An Examination of the "Gambler's Fallacy"

Published on August 20th, 2018 12:36 pm EST

Gamblers Fallacy - Roulette table - Hot numbers - Illustration.Let's say that you are playing roulette in a crowded casino.

The ball has landed on 0 three out of the last ten spins. People start to murmur - is 0 the "hot number" right now? Is it smart to put down a bunch of money on 0, as it seems as though this is the "hot number" that is likely to hit once again?

Or do you bet on anything but 0, as you are thinking that the number has been hit "too much" over the past ten spins, and there is little to no chance that it will hit again?

In short - both mindsets are incorrect.

There is no such thing as a "hot number" in roulette, as the results of the past spins have no bearing on what number will hit on the current spin.

The idea of a "hot number" or a number that is "due to hit" is part of the "Gambler's Fallacy".

The "Gambler's Fallacy" refers to the incorrect idea that a number that hasn't been hit in a while is "due" to hit, or that there is such thing as a "hot number".

In reality, the results of the past spins have no bearing on the results of future spins.

Think of it this way - if you flip a coin and it lands on heads, there is still a 50/50 chance that it lands on heads the next flip.

Even if you flip a coin and it lands on heads 500 times in a row, there is no increased likelihood of the coin landing on tails on the next flip.

This is the "Gambler's Fallacy" - in reality, every flip or spin of the roulette wheel will have a random result, regardless of the outcome of the previous flip or spin.


If you have a favourite number or colour that you like to bet on at the roulette table, that is great. This is a perfectly acceptable way to gamble some money on the roulette table.

There is no such thing as a "hot number", however, and you should be careful about betting too much based on the results of previous spins, as they will have no bearing on the future.