"Malarkey, Scarne," you say, "there are times when for hours on
"Malarkey, Scarne," you say, "there are times when for hours on end I can't get a decent hand dealt me; and even when I draw a fairish hand I can't improve it by drawing cards to it." You're right. But it's not "malarkey, Scarne"; it's the theory of probability. Like dice or coins, cards don't and mustn't be expected to behave exactly according to the probabilities. But they'll come awfully close.
Toss a coin. It may fall heads up ten times in a row.
Toss a coin. It may fall heads up ten times in a row. Then it may fall tails up ten times in a row. And there are gamblers who, after heads have been turned on several successive tosses, will bet heavily that it will be tails up next. They think the odds, the probabilities, favor tails. Likewise most card players operate on the belief that, after they have been dealt four or five successive bad hands, the probabilities abruptly shift to favor their being dealt a good hand. Thereupon they raise the stakes from 25 cents to 50 cents or from $2 to $4 on the next hand, and are shocked and saddened when they lose.