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The fallacy of the player: what it is and how it affects us

The fallacy of the player: what it is and how it affects us

November 29, 2022

No matter how hard we try, the reasoning of people does not always follow a logical basis. In a great number of occasions, we are so absolutely convinced of the validity and soundness of our reasoning that we end up committing innumerable errors.

This is what happens with the player's fallacy. A type of wrong thinking related to gambling and the probability that it can lead people to the point of losing large amounts of money in casinos and gambling. Next, we analyze this phenomenon.

  • Related article: "The 10 types of logical and argumentative fallacies

What is the player fallacy?

Before going into the description of the player's fallacy, we must know what exactly the term fallacy consists of. The fallacy concept belongs to the field of study of logic and the debate on these goes back to the times of Aristotle.


Although there is no absolute consensus about the concrete definition of this concept, we can describe a fallacy as an argument that may seem valid but that, in reality, is not . Sometimes, these fallacies can be generated intentionally with the aim of deceiving or manipulating other people, while in others they are committed unconsciously, due to an error in reasoning or ignorance.

At first glance it may seem that a fallacy is easy to detect, but the reality is that sometimes these deceptions or errors in reasoning are so subtle that it takes a lot of attention to identify them, which leads people to make wrong decisions.


In addition, the fact that an argument is considered a fallacy, also called fallacious argument, does not necessarily imply that their hypotheses or assumptions are false or true . It is possible that a reasoning based on certain hypotheses, is a fallacious trial, since it makes it false is the invalidity of one's reasoning.

Once we understand the meaning of the fallacy concept, it can be easier to understand what the player's fallacy is based on. This deception also known as the deceit of the gambler or fallacy of Monte Carlo, due to its relationship with gambling, is a logical fallacy by which people mistakenly believe that past random events influence or affect random events. futures.

For example, if we throw a die and the number three comes out, it is very possible that, due to the player's fallacy, we will reach the conclusion that it is quite unlikely that this same number will come out again on a second run ; when, in reality, the odds are the same.


Because this type of deception of logic is associated with the world of betting and gambling, its main consequence is usually some kind of economic loss on the part of the victim of the fallacy.

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The misconceptions contained in this logical error

As we have already mentioned, the main deception within the fallacy of the player is to believe that a past random event conditions the outcome of a future random event. However, there are some other misconceptions locked within it. These are the following.

1. A random event is more likely to occur because it has not happened for a period of time.

For example, if we return to the case of the die, this fallacy can lead us to think that if the dice roll 10 times has never left the number 3, it is more likely to come out on the next roll. But in reality, take out this number or any other has the same probability .

2. A random event is less likely to occur because it has occurred over a period of time

In this case, the opposite phenomenon occurs. If in a series of dice rolls, the number 3 has appeared on numerous occasions, the fallacy of the player leads us to think that in the next roll is less likely to appear.

Another way to see it is when buying a lottery ticket. Habitually, people are reluctant to buy tickets with repeated numbers. For example, anyone will choose 74398 earlier than 01011. The reason is that the false logic makes us think that it is very unlikely that so many numbers will be repeated or followed .

3. A random event is less likely to occur if it happened recently

For this fallacy we can use the example of lotteries. If in the draw of the previous lottery the winning number was 18245, it is very possible that lottery players fall into deception that this will not come out again in the next draw. However, the reality is that, although it seems strange, there are the same possibilities.

4. A random event is more likely to occur if it did not happen recently

Finally, this false belief is the opposite of the previous one. On this occasion, the player's fallacy leads us to think, for example, that if in the game of roulette during the last roll the ball fell in the color red, it is more likely to fall into black now.

What are the consequences of this fallacy?

Even though, once explained, anyone can think that she would not fall for this type of deception. It is extraordinary to observe how this kind of fallacy affects us and conditions much more than we think .

These erroneous thoughts appear unconsciously. One of the characteristics of this fallacy of the player is that people think we are better at calculating probabilities than we really are.

The absolute conviction of previous misconceptions, can lead people to lose large sums of money or even assets . Let's not forget, that games of chance can be addictive and that every time there are more games of betting and chance in which the person can participate without leaving their living room.

If the addiction that these games generate, we add the fact that no person is free from the influence of the player's fallacy, we will obtain as a result a large number of people losing large sums of money without being aware of the errors of thought that they are leading them to it.


The Casual/Core Fallacy - Designing for Depth - Extra Credits (November 2022).


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