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Reply To: Systems Building

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Interesting DJ I have a love of mathematics saddo that I am – and I can certainly confirm that a large No of repetitions are necessary to see a truer proximity to symmetry. But beware – not for nothing is ‘The Law of Averages’ also known as ‘The Gamblers Fallacy’.

You will only arrive at a more representative %age figure and not true symmetry as you have indicated.

This is where the problem lies – because the bookmaker is playing in every race he reaches a representative sample much more quickly than you the punter.

It’s probably easier to understand using roulette as an example. Let me say straight away that roulette or any casino game with fixed odds is a mugs game for everyone but the house, however because there are a fixed No of numbers, symmetry (how often something should happen in theory) is easier to work out.

In the UK there are 37 Nos on a wheel 0 plus 1 – 36. Zero is green 18 Nos are red and 18 black. I wont complicate it any more for this example. The Law of Averages (which by the way isn’t a law of physics at all) states that out of each 37 spins each No should appear once – one zero – 18 reds and 18 blacks.Now if someone is backing reds continuously they will win 18 times, lose a full stake 18 times(when black comes up) and lose half a stake(when zero appears) thus IN THEORY they will lose 1 unit every 74 spins. BUT because the punter is dipping into the long continuous line of spins and taking (comparitively speaking) a very small sample it is likely that he will get a very unrepresentative set of results.

This is where so many punters fall down they read in the Racing Post that a certain type of race has a 34% strike rate for favourites and they rub their hands in glee. Better than 1 in 3! They rush off and start betting on this type of race on the favourites in ever increasing stakes only to go broke in 10 days. Back to the casino red should appear 18 times out of 37 almost 50% of the time but any pit boss will tell you that runs of one colour or the other of 16 or 17 are commonplace. Likewise the aforementioned Favs – the punter forgets that there may be 18 races of this type and 14 winning favs – but somewhere along the line there may be losing runs of 20 or more to compensate for it.

This is probably the last time I will post before xmas so can I take this opportunity to wish you DJ and indeed all forum members a happy christmas and a prosperous 2003.