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What could be more interesting than cognitive distortions? If only studying. Also constantly facing it in real life.

Heuristics is a truly amazing thing.

In simple terms, without looking into Ozhegov’s dictionary, this is a mistake of thinking, a distortion of reality. These are the simplifications that our brain uses to make the decision process easier. Especially when it comes to gambling.

In fact, people need to know and understand how heuristics work. Because heuristics make us believe in something, a thought, like the truth. And that’s just what comes to mind the most. For example, if you ask the question « Where is the highest content of caffeine?». Most likely, you will answer, without thinking – coffee. But it will be the wrong answer. However, heuristics can trigger anxiety and can influence decisions in sports betting and online casino. Most of the time, it leads the player on the wrong track.

How does heuristics intertwine with betting? Today we unveil the mystery.

Heuristics and everyday realities


Have you ever noticed that when you’re in an unusual situation, your brain is trying to find a way out and a solution in every way possible?
Some images and associations pop up in the memory. The thinking process is based on past experience. For any question, our multifunctional brain wants to give an answer. Even if you are not an expert in a particular area , an “anchor” begins to work in your head – it’s called starting point, some information, information that you can be caught. The word is spinning around you – you “dress” it with some facts, think of something and give an answer to the question posed.
The word «heuristics» is very similar to the word «Eureka» – it is a famous exclamation that broke out from Archimedes in a triumphant moment of illumination. «Eureka» is the discovery of something long-awaited. And heuristics, if only briefly, is the process of finding something new.

Heuristic and betting

Sports betting is full of starting points. Because many bets are based on the past experience, previous bets and repeated actions. If some team is placed in the favorite position, the brain records this information . For example, if «Athletic» was named by the outsider at home matches, the coefficients are low, many betters unconditionally think the team is the losers. Without analytics, without forecasts – just because this was repeated several times. Just to remember that coefficients are not “anchors”. You do not need to rely on the numbers that the bookmaker puts up. There is only you, your feelings, experience and of course the decision to bet.
There are several obvious examples of heuristics in betting.

Availability heuristic

What is meant by availability heuristic ?
When mentioning the word «shark», the brain slips a picture from some horror movie, where a huge fang-fish-man-eater dined with a couple of people, and there was more than that for dinner. In fact, most of the toothy creatures in the deep sea eat fish and don’t even think about humans. There were very few cases when the shark attacked a person. And there are few deaths. So why, when people say «shark» is immediately panic fear? It is called heuristic accessibility. In this case everything works like this: the brain is sure that the safest and most truthful information is the one which comes first to your memory. The hockey game which ended with no score ,no one will remember. But the one where one team got rid of the other with a big gap, for example, 5: 1 – and there is an «anchor», the starting point for the better. This match will be remembered.
There was a demonstrative case when «Borussia M» knocked out «Bavaria» with a big score of 5:1. And very soon the satisfied team of Adolf Hütter received a visit from “the middle» club «Bochum». An important fact: most recently, the same club was defeated with the «Bavaria» – 7: 0.
These matches were definitely an «anchor» for a large number of betters. What conditions did the players get for the equation? There is «Borussia M», which brilliantly beat «Bavaria». There is «Bochum», who with a huge score lost to «Bavaria». And, it seems, that the outcome of the match «Borussia M – Bochum» is obvious – it is a big negative head start for Borussia M.
No matter how: «Bochum» lost to the hosts with a score of only 2:1. And if betters didn’t make decisions based on the high-profile victories of Borussia, they would understand what was going on.
Imagine that «Borussia M» left behind a fairly strong «Bavaria». Julian’s Nagelsman team was in excellent shape. And how much effort did «Borussia M» to cope with such a mastodon? Obviously – a ton. The match with «Bochum» passed just a couple of days. During this period of time, players were unable to regain their strength.
Betters, relying on the laws of the availability heuristic, made incorrect judgments.

Representativeness Heuristic

This phenomenon is based on patterns of thinking. The heuristics of representativeness encourage us to draw conclusions based on stereotypes. As if there can be no human factor and some accidents. Everything is as it should be. For Example: if the doctor is photographed on the board in the clinic, he must be in a uniform. But if he is in a suit – it means that something is wrong here, the degree of trust is reduced.
How does it work in betting? The hockey team lost the game four times in a row – and that was home games . Looks like the team is going to win the 5th match . After all, they are motivated by a great desire to please fans, rehabilitate themselves and prove that previous failures are just a series of failures. But even the 5th match does not bring victory. Why? Because every game is unique. And this outcome is influenced by many factors, not just the motivation of the team. If people are thinking “if so many times they have lost, it means that now there will be a victory» is a pattern and only their desire. It is not the truth.

Diversification heuristic


Perhaps the only type that doesn’t affect betting negatively. This means the bettor is inclined towards several decisions at once, at the same time.
For example the bet can have a double outcome. And there is a player who relies on his own analysis and experience. While the bettor was preparing for the bet, thinking which team had a good chance of winning, it is always nice to have a plan B. Then the player makes a bet on the victory of the first team and on a peaceful outcome – a draw.
In betting, the rules of heuristics, most often, prevent you from noticing the present. Therefore, we advise you to approach the rates with a cold calculation.

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