fallacy is just that

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Alicibuse
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Gambler's Fallacy

Postby Alicibuse » Sun Nov 13, 2005 4:05 pm

Is anyone familiar with this term?  I got into a heated argument with a friend recently.  I was getting horrible draws in a tournament, and complaining to him about it.  He told me to just wait for a hand, because I was sure to get one soon if I had been dealt so many bad ones in a row.

I was already upset, and annoying him I'm sure.  And my debate over his strategy didn't help.  I mentioned that he was falling prey to the gambler's fallacy.  I don't think he knew what I meant, because he kept going on about pocket aces being dealt once every 240 hands or so.

As I tried to explain gambler's fallacy to him, he called me a dumb*** and knocked me from his IM list.  I'll restore my friendship with him later, but I'm curious how many other people subscribe to the "Due" theory.  (That is, when dealt bad hands for an extended amount of time, you are due for a good hand.)

If you've never heard of gambler's fallacy, I found a nice little website that explains it better than I can here.  Here's the link:

http://www.nizkor.org/features/fallacie ... llacy.html
Alicibuse
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Joined: Tue Oct 10, 2006 11:39 pm

Postby Alicibuse » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:00 pm

After doing some more reading on the net about Gamblers Fallacy (I do a lot of studying on the net), I came across 'Reverse Gamblers Fallacy'.

Reverse gamblers fallacy is believing that because you've won in the past, you have better odds to win again (usually referred to as a hot or cold streak).  After reading about the first fallacy, I'm a strong believer that odds are what they are, and past results has no weight on the next results (as long as each trial has independant probabilities).  However, reading about reverse gamblers fallacy, I notice myself subscribing to this belief a lot  :oops:

It's hard to discount the effect of hot/cold streaks.  All players of all levels have experienced times like this, and it's hard to think that it's just all in my head.  However, today and on, I will try to strike this thought process from my play, as it holds no logical merit.
Disper
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Postby Disper » Sun Nov 13, 2005 6:08 pm

Well I have heard of both terms and unfortunately true "gamblers" believe in them.  That's what happens that make gamblers end up at gambler's annonymous.  They start to believe that they are "due" or that they are on a "winning streak" and that's when they start making mistakes.
Thole1969
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fallacy is just that

Postby Thole1969 » Thu Nov 17, 2005 9:59 pm

I don't subscribe to the theory at all. Whether its live or online the cards dealt to you are just that, they don't know that you've had 32 'bad' hands already dealt to you in a row. Sure you will get dealt AA 1 in 220 hands but you probably need to play about a million hands before you arrive at exactly this figure.
Begglas
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Postby Begglas » Sat Nov 19, 2005 3:43 am

If the odds of being dealt pocket aces are 1 in 220 hands, you will likely get somewhere between 8-12 pocket aces in 2200 hands.   The range is caused by variance.  However there is nothing that ties the individual events together, so you could be dealt two hands with pocket aces back to back or wait for 440 hands to get your pair of rockets.

Gambler's fallacy is the expectation that previous outcomes will affect the future.   Rushes and cold streaks are simply a reflection of normal variance.  

A simple way to show this is to flip a coin 100 times.   While the expectation is that you will get heads or tails an equal amount of times, you are just as likely to get 49 heads or 51 heads.   And within that 100 coin flips there will be streaks of multiple heads or multiple tails.  

If you were to observe for a short time, you might even think that the coin was weighted, if one outcome was showing up more frequently than the other.   But it has more to do with the fact that the outcomes are completely independent.   A previous head does not make tails more likely.

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