|What's Luck Got To Do With It?|
|Part 1: Luck|
In the short term Luck will be a big factor in determining whether you win or lose. This is true of games that have positive expectations as well as games with a high house edge. If you are playing games like slots or Roulette with high house edge luck will be the only way to win. In the long run you will lose at these games. The casino will see the long term because they are open 24/7 and the math will equal out for them. But if you are only an occasional visitor to the casino it is possible to have some sort-term wins. This is the reason that people go back to the casinos. If the outcome of each visit were based strictly on math you would never win because there would be no deviation from the long-term results. If this happened no one would play. If you knew you would lose five cents on the dollar every time you bet a number in roulette or pulled the handle on the slot machine it would be pretty silly to just hand over money.
For games of skill like poker, blackjack or video poker the "luck" factor will even out as you reach the theoretical result referred to as the long run. Many wonder what constitutes the long run anyway. Is it a million hands or two? There really is no specific answer. Some casual players may never play enough hands in a lifetime to achieve long term results.
This doesn't mean that you don't need to learn the proper strategy for these games. The knowledge to play proper strategy to the best of your ability will help you move toward the positive end of the spectrum. Just believing in luck is not enough to improve your chances. A wise man once said "Faith will move mountains but you better bring along your shovel and be prepared to help with the work." In the casino your shovel will be your knowledge of proper play.
Luck determines the cards you are dealt. Knowledge and skill determines how you play them. A lucky person finds a way to use his abilities to come out ahead. This is true in casino games and is also a factor in the game of life.