When it comes to gambling, people are attributing too much credit to sheer luck. What they believe is that you can play anything and, if you’re lucky enough, your number will roll out. So, if that’s the case:
- Why are there so many tips and strategies out there?
- How come some people are able to cheat casinos?
- Is running a casino really sustainable from a business perspective?
Keep in mind that it’s really not that simple. Before we can progress further, you need to understand that the concept of luck is hard to define, to begin with. Even if we were able to do this, it would be too arbitrary and unpredictable to use as a factor. Sure, in large numbers, you can always turn to odds but what can an individual do here?
Let’s see how this luck-to-skill ratio really looks like in an online casino.
What Is Gambling Luck?
Luck is a force of nature that makes everything go your way. You put your money on 25 red and the ball lands on 25 red. In theory, luck would make even impossible bets (those with the greatest odds) turn out in your favor.
While some people seem to be luckier than others, the truth is that there’s no such thing as luck. It’s all about numbers, likelihoods, and probabilities. Just because you don’t understand all the factors or because you can’t control them, this doesn’t mean that they’re not there.
In an average casino, you have games that are more or less luck-based. Sure, some players want more control but others find these luck-based games to be more appealing. Why? Well because it doesn’t take skill or experience to play them and make your money on them. It’s really as simple as it gets.
What Is Gambling Skill?
No one is denying that luck is a major part of any gambling game, we’re just discussing how important it actually is. The other side of this medal is definitely skill but here too we have a problem. What is a skill in terms of gambling? What is a gambling skill?
The most accurate definition would be to say that it’s one’s innate mathematical ability to assess the likelihood of winning a bet at any given moment. Before the algorithms and sophisticated tools, gambling was possible because of talented oddsmakers. These were the people who turned their incredible gambling skills into a career choice.
In some games (like poker) a player can have a much greater influence on the game. Here, there’s more decision-making and by making the right moves, you’re making your game less luck-dependent. This is also the case with any game where players are against other players (even if it’s the dealer that we’re talking about) and not the house.
While there are a lot of funny gambling quotes out there and some of them are talking about luck, you’ll soon find that the more effort you invest, the more luck you’ll have.
How Is Gambling Skill Measured?
If gambling skill is really a skill (in a traditional sense), you would be able to measure it and compare it to the skill of others. Most importantly, you would be able to make a breakdown and explain it. This might be simpler and easier to achieve than you think. On this list, you would find:
- Gambling knowledge
- Awareness of various strategies
- Proper conduct and casino etiquette (present even in online casinos)
- Being responsible with the money
- Being aware of your strengths and weaknesses
Remember that your skill at each game is measured individually. It’s like being good at sports? People say that you’re good at sports, does this mean that you’re equally good at swimming, sprinting, basketball, and boxing? Gambling is an umbrella term and you need to be aware of your abilities and limitations.
Which of the Two Is More Important?
This is not a simple question to give an answer to. Skill is definitely more reliable, seeing as how it’s something under your control, however, it’s not a skill in a traditional sense. It’s not your ability to do something physically or make a decision based on known facts. It’s a bit less reliable, seeing as how most of it is still guesswork (assessment) and decision-making.
Luck, on the other hand, is a wild force that you just can’t control. If you caught a genie and had the privilege to choose between the two, being lucky would definitely be a preferred choice but these things don’t happen in real life.
Just because you were lucky the whole night, this doesn’t mean that your next hand will be a lucky one. If anything, being “too lucky” can make you reckless. It will make you feel invincible, feel like nothing can go wrong. That’s when all the bad calls happen. After all, gamblers are a superstitious bunch.
So, to make the long story short, which of these two factors should you rely on? The answer is neither, seeing as how neither of the two is reliable.
What Should You Do instead?
First of all, you need to remind yourself that gambling is a form of entertainment, not a way of making money. As long as you’re having fun, winning or losing don’t really matter. This is especially true if you take the smart approach and bet only the money you can afford to lose.
Applying a strategy will have a psychological effect. It will make you feel more comfortable with your bets and it won’t stress you out in a scenario where your numbers get pulled just as you stop playing them.
To wrap things up, in order to win at an online casino, you need both luck and skill. However, this doesn’t mean that you can rely on them with 100% reliability. There’s no such thing in gambling. Keep in mind that your odds depend on the game that you play and that your knowledge of the specific game doesn’t necessarily translate to other games. In the end, the most important thing of all is that you’re having fun while doing it. That’s all that really matters.