The Gambler's fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy (because its most famous example happened in a Monte Carlo Casino in 1913) . Also referred to as the fallacy of the maturity of chances, which is the belief that if deviations from expected behaviour are observed in repeated independent trials of some random process, future deviations in the opposite direction are then more likely. For example, if a fair coin is tossed repeatedly and tails comes up a larger number of times than is expected, a gambler may incorrectly believe that this means that heads is more likely in future tosses. . Such an expectation could be mistakenly referred to as being due, and it probably arises from …show more content…
Therefore, it is equally likely to flip 21 heads as it is to flip 20 heads and then 1 tail when flipping a fair coin 21 times. Furthermore, these two probabilities are equally as likely as any other 21-flip combinations that can be obtained (there are 2,097,152 total); all 21-flip combinations will have probabilities equal to 0.521, or 1 in 2,097,152. From these observations, there is no reason to assume at any point that a change of luck is warranted based on prior trials (flips), because every outcome observed will always have been as likely as the other outcomes that were not observed for that particular trial, given a fair coin. Therefore, just as Bayes' theorem shows, the result of each trial comes down to the base probability of the fair coin: 1⁄2.
There is another way to emphasize the fallacy. As already mentioned, the fallacy is built on the notion that previous failures indicate an increased probability of success on subsequent attempts. This is, in fact, the inverse of what actually happens, even on a fair chance of a successful event, given a set number of iterations. Assume a fair 16-sided die, where a win is defined as rolling a 1. Assume a player is given 16 rolls to obtain at least one win (1−p(rolling no ones)). The low winning odds are just to make the change in probability more noticeable. The probability of having at least one win in the 16 rolls is:
However, assume now that the first roll was a loss (93.75% chance of