The Gambler’s Fallacy and Its Influence on Poker Behavior

888poker gamblers fallacy poker

1 minute

Last Updated: September 4, 2023

I recently played a tournament where a player won back-to-back hands by calling with and hitting with a flush draw. She said a curious thing after the second hand. She said, “I was so surprised that it hit since I had already hit the flush in the previous hand.”

Why would she say such a thing? Obviously, she thought that having hit a flush the first time made hitting it a second time less likely. But is this true? Absolutely not! These are independent probabilities that have nothing to do with one another.

This is an example of the human brain trying to work out a pattern. Brains love to do this, and this type of thinking has a name: the Gambler’s Fallacy. It is also sometimes called the Monte Carlo fallacy after the Casino de Monte-Carlo, where it was observed in action in the early 1900s at the roulette wheel.

If the wheel had hit black several times, patrons were sure red was more likely, and they bet accordingly. They behaved in this manner even though one had nothing to do with the other; thus, the term gambler’s fallacy was born.

The gambler's fallacy is present in all types of games, from roulette to poker, and if you'd like to know more about how it may be influencing your behavior at the tables, be sure to visit the 888poker Magazine to read the full article.

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