# I know coin flips are always 50/50 odds, but what is the scientific statistical term for being 'overdue' for a heads after 5 tails in a row?

I took a statistics class and the instructor said there was indeed a concept for being 'overdue' but he said he would cover it later, but I don't remember him doing so. I'd like to read up on it.

### 16 Answers

- Anonymous1 month ago
The "Law of Conservation of Probability" LOL.

- roderick_youngLv 71 month ago
The proverbial coin, or die, is random, and doesn't change its probability based on history, so has no concept of being overdue.

However, some events are seemingly random, but actually chaotic, and it actually does matter how long it was since the last one. Earthquakes fall into that category, and even the probability of a certain person having sex on a given day. Look up "chaos" and "attractor" if you want to know more.

- D gLv 71 month ago
It's hard to answer this ...

T T T To T

You could calculate the odds of 6 tails in a row

And maybe the odds of 5 tails in a row

The odds of six tails in a row subtracted from 100 percent should give you the odds of a Head

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- PuzzlingLv 71 month ago
It's called the "gambler's fallacy" to expect the likelihood has changed because of prior outcomes. It hasn't and the probability is still 1/2 for heads and 1/2 for tails.

To discount the fallacy, some gambler's in that situation might figure they are on a winning streak and so they expect to get another tail. Others might say they've pressed their luck enough and that it will change to heads on the next flip. Both seem plausible but there is a 50-50 chance that the streak will continue or the streak will end. They aren't due a win or a loss.

(It's worse for gamblers who have been on a losing streak because they figure they are due a large win to offset their losses. Hence they continue gambling. In almost all casino games, the advantage is to the house, so playing for longer just means there is an expectation that more money will be forfeited by the player.)

Source(s): https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gambler's_fallacy https://effectiviology.com/gamblers-fallacy/ - PopeLv 71 month ago
As you have been told, to believe heads are now more likely is to fall for the gambler's fallacy. There is, however, a valid statistical concept that often is incorrectly used as a rationale gambler's fallacy. That is regression toward toward the mean.

If the probability of heads truly is 1/2, then as more tosses are thrown, we should expect the number of heads to tend toward 1/2 the number of tosses. This does not mean heads have become any more likely. This regression would hold although the probability has not changed.

- Anonymous1 month ago
I don’t know but heads I win and tails you lose. Ready?

- Aster RhoidsLv 71 month ago
If there "was" a concept, then we can assume it has already been debunked.