There are two kinds of luck, magical luck and random luck.
Superstitious people appeal to, and may believe in, magical luck. They avoid stepping on cracks, don’t open umbrellas indoors, and carry around a “lucky” rabbit’s foot.
Gamblers quickly develop small rituals when playing the same games. These rituals may not be appeals to luck. They border on obsessive-compulsive behavior and may, according to some experts, be a subconscious attempt to control the game.
Random luck is just that, good fortune that occurs because you’re in the right place at the right time. It doesn’t matter how hard you pull the handle on the one-armed bandit. All that matters is that you are the person who spins the wheels when it’s time for a jackpot.
If you’re looking to change your luck while real money gambling, check out some of our tips below.
Thinking Positively Affects Many Outcomes
Although motivational speakers have taught us to use the power of positive thinking for decades, science has found only slight evidence that this might work.
Men who believe they have beaten a rival experience a spike in testosterone. In a competitive situation where strength or stamina help, a slight boost in testosterone can be a positive thing.
Other research seems to show that optimistic people tend to live longer. We don’t understand why this happens, but more studies have still found that positive thinking can help people heal faster.
The one common thread in all this research is that thinking positively affects how you perform. And when you’re gambling, you need to make the best decisions you can. That’s a type of performance.
Therefore, putting a positive spin on your gambling improves how you play the game. And the better you play the game, the more likely you’ll come away a winner.
It’s a small advantage but it’s not one to be overlooked. Besides, you’re more likely to have a good time if you’re feeling bright and positive about your gameplay. People who can only see the downside of the game are less likely to appreciate small wins or believe they can win at all.
When Playing Slot Machine Games, Choose Games Likely to Pay
There are two ways to interpret this advice. You can choose games likely to pay big jackpots or you can choose games that are likely to pay more often.
But you need to be a little more precise than that. A networked progressive jackpot game with an advertised minimum $1 million jackpot is more likely to pay a big jackpot than a non-progressive game that tops out at $10,000.
It’s an obvious distinction but if you’re looking for games “more likely to pay,” you need some clarity. You really want to choose a slot machine game that’s more likely to pay you back with a little extra.
And there are slot machines that do that. They eventually take someone’s money, but they are less likely to take everyone’s money than other slot machine games.
Most experts tell you to look at the theoretical return to player, or RTP. This may be reported in the slot machine’s help screen. It may be implied by a sticker on the machine that says “game pays about 1:4.”
A low volatility machine is less likely to pay big prizes but more likely to pay lots of small prizes. A low variance machine is less likely to experience a wide swing between how much money it keeps and how much money it pays.
The best slot machine games have low volatility (pays often) and slightly high variance (paying good prizes). These games probably have high RTPs but not all high RTP games have the combination of low volatility and slightly high variance you want.
When the Game Gets Rough, Change the Game
Even if you’re the best poker player in the world, sooner or later, the cards go against you. Gambling depends on random chance to create a challenge.
When I’ve lost more than 20% to 30% of my stake at the blackjack table, I get up and walk around. Not only does this help clear my head, it gives me a break.
Slot players have hundreds or thousands of games to choose from in any large casino. If you’re not having fun, there’s no reason to sit there and let the machine take your money.
Winning is great, but losing can either be torment or the cost of enjoying yourself. If you’re not having fun, just find a game you’ll enjoy more. There’s no reason to pay for entertainment that isn’t entertaining.
Play Two Games at a Time
Playing two games simultaneously is easier to do on slot machines and video card games. You can also do it on video keno and sometimes, at the blackjack table.
If you’re comfortable with the challenge, it may be more entertaining even if you lose. But playing two or more games at the same time requires more brain power if you’re required to think.
Slot game players often play two machines at the same time when they’re bored and the casino isn’t full. You’re usually expected to give up the extra game if all the machines are occupied.
Truthfully, there’s no statistical advantage in playing two or more games at a time. But some players feel they have better luck doing this. Even if your positive thoughts aren’t influencing the random number generators, they’re affecting how you enjoy the games.
Stop Taking Extra Risks
If there’s one thing a casino will do for you, it’s give you more opportunities to lose your money. They’ll add progressive or side bets you really don’t need to take. Some slot machine games allow you to bet a prize you just won on a “double or nothing” bonus.
Those double or nothing bonus games improve the house edge. You’re only playing with money you won on your original bet. Even on a 50-50 game, you’re giving the casino a chance to keep the prize it just paid you.
This is why blackjack experts say you shouldn’t buy insurance. The chances the dealer has a blackjack are less than the chances you’ll win or push. When you take insurance, you’re betting the dealer has a blackjack.
By the same token, using any betting system that requires you to raise your bets to win back money you’ve lost is just adding risk to risk. Simple multiplication shows us that maximum bets pay better than minimum bets but you’re still playing for revenge, not fun.
I don’t believe in magical luck. When I find myself brushing my shoulder or falling into some other rhythmic tic, I either stop it or quit playing the game for the day.
Sure, gambling rituals make some people feel more comfortable. If it helps you relax and enjoy the evening, there may not be any harm in spinning around three times and throwing salt over your shoulder.
Random luck is something you can change by putting yourself into a different environment. It may change for the worse, but even so, you have the option of changing the game again.