The Power of Luck

By in Casino & Gaming on
7 Minute Read
Gambling Luck

If every gambler was lucky, casinos would quickly go out of business. Winning gamblers need a little bit of luck to hit the big jackpot. There are few skill-based games in the casino, and those require the knowledge of strategy to gain an edge over the house.

After a lucky break at the casino, I spent some time genuinely considering the power of luck. Here’s what I’ve discovered.

What Is Luck?

Merriam-Webster defines “luck” in three different ways.

The first definition from Webster has luck as, “a force that brings good fortune or adversity.” Along those same lines, it also provides the following description: “the events or circumstances that operate for or against an individual.”

So, the first two definitions seem to label luck as a sentient force that moves across the landscape, bestowing blessings and curses among the unsuspecting public.

It was this definition of luck that I had trouble with for so many years.

The third definition of luck is “favoring chance.”

Luck as favoring chance is the only form of luck I’ve paid much attention to. When I speak of luck, this is what I mean — only a random occurrence that usually works to the benefit of an individual.

For example, winning a slots jackpot is extremely lucky. However, it has nothing to do with wearing your lucky socks or how many times you rub a Troll doll’s head.

In other words, you got lucky, but you yourself are not lucky.

Popular Casino Superstitions

Casino superstitions have been around from the very first time players crowded around a game of faro.

Some of these superstitions are harmless antics the players indulge in for fun, while others are flat out bizarre. 

I’ve seen the full gambit of casino superstitions in my gambling career. Here are a few that seem to be most popular.

Many players wouldn’t dream of sitting down to their favorite slot machine without being clad head to toe in their lucky color. It seems that the brighter, the better in the world of slot machines.

Dice

I suppose this makes perfect sense when you consider the extravagance of modern slot machines. Gold is a popular choice for obvious reasons.

Many players carry some form of lucky charm while they gamble. These are unique to each player, and they run from the traditional rabbit’s foot to gold charms worn around their neck.

I remember seeing many personal pictures laid on the slot machines early in my gambling career, even the fabled Troll dolls would sit perched overlooking the spinning reels.

I guess they are still popular lucky charms, but I don’t spend much time in the slot banks these days.

Lucky Rituals

Lucky charms aren’t enough for some players. So, they develop rituals.

Some of these rituals are elementary and barely perceivable to the casual observer. Others can be quite elaborate, involving going to extreme lengths to complete.

These lucky rituals will usually occur on the casino floor. Still, some require the player to begin the ceremony before they ever leave home.

Several friends insist on not placing a single bet the first night they’re in the Las Vegas casinos. Instead, they enjoy the same meal at the same restaurant as they have done for decades.

They dine and drink, paying homage to past wins while being careful not to mention any future winnings.

I’ve known players that would take a shot every time they cross state lines into Nevada. They go so far as following the flight they’re on with their tablet or smartphone. Then, being careful not to miss the moment, they finally cross the state line and get their celebratory drink.

The weather can even impact whether or not a player will step foot in a casino. Some gamblers won’t even consider gambling during a storm. Of course, others make a beeline for the casino when the rain begins to fall.

Changing Your Luck

Embracing an approach to positive thinking can have at least a slight impact on your fortune. I’ve long believed that holding a positive mental attitude can open a lot of doors.

Now, there’s no science to that specifically. However, it’s been noted by the medical world that people with a positive attitude tend to live longer.

This positivity can also increase testosterone levels, which will increase your focus and energy levels. These are both extremely beneficial for casino gamblers.

Playing casino games that you enjoy can seem to change your luck. And I’ve experienced this myself.

I was playing roulette with a buddy and doing a bit of field research. I don’t have any disdain for the game of roulette, but it’s not one of my favorites.

I was making safe bets but would lose five spins for every one that I was winning. It was brutal, to say the least.

My friend, sensing that I was miserable, suggested we play blackjack. Instantly, things began to change.

It suddenly seemed that I couldn’t lose. Nothing changed but my attitude and my environment. 

Was luck waiting for me at the blackjack table?

Maybe I generated a bit of luck by making a change.

Make Your Own Luck

Of course, there are ways to make your own luck on any game on the casino floor.

Let’s start with the slot machines. Sure, you can build an altar to the gambling gods, but I’m not convinced that will do much good.

However, you can improve your bankroll management skills and research the games with the highest return to player or RTP.

Knowing what you can afford to pay for and playing the games with the highest expected return will instantly change your luck.

In craps and roulette, you can stick to only making the bets with the lowest house edge. If you’re continually betting on a straight-up 12 in craps, you’re going to lose most of the time.

Casino Gambling

If you make a shift to only betting the pass line and don’t pass line, you’ll win far more often. You’ll change your luck.

Real money blackjack offers one of the most significant opportunities to change your luck. All you need to do is ditch whatever hunches you’re currently operating by and grab a basic strategy chart.

Playing basic strategy on every hand will reduce the house edge by half. 

You don’t have to wait for some magical “luck fairy” to sprinkle you in winning dust to start improving your chances.

Take matters into your own hands by becoming a better gambler, and the luck will follow.

Believe to Achieve

I don’t want to discount the power of thought where luck is involved. It’s essential to think positively; it seems to attract luck.

One crucial factor is that you mustn’t speak of wins that have yet to come. This type of boastful overconfidence appears to push luck away rather than draw it in.

I can relate to this on some level. Recently, we had our club championship.

As an officer, I was tasked with picking up the trophies and delivering them on the morning of the event.

I picked them up a few days ahead of time and placed them in my office. Of course, my wife was excited to see them.

Last year I broke my hand the day before the tournament and ended up finishing in second place. This year I was determined to bring home the first-place trophy.

So, when it came time to show my wife what we had, I never touched the first-place trophy. I didn’t even look at it. I wanted to touch it for the first time after it was mine to take home.

I was afraid of the jinx. Luckily, I avoided the jinx. Had I been lucky?

Maybe, but I also worked diligently for a full year towards my goal. I didn’t have to find luck, and luck shined on me.

The Power of Luck

I still don’t buy into the idea of some mystical force that some people would call luck.

Still, I very much believe that luck as in favoring chance is applicable when describing gambling in a casino.

What else do you call it when a player that’s way behind in hand catches the one card that keeps them in the game?

The most critical thing you need to remember about luck is that you can build your own. You don’t generate luck by wearing your shoes on the wrong feet, wearing lucky underwear, or tapping your elbow eight times and blinking twice before spinning the slot reels.

You create luck through a positive attitude and hard work. You can also make your luck by making better choices while you gamble. 

Conclusion

The power of luck is an elusive creature to pin down. Those who believe in luck will follow their luck to an empty bankroll or worse.

The players who don’t believe in luck will have no trouble explaining that something having an incredibly low probability of happening can still happen quickly.

Michael Stevens

Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...

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