Hot Hand Fallacy – Separating Fact from Fiction

All too often, people fall under the false assumption that if they play long enough, the much-coveted win will eventually come. This is the hot hand fallacy for you – alluring but…false! Let's get it straight – this just isn't how it works. If it were that easy, it would be next to impossible for the house to stay on top of things, isn't it? The charm of this common misconception, howbeit, is so irresistible that we felt it will be well worth the time to separate fact from fiction once and for all. You will need to come to terms with the fact that the concept of this fallacy and the reality of it simply don't check out. Stick around, we have myths to bust!
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What is the Hot Hand Fallacy?

Hot hand fallacy sees a non-existing connection between the persistence with which certain events occur and the future events which are yet to come to pass. The theory sees people who experience the desired outcome of their actions as a positive “trigger” for successful results. In the field of gambling and athletic sports, the hot hand fallacy exists as a common misconception. However, a clear distinction must be made between gambling and sports. Gambling involves little to no skill, while in sports, a series of positive outcomes can fire up an athlete thus allowing them to perform better. In games such as craps, for example, the dies can’t be controlled by the shooter so as to land the desired number. Still, you’ll often hear around the craps table comments of the sort “he’s on a hot streak”, or “he’s running good” as if a player can decipher the random patterns by which throwing dies can result in landing a particular number.

Hot Hand Fallacy Psychology

What’s the psychology behind believing in hot-hand streaks? Well, first of all, we want them to be real, while remaining blissfully ignorant of the hard facts. Other than that, the psychology driving this sort of behaviour is something that the casino industry is exploiting very cleverly. That’s the opportunistic nature of our species. We have not always had the comfort of living in a civilized world. It was and still is the case that those of us who know how to seize an opportunity are more likely to survive and live a better life. We all can relate, to a degree, to this way of thinking.

The same thing applies to the case with winning streaks. We keep playing until finally losing out of conviction of exploiting what we think to be a good opportunity to win some money. Surprised by the hot hand fallacy? It’s surprising that some gamblers could live by that credo. A truth in the law of small numbers is said to exist. We, however, highly doubt that. The law of small numbers Is the illogical supposition that a sample of a timeline of data in its initial stages shows certain properties that are no longer seen in the later stages.

Gambler’s Fallacy vs Hot Hand Fallacy

Men Sitting at a Blackjack Table

What’s the gambler’s fallacy? By and large, people are lured into thinking that a small sample of the behaviour of a variable should mimic perfectly the big-scale pattern. Such delusional way of thinking is evoked, more often than not, in cases such as the toss of a coin – where it’s equally likely for one of two outcomes to occur. At first glance, the gambler’s fallacy and the hot hand fallacy are two completely different ideas expressing contradicting observations. Research doesn’t show any correlation between the two either. Seemingly, both concepts are just an anecdotal way for people to refer to the otherwise random sequences of events that we can observe in real life.

You Are Running Good, Should You Keep Playing?

We think we made it pretty clear where we stand on the issue. Running good isn’t going to improve your chances of winning, but, on the other hand, that means you are playing the house’s money, which is always an incentive to keep going. The only thing you should remember is to keep your cool and stick to your game plan regardless of winning or losing. From a practical standpoint, if you are experiencing a winning streak, you can do one of two things – hedge your profits or plough them back into more gambling. The key thing is not to allow the anecdotal to influence your decision making.

Make sure to make a rational decision based on your long-term goals and your current frame of mind. Because if you bet too caught up trying to get your money back or too hyped up by a winning streak, you are going to make mistakes sooner rather than later. Take the lucky streaks for what they are – a fortunate turn of events. Something we don’t have control over. Focus on the thing you can control – bets and strategy. Even if you don’t turn an immediate profit, eventually you will.

What Is RTP?

This will be a good time to dismantle another common misconception about RTP (theoretical return-to-player). You know, the number detailed in the specifications of every digital game of chance. Haven’t you seen a 98% theoretical return gaming software and got carried away thinking that it’s near impossible to lose any money playing that? This is where you’d be very wrong. An implement generating random outcomes can’t be reasoned with.

Stacked up Sivler Coins

In other words, a positive for the player outcome may never occur even if there’s only 1% chance for this to happen every round. The story told by parameters such as the theoretical return to player (RTP) only reveal one side of the coin – to coin a phrase. It says how much, in theory, the game is meant to give back to the player for all the time while it’s still in service. The time span isn’t specified, that’s why it’s called “theoretical” return to player. It’s just a good indicator which ought to give you an idea how profitable can a game of chance be in the long term.

Hot Hand or Hot Air?

There’s no empiric data to support any claims that having a ‘hot hand’ can somehow magically make everything work the right way in sports and gambling. To the contrary, the mathematical studies of the hot hand fallacy and the gambler’s fallacy. suggest that both ideas are fundamentally wrong. We’d say you will be better off sticking to your guns and adopting a good betting strategy rather than relying on superstition and fallacies to point the way. Choosing a good gambling site can help a ton too. If you’re too busy or overwhelmed by the abundance of gambling operators, feel free to visit our page with new UK casinos and choose one of them to start your experience.

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