Gambler’s fallacy

The gambler’s fallacy, also known as the Monte Carlo fallacy or the fallacy of the maturity of chances, is the erroneous belief that if a particular event occurs more frequently than normal during the past it is less likely to happen in the future (or vice versa), when it has otherwise been established that the probability of such events does not depend on what has happened in the past. Such events, having the quality of historical independence, are referred to as statistically independent.

The fallacy is commonly associated with gambling, where it may be believed, for example, that the next dice roll is more than usually likely to be six because there have recently been less than the usual number of sixes.

The term “Monte Carlo fallacy” originates from the best known example of the phenomenon, which occurred in the Monte Carlo Casino in 1913.


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