Hot-hand or Excessive Risk-taking? What Happens With the Hot-hand Fallacy in Gambling?

Have you ever felt “compelled’ to continue gambling just because you are experiencing a string of successful bets and believe that this momentum should not be lost? Have you ever felt that you have a “hot hand” and this should keep you going on in achieving successful results no matter what? Even if there are indications that you’re not going to win -or even hints, not explicit indications- that you’re not going to beat the house in that mobile app of one of the best iPhone casinos you have been playing at? 

How stay with a clear mind?

Well, many of you do realize what we are talking about, but for those of you who don’t, let’s see what we mean. 

The meaning of ‘hot hand’ is simple. It has to do with the belief that a series of successful outcomes will be maintained and will continue to bring in successful results, just because there is a record of win streaks.

Let’s make it more clear. The phrase “hot hand” is often used in sports – especially in basketball – to denote that a player has momentum and that everything she or he does, will certainly lead to the desired outcome, since everything that s/he has done up to now has brought about the desired result. In short, a winning streak will lead to more winning.

The same holds in the world of gambling, as far as the phrase is concerned. Having a ‘hot hand’ means that a gambler is experiencing a streak of wins and they will continue to experience this streak for as long as the momentum is not lost. 

However, the implications of a hot hand in gambling are far more different than those in sports. In a basketball game, for example, momentum influences the confidence of the player, improves their motivation, and gives them an incredible boost. All these are very crucial when we are talking about sports because players’ performance is directly affected by their perceived capabilities. 

In gambling, things are not the same. A hot hand will certainly improve the gamblers’ confidence, but confidence is unlikely to influence the outcome of a casino game -for the most part. So, what we are talking about here is a bias, which is called the “hot-hand fallacy”. 

Quick decisions

The hot-hand fallacy is a very frequent phenomenon in the world of gambling and sports betting. It is a bias involving the erroneous perception that just because someone is experiencing a streak of wins or a series of successful outcomes, they will continue to experience it. Simply enough, just because someone is having wins one after another for some time, they will keep on scoring wins because they have a hot hand. 

The problem with the hot-hand fallacy is that it may lead to irrational decision-making, and exposure to excessive risk and consequently, it may generate the circumstances for losing big. Under this bias, gamblers can very easily get carried away and dragged into a game of pushing boundaries. Having the convenience and the ease of gambling on their mobile -using one of the best available casino apps for iPhone or Android – all it takes is the ‘hot-hand’ fallacy to get them betting and betting, up until some point they’ll end up losing. 

The hot-hand fallacy is dangerous in the world of gambling because it makes people think that they can sustain a winning streak when that’s not based on some kind of evidence or some kind of concrete indications, but rather on the false perception of momentum. But while momentum may have a lot to do with the world of sports, it has very little (or better say, nothing) to do with gambling or sports betting for that matter. 


So, if you ever come to that place where you feel that you must place an extra bet or play an extra game just because you are winning up to now, get a moment there and think about your decision possibly being based on a biased assumption and if this is so, then you should better abandon the idea!

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