling.

Therefore, mathematically, the belief that previous failures translate into success is a myth, it is simply mathematically impossible.

  • Verdict: MYTH
Do you agree?

Your Lucky Numbers Are Bound To Come Up Next

Most gamblers who play number games believe their lucky numbers are bound to come up at some point. However, when you factor in the number of numerical outcomes and the odds of them all coming up simultaneously, it is easy to see this is a myth.

For example, the odds of your numbers coming up next depend on the number of balls/numbers in play. This applies to how many numbers you have in play and how many are drawn in each game. Likewise, this applies to how frequently you play your numbers.

As such, the random nature of a numbers game dictates that it is impossible to presume your lucky numbers are bound to come up next.

  • Verdict: MYTH
Do you agree?

You Can’t Get 10 Reds in a Row in Roulette

roulette gif

Most gamblers do not believe they can get 10 reds in a row in roulette. Unfortunately, this is a myth that is easily dispelled. A roulette wheel consists of 36 slots, 18 are red, 18 are black and one is green. Based on this, there is a 50% chance of getting red and a 50% chance of getting black.

So what makes you think you can’t get 10 reds in a row? You absolutely can, you can also get ten blacks in a row. In fact, the odds of this occurring is 1,346 to 1, likewise, there is a 650 to 1 chance of getting 9 reds in a row and a 318 to 1 chance of getting eight reds in a row. Therefore, when betting on red or black, you have a 50% chance of getting the opposite outcome.

  • Verdict: MYTH
Do you agree?

Jackpots in Slots Machines

There is a common misconception that once you trigger a slot machine jackpot, it won’t land again on that slot any time soon. The reality is every spin of a slot machine is determined by a random number generator.

The purpose of a random number generator is to produce an outcome at the exact moment someone spins the reels. As such, each result is independent of the other, and each spin can produce a jackpot win as the random number generator does not remember the previous spin’s result.

Therefore, believing that a slot machine will go “dry” after a jackpot win is a myth.

  • Verdict: MYTH
Do you agree?

What Are the Odds?

The odds of a gambler’s fallacy paying off over time are not favorable. It is called fallacy for a reason and that reason typically translates into increased losses, especially when you are trying to get your bet back. Here are a few examples.

  • Example 1: You bet $50 on a home team to win and lose. To recover your losses, you will have to bet $150 on a team to win with -150 odds to win $100.
  • Example 2: You bet $50 on a coin flip and lost. To recoup your losses, you will have to bet $100 on the next coin flip.

How to Ovecome Such Bias When Playing Online?

Dealing with any misconceptions and false beliefs when gambling online is crucial for responsible betting. Nobody wants to risk their bank on misguided judgements. So overcoming the bias that is this fallacy is essential. Here are some tips from us on how to do it:

  • Always remember that your chances of winning are low no matter what has happened in the game up until now.
  • Never forget that gambling is based on maths and the margins are always in favor of the casino and not the players.
  • Don’t play for real money for long period of times. This will make you more emotional and easily swayed.

Why Casinos Win From the Gambling Fallacy?

The main reason casinos win from the gambling fallacy is the amount players wager. Simply put, the casino’s profits correlate to the amount players wager on any given game. If they base their wagers on misperceived odds, they will lose more than they will if they set betting limits.

The Bottom Line: Silentbet’s Take

Samuel Karugu, Seasoned Gambler & Writer
Picture of Samuel Karugu
Developing unhealthy gambling practices is a major component of gambler’s fallacy. The best way to counter this, in my experience, is to gamble with a budget. Find more insightful lessons in the Silentbet tips and tricks database crated by gamblers like me.

As we have conveyed in this article, understanding Gambler’s fallacy is the first step toward countering the effects of this behavior. The second is to adapt the way one thinks while gambling. Ultimately, you will always lose money when gambling, so thinking through this process before you gable will help you recognize unhealthy betting patterns, a big part of which is associated with the fallacy of gamblers.


How many variations of Gambler’s Fallacy are there?

There are two types of Gambler’s Fallacy, one that believes a specific outcome is due after a long streak and the other is underestimating how many observations are required to predict a favorable outcome.

What causes the Gambler’s Fallacy?

This state of mind is caused by the belief in a law of numbers and the eventuality they come true.

How far back does this condition go?

Gamber’s Fallacy dates back to 1913, when it was first observed in the Casino de Monte-Carlo in Monaco.

Is gambler’s fallacy connected to problem gambling?

Yes, gambler’s fallacy is connected to problem gambling. You can learn more about gambling addiction overview at Silentbet.

What is the most famous example of Gambler’s Fallacy in history?

The most famous example of gambler’s fallacy occurred at the Monte Carlo Casino when the last ten spins of a blackjack wheel landed on black.

What is the best possible solution?

The best possible solution to avoid the gambler’s fallacy is to stop gambling.

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    Author: Samuel Karugu
    Certified Betting Expert
    Samuel Karugu
    Samuel first started reviewing casino sites professionally in 2011. He is the perfect match for Silentbet, with his research-driven approach and years of experience comparing online casinos honing his gambling expertise.