# Gambler's Fallacy

#### Avatar73

##### Dormant Account
Ok, here's another semi-theoretical question!

We all know that after a big run of losses, the maths says you are no more or less likely to win than at any other point (although I'm sure we've all had experiences other than that at some point!).

So, Suppose you go for a bonus, and bet 1/2 bankroll bet at start, and continue betting 1/2 your starting bankroll, until you have 2 net losses, or 2 net wins. If you lose, oh well you didnt waste too much time, and if you win, then you can play it out slowly but for a much higher win. So for the first bonus, you just play it.

Now, suppose you win the first time. When the next bonus comes round, supposing you don't play any BJ inbetween (ie you play off WR with pai gow or something) then the current BJ state would be net +2 wins.

We all know that you can never keep winning indefinitely. So.... is it better to keep the same as before, (ie bet 1/2 bankroll straight off) and just hope you can get another +2 in that session for an overall +4 net wins? Or is it better to play a few small hands until you reach a return of say 95% or 4 losses in a row or something, hoping for a change in fortunes?

I was wondering this because recently I managed to double my bonus, and then play it off with a different game, before returning to a spot of BJ and losing 3 in a row before winning 1. So in theory (obv the RNG would have recycled anyway) if I had not played those extra hands, the next time I would have lost 2 in a row and lost the whole bonus - so it was clearly worth wasting a few "losses" in small bets. Any ideas!?

I know that some of this is counter-intuitive to the maths, but then so is real life sometimes! We all know each outcome is independant, but then the maths also says the chances of wininng every hand in a row is basically zero!

#### KasinoKing

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(obv the RNG would have recycled anyway)
^ That is the most worrying part of your post!

Recycled RNG - what on earth does that mean - that the RNG is not really random?

In the example you gave, 2 hands is just way too small to establish any sort of pattern.
Basically it's just a coin flip whether you double you bankroll or not - regardless of what happened last time.
You could do this & double your money 6 times in a row - or you could bust out 6 times in a row.

Whatever the outcome, I'm sure a lot of casinos out there would definitely class this style of play as 'bonus abuse'.

KK

#### steinhaug

##### Senior Member
Sounds like a good strategy, but when returning to the game I would change wagering. I know kasinoking spilled his coffee when reading "recycled RNG", which is a pretty darn mad statement in itself but I guess I understand what you mean. In my opinion, changing the wager size and you are getting fresh cards. Keep playing on same wager as earlier, and you are in the same "RNG cycle, streak or what you want to call it" which eventually should give you 95% payout on that wager. Meaning - you are better off altering wager, since blackjack doesnt always give 4 in a row your way.

However, bear in mind - switching wager - you are still hoping for a wager that is in payout mode... On the other hand, I am 100% sure changing wager size has a positive effect on the game (and your luck that is).

Alot of people disagree with me in here, but that's my opinion.

#### steinhaug

##### Senior Member
Whatever the outcome, I'm sure a lot of casinos out there would definitely class this style of play as 'bonus abuse'.

Ahh, that's what it is! Kinda annoying really, since you are infact spening half your own money aswell in higher wagering than normal.

Man - what the casinoes are doing just to _not_ pay winnings! Makes me sick! If I want to wager \$90 spins on Good to Go and acctually win...

Thanks for this KK, I never accually though of such a, in my head _legitamate_ way of playing probably is considered abuse. We can't win it seems!

#### cristra

##### Dormant account
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Whatever the outcome, I'm sure a lot of casinos out there would definitely class this style of play as 'bonus abuse'.

I am not usually so good at posting opinions in writing (especially when I'm writing in English), but this time I really need to express my thoughts.

I've noticed that especially some of the slots lovers on this forum have the tendency of labeling players that seek to maximize their gain by (aggressively) playing blackjack, as bonus abusers. But aren’t some of the T&C used by the casinos out there a bonus abuse?

Terms like 30x wagering requirement with Blackjack counting only 10% and no autoplay allowed are specifically designed to have the player watch how his bankroll is disappearing and there is nothing he can do about it. I mean, there are very few casinos today that actually give a bonus with real chances of making a gain by playing just for fun… the majority of them advertise big numbers like a 1000% bonus, only to find out later that the T&C are specifically designed to give them back the bonus + your deposit.
This is what I call a bonus abuse. What is wrong with aggressive betting on blackjack before the playthrough? I like to be sure that after 5-6 hours of grinding the wagering requirement, there will be something left in my account to go have a beer or something. Playing with bonuses nowadays is not entertaining, but more of a work. You first need to read T&C ‘s like a lawyer, then make calculations like a maths teacher, and if the expected result is positive, you start working, that’s right – working, to meet the WR on the allowed games… then you have to be a secretary, to send your ID & stuff (if there is a sign-up bonus involved), and finally you are allowed to withdraw. That’s about 8 hours of work, just like a normal day job.
I honestly believe that bonuses today are specifically designed for advantage players and not for recreational players. The casinos, with their ridiculous T&C, have created this situation.

Playing with the guilt in mind that the casino may label me as a bonus abuser, has only made me lose money. Now I only choose the strategy that gives me the possibility to withdraw something in the end, because when I take a bonus, I feel like working, and I don’t like working for free.

Or is it better to play a few small hands until you reach a return of say 95% or 4 losses in a row or something, hoping for a change in fortunes?

What happens if when you begin your second session of Blackjack the first 2 hands are winning hands again, and you "wasted" them on 1\$ bets because you were expecting losses... After that the 4 losses in a row comes, after which you start betting big and you lose... That would be a nasty way of showing you that the past doesn't matter when it comes to predicting the outcome of the next hand. However, there may be some non-random elements in the behavior of some software that you may notice and use in your advantage.

#### EasyRhino

##### Dormant account
Av73, I'm not sure what exactly you're getting at. Let's make the example a little more concrete.

You deposit \$100. You get a \$100 cashable bonus. But the playthough requirement (playing small bets) leads to an expected loss of \$20.

If you simply grind out the bonus, your expected winnings are \$100-\$20, or \$80. Great.

If you bet extremely aggressively, and then grind it out only if you double your bank, then you have a 50% chance of losing \$100 (EV = \$50-), and a 40% chance of winning \$280 (EV = \$140). Hey, you net expected winnings are now \$90 instead of \$80 at the expense of variance, way to go.

So, let's say you won, your chipcount is now \$380 (all cashable now), but like a chump, you forgot to cashout. You get another \$100/\$100 bonus, and you're allowed to deposit on top of you existing account. If you play your bets at roughly \$100 each, then you have (very roughly) a 66% chance of winning another \$280 (EV = \$186) but a 33% chance of losing \$480! (EV = \$160). The net expected winnings there is about \$186.

So it's still a moneymaker, but much less so

#### happygobrokey

##### Dormant account
i like that the OP titled the thread "Gambler's Fallacy", and goes on to say how he/she believes that wins and losses are somehow predictable.

this is what's known as the "gambler's fallacy". so the question was what? do we subscribe to these beliefs? no we don't, because they are fallacious.

for posterity, here's my take on it:
after a bunch of consecutive wins, you might feel like you're going to lose sooner or later, but you don't know when it's coming or how long the losing streak will last. if you're flatbetting huge and make a nice winning streak, it makes sense to drop your bets to preserve your roll, or better still cash it out where applicable. but that doesn't mean that you were destined to win or lose, or that the outcome would have been different if the bet size were different. and it doesn't mean that going back to the table, you will pick up where you left off. there will have been many winners and losers dealt while you were away, and the game is blind to whom it's giving cards.

#### KasinoKing

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I've noticed that especially some of the slots lovers on this forum have the tendency of labeling players that seek to maximize their gain by (aggressively) playing blackjack, as bonus abusers. But arent some of the T&C used by the casinos out there a bonus abuse?
No.
If you don't like the T&C's - don't take the bonus. Simple.

Terms like 30x wagering requirement with Blackjack counting only 10% and no autoplay allowed are specifically designed to have the player watch how his bankroll is disappearing and there is nothing he can do about it. I mean, there are very few casinos today that actually give a bonus with real chances of making a gain by playing just for fun the majority of them advertise big numbers like a 1000% bonus, only to find out later that the T&C are specifically designed to give them back the bonus + your deposit.
This is what I call a bonus abuse. What is wrong with aggressive betting on blackjack before the playthrough? I like to be sure that after 5-6 hours of grinding the wagering requirement, there will be something left in my account to go have a beer or something. Playing with bonuses nowadays is not entertaining, but more of a work. You first need to read T&C s like a lawyer, then make calculations like a maths teacher, and if the expected result is positive, you start working, thats right working, to meet the WR on the allowed games then you have to be a secretary, to send your ID & stuff (if there is a sign-up bonus involved), and finally you are allowed to withdraw. Thats about 8 hours of work, just like a normal day job.
I honestly believe that bonuses today are specifically designed for advantage players and not for recreational players. The casinos, with their ridiculous T&C, have created this situation.

Reading your post it almost sounds like you are saying The casino game me that bonus, its mine. How DARE they try to take it off me with those silly WRs

Im sure you know all this already & are just trying to kid yourself otherwise, but aggressively betting with Blackjack (or any other low HA game) is bonus abusive.
Lets take an extremely simple example; A 100% bonus on \$100 with WR (D+B) x1
You play it all on just one \$200 hand of blackjack;
If you win you have made \$300 profit (or \$200 if the bonus is phantom)
If you lose, you have lost \$100.
Repeat over & over and youd be making a fortune!

If I ran an online casino I would be just the same and dramatically increase the WR (as with MG, Crypto, etc.) or limit the max bet size (as with Grand Virtual) or even better, disallow it completely in WR & save a lot of arguments later.

Let me ask you this, if you deposited without a bonus would you play just as agressively to try to win?
If not, why not?

Casinos are business who offer bonuses as an incentive to get deposits in with the hope you will have a great time, but lose it all in the end. They are not charities waiting to dish out free cash to bonus hunters.

Dont get me wrong all my profits over the last 6-years have been made by using bonuses, but I have NEVER placed a big double or quits bet in my life. The biggest single bet I ever place on cards is \$20, with 90% of my bets being \$5 or less. On slots I very rarely go above \$2/spin, and again 90% of my spins are less than \$1.

KK

#### happygobrokey

##### Dormant account
but that's you, you cautious lowroller.

in your example the WR is 1x and the bonus is evidentally from rtg because you're saying "rinse, repeat, get rich". most bonuses are one-time only.

and the standard MG bonus rules have BJ counting @10% toward 30x playthrough. how can you ever win on that by flatbetting? you know as well as any that the house edge grinds you down the more bets you make. either way you'll need a lucky run to complete the WR with a profit. i would not want to play for eight hours knowing the end result is i get beaten down by the house and have no chance of making a cashout given my 300x WR. i would rather take a couple big chances out of the gate (and we all know the beginning is when you can afford to bet heaviest) than grind out \$30000 in \$1-5 bets for a \$100 bonus. that way you can tell early on whether you have a chance of reaching wr or not, because obviously if you double- or treble-up
early you have a much better cushion with which to witstand the gruelling wr.

i know this isn't what the house wants you to do, but assuming the bonus was one-time only, does it matter to them whether they get you to lose your \$100 in one minute or 300 minutes? money's money. and since you always bet with your money first, if you bet half your roll (all your deposit) on one hand of bj and win (without a double or split), then you never even use their bonus money to generate the winnings. of course the bonus gives you extra equity such that you can do just what i said and be able to double or split it, but even without a bonus you could do this by betting half your stack each time. the reason it makes no sense to do this without bonus is because of transaction fees.

if i could make numerous deposits without paying \$5 each time for using visa, plus currency conversion fees plus plus plus, indeed i might go all or nothing with each deposit, and it would then be much easier to stop when the losses are heavy by simply not depositing again. as it is now, when not playing with bonus, i usually deposit \$50-100 and bet such that my stack is ~10 betting units (so \$5-10 a hand respectively). if i start winning, i soon press it up and if i lose some, i just bet flat until i get back in black or bust. 10 units is not much of a cushion, but it lets me try to win big without putting a great deal of money at risk. and if fees were not an issue i would probably deposit even less (\$5 c/c fee on \$50 deposit is 10-bloody-%) and bet it all in one or two hands, and press heavily if i win on it.

funny how i can argue bankroll management and ekeing out small wins so eloquently you want to put it on your site, when in reality i am a gamb000000ler. but i did spend my signup chasing days grinding at very low bets most of the time. these days were still only ~1 year ago, and bonuses were actually half-decent back then. but nowhere the good ol days i hear of, like way back at the turn of the millenium. being only 22, that sort of is a substantial length of time for me.

anyhow, the OP is just saying it's almost criminal that they offer these types of incentives that give little to no chance of a winning result. if the bonuses in question were non-depositing bonus, and the chance to win was ~nil, then sure that's okay. but if it's set up such that you are almost a lock to lose all of your own money trying to earn the right to withdraw anything at all, then it's a bit like taking your money outright.

like if i give you keys to a car and say:

"you're welcome to have the car if you lend me a hundred bucks, but it's in china and must be signed for in person by you and imported via wagon north until the ground is frozen over, and pulled by yaks the rest of the way to the tip of siberia, by barge across the bering strait, and by dogsled from alaska until the snow is gone, and by log rollers (as per the blocks making up the pyramids) to your place of residence, whereupon it must be inspected by a licenced technician and transferred into your name, and if you fail to collect the car in the above manner i get to keep the money you lent me."

, then you realise it isn't really worth it to undertake the deal. but if this were the only way to get that car short of buying it for \$500k (let's say it's a mercedes-benz slr mclaren), then it's pretty much your only choice to undertake it if you want one, yet with no hope of ever really getting it home.

wow that was a long response. i think i think too much...

#### bpb

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So in theory (obv the RNG would have recycled anyway) if I had not played those extra hands, the next time I would have lost 2 in a row and lost the whole bonus - so it was clearly worth wasting a few "losses" in small bets. Any ideas!

Clearly if you knew you were going to lose two in a row, you'd be better off placing small bets during those losses.

But what if you won those extra hands? Then you would have been better off using large bets to clear the next bonus.

If you can predict the future, then by all means, tailor your betting system using that information.

If you aren't prescient, then you'll achieve the best result by only wagering with a bonus, and by using large wagers until you either bust or clear the wagering requirement.

#### cristra

##### Dormant account
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Reading your post it almost sounds like you are saying “The casino game me that bonus, it’s mine. How DARE they try to take it off me with those silly WR’s”
KK

My point of view is a bit different: I consider that the casino gives me the opportunity to prove that I can play a certain amount of money (the WR) without losing my head and giving it all to the house no matter how hard it may be… Once I’ve successfully done that, I am rewarded with a withdrawable bonus… that’s all! I never think of the money in the casino account as my money… they become my money once I withdraw it from my debit card.
However, I think that is totally wrong to advertise a sticky bonus, for example , as "FREE MONEY!" or the free hour money as real gambling money ... a lot of casual players have this impression.

Let me ask you this, if you deposited without a bonus would you play just as agressively to try to win?
If not, why not?
KK

If you would have asked me this question 8 months ago I would have said “Hell no!”. But now I sincerely say YES, because I know that the size of the bets only has an effect on variance, but not on the expected return, and we all know that with greater variance comes greater fun . When I play without bonuses (not so often, I admit) I play several hands of Single-deck Blackjack betting 1/4 , 1/8 of my bankroll… Once I reach my target, I withdraw and then I go out knowing that I can spend a little more than usual because I am expecting to receive my win on the following days. Generally, a session without bonuses does not last more that 5 mins for me (btw I have played Hitman for fun recently and I’m considering trying it for real next time I play without bonuses…so maybe this one will last longer…and maybe one year from now I will play only slots).

Don’t get me wrong – all my profits over the last 6-years have been made by using bonuses, but I have NEVER placed a big ‘double or quits’ bet in my life. The biggest single bet I ever place on cards is \$20, with 90% of my bets being \$5 or less. On slots I very rarely go above \$2/spin, and again 90% of my spins are less than \$1.
KK

I understand and I respect your point of view! I am just a bit looser when it comes to considering bonus abuse I tend not to think about the fact in the long run I'm taking undeserved money from the casinos, as they take huge amounts of money from people that have a compulsive behavior and are counting on that. I believe that with bonuses things are getting even, as "advantage players" are the opposite of degenerate gamblers.

#### aka23

##### Dormant account
I’m sure you know all this already & are just trying to kid yourself otherwise, but aggressively betting with Blackjack (or any other low HA game) is bonus abusive.
Let’s take an extremely simple example; A 100% bonus on \$100 with WR (D+B) x1
You play it all on just one \$200 hand of blackjack;
If you win you have made \$300 profit (or \$200 if the bonus is phantom)
If you lose, you have lost \$100.
Repeat over & over and you’d be making a fortune!
...

Don’t get me wrong – all my profits over the last 6-years have been made by using bonuses, but I have NEVER placed a big ‘double or quits’ bet in my life. The biggest single bet I ever place on cards is \$20, with 90% of my bets being \$5 or less. On slots I very rarely go above \$2/spin, and again 90% of my spins are less than \$1.

KK

Some casinos have called small bets "bonus abuse" because there is often little risk of a loss. This is especially true with small bets on blackjack.

You mentioned an example of a 1x(D+B) bonus. I don't see why make large bets with a 1x(D+B) bonus is more abusive than making small bets with a 1x(D+B) bonus. Assuming the bonus is cashable, by making small bets on a non-slot game, there is essentially no chance of a net loss. With large bets, the player is taking a real risk and may lose money on the deal. I wouldn't call either large bets or small bets "bonus abuse." The problem is not the size of the bets, it is the terms of the bonus. If a casino offers a 100% match cashable bonus with a wagering requirement of 1x(D+B), then they are going to lose money on the offer.

#### KasinoKing

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I don't see why make large bets with a 1x(D+B) bonus is more abusive than making small bets with a 1x(D+B) bonus.
You really can't see it?
Maybe my WR x 1 example was not a good one.

OK, lets say WRx25:
You play it all on just one \$200 hand of blackjack;
If you win you have \$400 in the bank.
You then 'grind out' the rest of the WR flat betting smallest stakes on lowest HA blackjack & lose \$20
You make \$280 profit (or \$180 if the bonus is phantom)
If you lose the initial bet, you have lost \$100.
Repeat over & over and you’d be making a fortune!

If you tried to do that with only small bets from the start, the chances of doubling your bankroll are extraordinarily slim...

Unless you play slots...

#### aka23

##### Dormant account
Okay lets consider the bonus listed above -- a 100% match up to \$100 with a wagering requirement of \$2500.

Small Bets -- If a player completes the wagering with \$1 bets on blackjack, then the average gain is ~+\$90, and there is a ~95% chance of making a gain. The player who completes this wagering with small bets like this has little risk of a loss.

Large Bets -- If a player bets all \$200 on a hand of blackjack, then the house edge of this hand is 2-3% (larger than normal since no option to double or split). Assuming the player rebets on pushes, there is about a 48% chance of a win and a 52% chance of a loss. I was thinking of making many large bets, rather than 1 large bet, then many small ones; but I'll do the calculation with switching to small bets like you said. Assuming only 1 large bet, then the average gain is ~0.48x(\$300 - ~\$10) - 0.52x\$100 = +\$85-90.

With small blackjack bets the average gain is ~\$90 and chance of gain 95%.

With a single large blackjack bet, the average gain is ~\$85-90 and chance of gain 47%.

Why is the large bet and high risk of loss bonus abuse, while the small bets and low risk of loss not bonus abuse?

You implied large bets was bonus abuse becuase a greater chance of doubling your bankroll. So are you saying it's only bonus abuse if you make a big win? Some casinos seem to see it like that.

#### KasinoKing

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You implied large bets was bonus abuse because a greater chance of doubling your bankroll. So are you saying it's only bonus abuse if you make a big win? Some casinos seem to see it like that.
Then obviously, like me, they are not stats geniuses like you!
(That is a genuine compliment - I freely admit that I'm not that clever!)

#### EasyRhino

##### Dormant account
Incidentally, another way to "abuse a bonus" would simply be to take your entire balance, play it on one hand, and then flat bet that (large) amount as long as you can until you finish the WR. You're going to bust out a stupendous portion of the time (like 94%) but when you do win, you're absolutely going to kill the casino.

#### dancinggoon

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Incidentally, another way to "abuse a bonus" would simply be to take your entire balance, play it on one hand, and then flat bet that (large) amount as long as you can until you finish the WR. You're going to bust out a stupendous portion of the time (like 94%) but when you do win, you're absolutely going to kill the casino.

You have to consider that alot of the average or low reputation casinos will give you a big headache, if you want to witdrawl your massive winnings...

#### AudiManinBoro

##### Dormant account
You will always be safer depositing at mainstream fully recognised and trusted casinos than at many of the independents.

#### Avatar73

##### Dormant Account
Thanks for the response!
Ok, really sorry for the delayed reply; I've just been away.

Originally Posted by Avatar73
(obv the RNG would have recycled anyway)

By this KK, I believe that if you wait a millisecond longer, the RNG will give you a different number. You CANNOT influence it to be better or worse just differnt. Also a kind of comfort thing - you hit the jackpot on 1 coin and kick yourself for not betting max.. but then if you had bet max, the time taken to change coins would have given you a different result! It's just how I think things work and makes no difference to methods of play or anything really. Of course the RNG is random.

EasyRhino - just don't forget to cashout! lol. I generally cashout v soon, so no problem.

happygobrokey - i dont believe wins and losses are predictable. If they were i would be in the bahamas and not on this forum! O In THOERY every hand is independant, but who here can honestly say theyve never had a funny feeling of a turnaround after winning 6 hands of BJ in a row?

Well, back to the original question.. I basically decided to not bother with small bets.
I've had roughly 50-50 success... one casino per month busts and one doesn't. But the one that doesn't makes up for the other one and then some. Unfortunately the one that keeps busting has cumulative WR, so instead of 25x, if I do hit it would be 75x or so! So not a good strategy for casinos with cumulative WR.

I like the big bet because if you win, you win a decent amount. Say, even if you only win 1 out of 2, when you do win, it makes up for it, and it saves you a lot of time, as you only grind thru 1 set of WR instead of 2. As long as the casino doesnt ban your bonus, you should be ok. It's the time thing mainly...

#### Avatar73

##### Dormant Account
For "wins and losses are predictable" see the downfall of cipher.... hmmmmm.

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