Billie Noble
Last updated: 07 June 2024

Whether you’re a novice or an experienced casino gaming lover, you’ve more likely heard of the hot and cold streak theory. This school of thought is prevalent in both land-based and Internet-based slots, popularly referred to as automaty or maszyny online games in the Polish gambling scene.

As with anything else in the conversation of superstitions, various researchers seem to have come up with evidence of where this theory originated. Nonetheless, one of them traces things back to the 60s and the 70s, an exciting time when physical one-armed bandit slot machines were widely played across the United States.

During this time, the idea was that if you walked up to these machines and checked the temperature on the bottom where coins were dispensed, you could easily make your convulsions about your potential payouts. If it was warm to the touch, it was dispensing a lot of wins. This led to people dubbing these machines as “hot.” On the other side of the spectrum, if you put your hand on a machine and it was cold, then the assumption was that it had not paid in a while, so players stayed away from that machine.

As a result, this temperature-based belief has transcended decades, evolving to permeate the online gaming landscape, with people still holding on to it. But does it hold any water? Let’s try to rationalize it in today’s exhaustive post.

The Gambler’s Fallacy

To try to rationalize the myth of the hot and cold streaks in gambling, let’s take a look at things from a psychological perspective. The gambler’s fallacy is a famous psychological construct where individuals develop a cognitive bias that leads them to believe that past outcomes ultimately affect arbitrary processes. For example, if a coin flip has landed on tails severally, the gambler’s fallacy will lead individuals to believe that the tail will land soon.

The same rationale is what the hot and cold streaks myth is based on. Players react differently towards these two theories:

  • Some players believe you’ll more likely register a win in your next casino game since you’re on a winning streak. The same applies when you’re on a losing streak, so you’ll likely not register a win;
  • There are also other applications of this rule where players believe that the win is around the corner since they are on a losing streak. On the flip side, when some players have an extensive winning run, they feel like the loss is also coming. 
The Gambler’s Fallacy
Hot and cold streaks: Gambler's fallacy influences player perceptions

The Clustering Illusion

This is yet another cognitive bias that explains the myth of hot and cold streaks. This illusion tricks our brains into seeing patterns where there are no patterns to be seen, and the events may just be random. We go back to our coin illustration. Tossing a coin and seeing four heads back-to-back may trigger some people into believing that a pattern is being developed. However, each coin flip is random and has nothing to do with the next toss.

Now, concerning our underlying myth, gamblers will see a pattern of, say, three consecutive wins and assume that the universe or some extraterrestrial force wants them to keep wagering and registering wins. This is forming patterns where none needs to be formed. Understanding this illusion will undoubtedly help to keep gamblers from jumping to conclusions rather quickly.

Random Number Generators

Modern casino games are powered by Random Number Generators (RNGs), which are algorithms used by these games to produce arbitrary outcomes. The RNG software is usually integrated into the core of the casino games, meaning that each player has an equal shot at winning, and external factors cannot influence the outcome.

As such, the concept of some casino games being due for a win or a loss, for that matter, is a pure fallacy that hasn’t been based on any research finding or scientific study. So, with the net-net casino game outcomes provided by RNG technology, there is no way for you to determine the subsequent result with accuracy.

Be More Objective for Better Outcomes!

Recognizing these cognitive biases also helps prevent terrible casino gaming habits like problem gambling. Some of these beliefs that aren’t anchored in facts have been known to have lasting damage to players worldwide.

So, the next time you play your favorite casino game, do not be swayed by so-called temperature-based streaks. Put your best foot forward by practicing your favorite games to figure out how everything works, and hope you’ll land significant wins by deploying the best gameplay strategies.

Published: 07 June 2024 10:36