Try not to fall for the Gambler’s Fallacy

Mar 5, 2002 3:25 AM

When you are playing craps and a random shooter holds the dice, you might come across an extraordinary occurrence. This random shooter may, for example, throw four passes in a row. There are some bettors who may then assume that the don’t pass is now “due,” and will begin betting the dark side.

These bettors have succumbed to what is often referred to as The Gamblers Fallacy. In physics, this term is called “Maturity of Chances,” and can occur for example, if someone flips a coin 1,000 times. According to the law of averages, it is assumed that approximately 500 tosses will be heads and approximately 500 tosses will be tails.

If however, after 900 tosses, it may be discovered that there are 600 heads and only 300 tails, some people at that time might say that tails are now “due,” so the remaining 100 tosses will be mostly tails.

If this was true it would mean that the coin has some sort of innate intelligence and will determine its future behavior by what has happened in the past. Given a very, very long run of coins (or dice) it is probable that the heads and tails (or the pass and don’t pass) will sort itself out. But this will be done by chance and circumstance, not by the determinate behavior of the coins or the dice.

If there is no way to deduce the outcome of a random roll of the dice, then why play craps at all? The gambler’s fallacy applies to randomness, and is correct in stating that previous rolls of the dice have no effect on future rolls. But, is there some method in use today to help us predict the outcome of a NON-random roll of the dice on a consistent basis?

Let’s find out!

There are two kinds of Crapshooters ”” random rollers and rhythm rollers. Random rollers are susceptible to the Gambler’s Fallacy, but rhythm rollers are not.

When you are playing craps and a rhythm roller holds the dice, you may also see four passes in a row. But there are not completely random occurrences. A rhythm roller sets the dice in a certain way, holds them in a certain manner, and tosses them precisely so they land and bounce together. Due to various table conditions, this can’t happen all the time, but even if the shooter controls the dice only 1-2 percent of his throws, it is enough to overcome the house’s slim edge on many bets ”” and produce a non-random occurrence.

By observing the shooter’s results, you will soon see a pattern develop, which can make note of and hopefully latch on to his long roll. And the next time he shoots, be prepared to back him up with big bets. Don’t be surprised if he rolls the same numbers (for example, fours and tens) every time he shoots. This is his own personal shooting “signature,” and you should always be on the lookout for one!

Rhythm rollers are experts at what they do because of their knowledge, training and experience. It is not easy to control the dice, and not many people can do it. But it is possible, so you might want to move from table to table to find a good shooter. Once you find one, you should keep betting on him as long as he bets on himself. There is no gambler’s fallacy to deal with because these are not random rolls, but trained rhythm rolls.