Winning Streaks

I am constantly asked about winning and losing streaks and why I say “never quit a winning streak” and “always quit a losing streak”

The comments are usually; if you have won four or five times in a row you are probably going to lose the next bet or if you have lost four or five times in a row, you are more likely to win the next bet.

Nothing could farther from the truth, the last win or loss has nothing to do with the next.

One friend of mine recently told me after she wins two or three bets in a row she drastically reduces her bet because the odds of winning a fourth or fifth bet in a row are far too great.

On the surface I would have to agree, the odds of winning four or five times in a row are pretty rare, if we use the coin flip as an illustration (I like the coin flip because it is a 50/50 proposition).

The odds of you flipping heads five times in a row are one in thirty-two attempts or 31 to 1, not very good. But here is the hard thing for most gamblers to recognize; you are not betting on heads hitting five times in a row. You are betting on heads coming up next, and that is just as likely to happen as not. The odds are 1 to 1, 50/50, even money; however you want to say it.

So once you have won four times in a row (or in this case heads has come up four times in a row) the odds of hitting the fifth time are no longer 31 to1, they are 1 to 1.

Always remember this, the coin, the dice, the ball, the cards, none of them have memories, they don’t know what they have done before and the next flip, or roll, or spin, or deal has NOTHING to do with the previous.

The odds of that next coin flip are exactly what they were on the first flip.

Just because you have won four in a row doesn’t mean you are any more likely to lose than to win, the odds are still 50/50.

So why do I say, “never quit a winning streak and always quit a losing streak?”

The answer is really quite simple, you never know when one is coming or how long it will last, so if you are on a winning streak…play it out, on the other hand if you are on a losing streak, walk away to play another day.

Know your play. Know your way.

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