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CAGR: The Gambler's Fallacy, Explained

By Misnomer on Wednesday, 27th April 2011 1:37pm
  » filed under Las Vegas  comments: 6


Center Against Gaming Research

As you are by now aware, I am the self-appointed director of the Center Against Gaming Research (CAGR), an important counterpart to the big-brained and, if I will allow myself, more legitimate, Center For Gaming Research. Still, CAGR serves its function. For while the Center For Gaming Research favors an academic approach, relying on statistics and peer review, we at CAGR champion gut feeling, superstition, and bingo trolls. Today, writing on behalf of the CAGR, I will examine a phenomena called, 'The Gambler's Fallacy'.

Let's break that down into its component parts. 'Gambler' is a term that is believed to have originated on warm summer's evenings in the late 1800's, on railway voyages to and from Nowhere, Wyoming. During this time, a train trip across the country took several days. As Wi-Fi would not be invented for another 30 years, travelers would pass the time by engaging in friendly competitions, such as beard growing, and staring out the window at the darkness. As for the latter, a 'turn' system was strictly enforced. Players staring out the window at the darkness out of turn where ejected from the moving train.

Passengers also played cards. Eventually, players began wagering on these games, and 'gambling' was born. A person who engaged in gambling was known as a 'kennyrogersasthegambler:theadventurecontinues,' which was later shortened to, 'gambler'.

And what about the term, 'fallacy'? Fallacy, from the root word, 'fallate' is the medical term for 'blow job'. Let's continue.

The Gambler's Fallacy can be illustrated by a simple demonstration. For this, you will need a coin, a pencil, and a sheet of paper. It is not imperative that you be entirely sober during the test.

First, draw a line down the center of the sheet of paper, dividing it into two columns. Each column will correspond to one side of the coin that you've chosen, so label one side, 'Heads,' as it's a pretty safe bet that some guy's head will be on one side. You're just going to have to look at the other side, because it could be an eagle or a building. Or, if you use a dime, just call that side, 'Torchy-thing'.

Now, flip the coin. If it lands with the guy's head facing up, put a tally mark in the column you labeled, 'Heads'. If it lands with the torchy-thing up, put a tally mark in the column you labeled, 'Torchy-thing'. If the coin lands on its edge and stays like that, well that's pretty creepy, but if you flip it and it doesn't come down at all, you should get out of the house because you have a haunted dime.

But that's only happened to me once and probably won't happen to you at all. So just keep flipping your coin and making your tally marks. You need to do this 100 times. What'll start happening is, you'll start seeing patterns emerge, like, 'Heads-Heads-Heads-Heads,' and then, 'Torchy-thing'. Or, you could very well end up with, 'Torchy-thing, Torchy-thing, Torchy-thing, Torchy-thing, Torchy-thing, Torchy-thing,' and then, 'Heads'.

And what you'll discover from this exercise is that even though you're supposed to flip the coin 100 times, after about 30 flips it gets stupid-boring and you just don't give a shit anymore and you just stop flipping the coin and go with your gut feeling about what probably would have happened and then you write that down. And that is your 'Eureka!' moment - the moment you discover that 'facts' and 'data' take all of the fun out of dumb luck!

I mean, if you walked into a casino and went up to a roulette table with one of those electronic tote boards on it that show what numbers have just come out, and it showed, 'Black-Black-Black-Black-Black-Black,' what are you going to bet on? Red, right?!!? I know! No way it goes black again, right? Geez! Simple, right?

All I know is, if you said, 'Red,' you're probably some kind of genius. You are definitely CAGR material, and you're probably rich and good looking, and you probably get TONS of fallacy. Good for you, man. Just keep living the dream, bro.

Join me next month for the first in a two part series, '6:5 Blackjack - Apparently It's Bad?'

Tagged: misnomer   


Comments & Discussion:

*crickets* This is amazing method writing. After reading this I know what someone feels like walking out of the Luxor after a Carrot Top show.

Good Try.

I took a nice break from working on my ground-breaking distillation of Nevada calendar year gaming revenues for the period 1984-2010 to read this.

I'm very glad I did.

best reply ever Dave. :D

Wait...you're saying that random events are random? Come on man. I believe the thing about the haunted coin and all, but this is just too much. What's next......are you going to tell me that Santa Claus doesn't exist?

@thefish2101 SAY it ain't so man say it ain't so!!!

I tried this test with a Canadian Nickle (cause that's all i have) the best part, my columns were labeled "Heads" and "Beavers" I giggled alot.....

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