While scientifically it is purported that gambling is a fair and open game there is an interesting phenomenon whereby novices often excel. In popular culture, it is known as beginner’s luck. What makes it more interesting is that while it does seem to exist, it is counter-intuitive as the more you play or do something, you should actually get better at it and be at your worst when you first start. There is much contention both in the gambling industry and in the scientific community about whether the phenomenon actually exists. However, theories about how the phenomenon might actually occur have been proposed across the years.
One of the most common explanations is the fact that a novice or a person new to the game is disassociated from the pressure and this allows the beginner to excel – without feeling the constraints of someone who is experienced. However, this seems to go against the Rosenthal effect which indicates that those who expect to do better and try, normally achieve their goal. Another explanation is that those who are experienced in the game make a calculated risk and thus an opponent tries to anticipate this. When somebody who is new to the game does not make this calculated move the opponent doesn’t know how to react to them and therefore is outsmarted by the person who has less experience.
Many people also believe in beginner’s luck simply because they continue to participate in the activity due to their good fortune as opposed to those who lose and never mention the incident again. This ties in heavily to the idea of confirmation bias. In both situations where an individual is successful in the first instance, they chose to remember and continue with the activity whereas those who didn’t suceed fail to report the phenomenon.
Whether beginners luck actually exists is still open for debate. However, one thing that is certain is that if a person chooses to continue with an activity like gambling then this luck dissipates as experienced is gained. While it may be possible that beginners luck exists, those who wish to succeed in gambling are still advised to hone their craft in order to pursue a potentially lucrative and exciting future in the game.