Streaks 2

Are winning and losing streaks predicatable?

In a word: no.

Winning or losing “streaks” are observations of a run of wins or losses that have already occurred. If a coin toss comes up heads three times in a row, the odds for the fourth toss coming up heads (continuing the streak) or tails(ending it) are still 50:50—so you can confidently declare that there has beena “streak” of heads, you could not have predicted it beforehand.

Mathematics can demonstrate that runs of wins or losses can occur (explored indetail elsewhere), but there is no method for predictingwhen they will occur, how long a single streak will last, or when it will end.

That said, there are a few techniques, discussed in detail in advanced strategy, that can predict the bias in the cards that remain to be dealt. For example, a card counter can detect whether the bias is with or against him by considering the cards that have already been removed and a shuffle tracker can know that an ace will show in the next round aftera key card has been dealt.

However, this is not the same as predicting a “streak,” as the high-value cards may well be clumped on the far side of the cut card, and the next few hands may turn out poorly— and the ace that’s certain to show can just as well end up in the dealer’s hand.