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Illusory Patterns In Poker

by Alan Schoonmaker |  Published: May 24, 2017

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Wikipedia defines “illusion” as “a distortion of the senses, revealing how the brain normally organizes and interprets sensory stimulation.” Our rational brains may know that we can’t predict which cards will come, but our primitive brains believe that we can predict them. Our brains haven’t changed much since we lived in caves. Our rational brains developed much later, are much weaker, and act much more slowly than our primitive brains. Our primitive brains don’t believe in randomness; they see patterns even where they don’t exist. Poker authorities have stated, and mathematicians have proved, that – if they are shuffled and dealt properly – cards are utterly, absolutely random. Our rational brains may accept that fact, but our primitive brains evolved to detect patterns. If cave men didn’t quickly recognize dangerous patterns such as predatory animals, poisonous snakes, and hostile people, they would have died. We learned to see and react ...


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