Chance has no memory- US researchers investigate misconceptions

In gambling, chance alone decides whether you win or lose. This sentence sounds plausible, but some players don't always seem to take this simple fact into account. In some cases, the players have misleading thought patterns anchored in their heads. It is a fatal mistake to make the decision about a future game round based on this cognitive misjudgment.

Chance has no memory

After a black number has come ten times in a row in roulette, the next number has to be red. Or is it not? It is characteristic of a game of chance that no causal explanation can be found for a single event or the coincidence of several events. And that is exactly the case with roulette, for example. After the old game round has ended, the chances of the new game round are the same for each number. Regardless of the previous number. However, there is a great temptation among the players to make their decision based on previous experience and results.

US researchers investigate cognitive misjudgments

In a recent study, American researchers at Dartmouth College in New Hampshire investigated the extent to which assumptions influence future decisions. Put simply, the US scientists asked themselves whether players can be influenced by past results.

This mistake of reasoning, discovered over 50 years ago, is called “Gambler’s Fallacy”. This means that a player believes that he can deduce the occurrence of a random result based on previous results.

50/50 chance remains 50/50 chance

For example, after the ball in the wheel has stayed in a black number ten times in a row in roulette, one might think that the eleventh time, a red number must finally follow. But this very assumption is wrong. A 50/50 chance remains a 50/50 chance even after the hundredth game round. Means: Before every game start, the probability of a black and red number is the same. The previous results play absolutely no role in calculating the probability.

In classic roulette, the probability of a black or red number is 48.6% each. There is still the number “zero” (2.8%) with which all bets are lost.

Experience has shown that inexperienced players in particular tend to have such cognitive thinking errors. It is not uncommon for them to begin to double and triple their stakes after several “red” rounds, as they are sure that a “black” round must finally follow. Usually an expensive mistake.

“Chance has no memory”

An important principle is that chance has no memory. This means that it is not possible to deduce from previous results what the future result might look like. So if you bet on “red” again after the twelfth “red” round in a row in roulette, you have the same chance of winning as someone who then bets on “black” in the thirteenth round.

Accordingly, it is irrelevant in the lottery, for example, whether you come up with six numbers yourself or whether you simply cross a sequence of numbers from one to six. The chances of winning are always the same (or, low).

Human reason is always well advised when gambling. Unfortunately, the gambler tied to the game tends to overestimate himself and tries to “trick” the principle of chance. The realization that this usually doesn’t work has already cost some players a lot of hard work.

Probabilities are miscalculated

In the US study, the researchers also found that the participating subjects incorrectly calculated probabilities, among other things. Accordingly, they did not succeed in calculating the correct probability of winning a certain outcome in a mathematically correct manner. Furthermore, the test subjects often failed to understand exponential growth and apply it correctly.

We have created a comprehensive roulette guide that contains all the important information about the popular table game. This includes easy-to-understand game instructions, a general description of the game and a free demo version.

Surf tip

A great danger of gambling is therefore that players simply overestimate themselves. They tend to develop their own strategy, which, however, is often based on cognitive thinking errors and is therefore not promising in the long term. Instead, it makes more sense to pay attention less to your own intuition than to logic and to understand the principle of chance first.


In the recently published study, US researchers examined the misconceptions in decision-making. Even after the twentieth “red” round, the probability that a red number will be played again in the following game round is just as high as before. Cognitive misjudgments can cost players dearly not only in the online game library, but also in the local casino. That is why you are always well advised to leave your work to chance. Fortunately, chance has no memory!

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.