There's No Such Thing As Luck

Updated: 13121 Other

Are you 'lucky'? Are you 'unlucky'? If you make a profit fromyour betting does that make you 'lucky', or if you can't seem towin does that mean you're 'unlucky'?'Luck' and betting have always been bedfellows in the minds ofpunters and

There's No Such Thing As Luck
Darren Brett Tipster Competition Manager

Horse Racing, greyhounds and snooker specialist with thirty years experience of writing about sport across multiple platforms. A QPR and Snooker fan

Are you lucky OR  Are you unlucky'?

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If you make a profit from your betting does that make you lucky, OR  or if you can't seem to win does that mean you're unlucky?

Sensible gamblers should not consider luck playing a part, as the betting school article on how to be sensible and gamble responsibly highlights. 

Luck and betting have always been bedfellows in the minds of punters and gamblers for as long as betting has existed, and we all use the term from time to time - not just for betting but in everyday life:

You just reach the bus stop in time, so that was lucky or your car breaks down on the way to an important appointment - bad luck, mate.

But luck or fortune is not the entity we often feel it is. 

Luck is a term we humans have applied to events to explain some sort of probability and cause. 

For many of us, it also has some sort of divine attachment to it via superstition.

Luck is actually a fallacy, It is not rational thinking 

In the case of betting, luck has no place. 

Most betting opportunities have varying factors of randomness to them - which is the appeal to the punter - and 'luck' is no more an entity or influential force than the mythical 'law of averages'. 

Luck is often a perception applied to a result where one incident (usually late in the event) appears to have had a factor more important than others.

There are countless hard-luck stories in sport and especially in horse-racing, but although a majority of us may consider a runner to have been 'lucky' or 'unlucky' is it not often just a case of wishful thinking? 

Kauto Star

 Given that the legend that is Kauto Star has  retired it may be fitting to use him as an example;

In the 2006 Queen Mother Champion Chase, the Irish runner Newmill ran out an impressive 9L winner from Fota Island. 

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No one has ever considered him a lucky winner because he made nearly all and went clear turning in and nothing major happened towards the end. 

But it was in this race that Kauto Star, the 2/1 Fav, fell at the third fence, in front of the stands. 

Because that happened so early, no-one has considered that it affected the result.

However, given what Kauto Star subsequently achieved (won his next six, culminating in Gold Cup triumph), he's very likely to have taken a hand in the finish. 

What if Kauto Star had stayed on his feet for the next circuit and came to the same fence, which would then have been the last, with either a lead or contending, and THEN fell? 

Perceptions of the race would have been completely different. 

He'd have been labeled 'unlucky' and Newmill described as one of the luckiest winners of a Champion Chase.

Yet the result would be the same - Kauto Star fell, Newmill runs out a clear winner.

Kauto Star was also prone to making a real horlicks of the last fence of a major race on several occasions. 

Is he 'lucky' to stay on his feet as a result?

If the errors occurred earlier in the races, no-one would give it a thought - it's only because it happens in the closing stages that we deem 'luck' to be significant. 

We've all seen a horse coming to the final fence clear of the field, only to fall. It's not 'bad luck', though. 

Often jockeys will try to ease a horse into the final fence when clear, whereas they are more decisively guided into all the others. Perhaps it's bad jockeyship. Perhaps it's the horse relaxing too much when eased into the fence. But it's nothing to do with 'luck'.

Other sports have similar incidents. 

Football Luck

The football team who badly needs a goal in injury time sees a striker break free, take a shot, beat the goalie, then watch it hit the post and run along the front of the goal and be cleared away. 

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Surely that's 'unlucky'? No, it's not. 

It wasn't as well struck a shot as it should have been.

 If it was struck more accurately it would have found the net.

If they'd played better during the match they may not have even needed a goal in injury time. 

Human Perception

The application of 'luck' and 'bad luck' is more to do with human perception of the timing of incidents rather than the reasons behind those incidents.

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If you're a punter who considers him/herself unlucky because you don't seem to be able to pick the winners that others do, you should forget about 'luck' being a part of it. 

It's much more likely that your methods of selecting bets need to be changed.

If you allow the concept of 'luck' to bear influence on your betting, you may see your bank balance influenced instead.

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