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Two Theories That Explain Beginner’s Luck

The idea of beginner’s luck that’s been around for a generation. We at casino world know it the best. Some players may have been beating online slots for days on and come up empty-handed. On the other hand, a newbie may win a jackpot. The question is does beginner’s luck really exist or is it all in our heads? Two scientific theories have the answer.

Theory of Flow about Beginner’s Luck

This is the theory that Mihály Csíkszentmihályi, American-Hungarian psychologist popularized in 1975. It is a positive form of psychology based on the hyperfocus. The premise is that beginners achieve an optimal mental state when they are engaged in an activity that they enjoy. This activity is challenging enough but is proportionate to the participant’s skill level.

When we talk about gambling it means that beginners are more likely to win primarily because they don’t make strategies and plans, they just go with the flow. He plays based on a simple rule. Beginner only enjoys the moment of the game and not really worry too much about winning and losing. Unlike them, professional gamblers are always considering their next move, take strategies in their play and a dozen other things. He has the tendency to complicate the game and it makes the so-called expert lose.

The Sparrow Theory

Several students from Tel Aviv University in Israel conducted a study to research this phenomenon. They test how sparrows would decide about foraging for food and how that is related to beginner’s luck. They took 60 sparrows and let them forage for food in a plot of land divided into 2 sides. One side had a large number of holes, each filled with a little bit of food. The other side had just as many holes but only a few of them actually had food inside them. The holes that did have food had plenty of it. This part represented the high-risk side and at the end of the experiment, only 7 sparrows were left on this side.

These 7 sparrows are like beginners at the casino. They did not make a conscious choice, they take a chance and win right away. The rest of the sparrows represent experienced players who have learned to take low-risk for low-rewards.

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