Bet with the streak or not at all

Have you ever been drawn to a roulette table because of the display board? The one that says black has come up 6 times in a row? Ever have the urge to put your money on the table in that situation? If so, what do you do?

"Bet red, because it's due to hit this time!"

That answer, while it is a very popular one, is absolutely wrong! You should always bet with the streak, or not at all.

Betting red in this situation is wrong for two reasons. The first reason's mathematical: no matter how many times a color comes up in roulette, there's still (roughly) a 50/50 chance that red or black will come up on the next spin. It doesn't matter if black came up 5 times in a row, 500 times in a row or 5 million times in a row. Every spin in roulette is an independent event; what happened before or after the spin doesn't change the probability of a certain outcome. The idea that an event can become 'due' over time is known as 'the gambler's fallacy', and has contributed to the demise of many a player's bankroll.

The second reason's psychological. What happens if you bet red, and black comes up again? Do you increase your bet on red? After all, it's even more due now, right? Sure, you may luck out and red comes up on that next spin, but if black comes up once more, how would you deal with it? If you bet against the streak and lose, and get in the trap of pressing up your bet hoping the streak stops, the casino's got you right where they want you! If the streak keeps going you'll be broke, wondering to yourself "what're the odds of THAT happening?"

If you bet with the streak, worst case is you lose your base bet as the streak comes to an end, universal balance and order is restored and you can play your game as normal.

Until next time, take care and best of luck in the casino.

Submitted by:

Shawn Tinling

Shawn Tinling runs 21 Nights Entertainment (www.21nights.com), a casino entertainment and events company in New York City. (c) 2004-2005 Shawn Tinling

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