Why do people play games of chance, like roulette, where the odds are known and you are bound to lose in the long term?

I am sure some of them play purely for entertainment. At a cheap table your minimum bet is less than $500 per hour and your losses are around 3% of that. That’s about the same cost as a movie and rather cheaper than (say) the opera.

But there must be a lot of roulette players who believe that the results of the spins follow a pattern and if you can detect that pattern you can beat the game. My impression is that (a) most people don’t really think about it, but of those who do the commonest fallacies are (b) trends (c) reversion to the mean. They accept that the wheel is random over the long term, but they expect short term fluctuations to either continue in runs or streaks and/or eventually to somehow balance out. Without quite knowing how or why, they seem to believe that (say) a run of red will continue for some time into the future and/or will make a future run of black more likely. Ditto odds/evens etc.

It’s actually quite hard to explain how the wheel will appear random over time, especially if you’ve just seen a run of what looks very non-random. The maths for that is way beyond most people.