Published by CasinoTopsOnline on September 15, 2015 in Casino Tips

How lucky streaks workOnce you’ve placed your bet and pulled the handle, hit the button or spun the wheel, luck takes over and whether or not you win is no longer in your hands. At least that’s the theory, right? When that winning bell rings again and again, you may start to wonder if there’s something more to this game of luck than just luck alone.

If you’ve done any amount of gambling you’ll probably have experienced the elusive lucky streak or ‘hot hand’. If not, these phenomenon describe what happens when winning hands keep being dealt or the reels seem to be spun by Lady Luck herself. But are lucky streaks real? According to a new scientific study - Yes they are, but not for the reasons you might imagine.

Gamblers’ fallacy and hot hands

After closely studying the gambling habits, wins and losses of 776 online gamblers across Europe and the United States, a number of sports bets (such as horse racing and football) totalling 565,915 bets were studied. These bets and the choices exercised by the punters who made them revealed some very interesting findings.

One of the most interesting points discovered is that on average, online gamblers stand a chance of either winning or losing 48% of the time. After a single win, your chances increase only slightly to 49% of landing another win. However, the more you win, the more you are likely to win again. According to this study, the third bet after a win raises your chances of winning to 57% and after that, 67%.

Why would this be the case? It seems that bettors believe that at any moment they could lose and they therefore make safer bets with better odds and have a better chance of winning. This is how the phenomenon of a lucky streak is born.

The study also found that the opposite is true. After every losing bet, the chances of winning would drop drastically. The idea being that after so many losses, one was bound to win at some point, but this causes bettors to take larger chances and make bad bets. The idea of a losing streak suddenly turning around is called the gamblers’ fallacy.

"The result is ironic: Winners worried their good luck was not going to continue, so they selected safer odds," the researchers wrote. "By doing so, they became more likely to win. The losers expected the luck to turn, so they took riskier odds. However, this made them even more likely to lose. The gamblers’ fallacy created the hot hand."

Now we know that hot hands are more than just a pipe dream, they are in fact real, but they are created by the behaviour and choices of the gambler and not just luck.

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