# What do you think of 'Lucky Objects'/Simple Rituals

Discussion in 'General' started by Roswell Crash Survivor, Oct 4, 2011.

1. ### Roswell Crash SurvivorMember

Post this under 'Voodoo Betting Strategies' as subject matter is not scientifically/statistically verifiable.

According to acknowledged advantage player wisdom, BJ Advantage Play is an more or less an exercise in applied statistics; 'luck' is expressed as 'standard deviations' or even outright dismissed.

I noticed some ploppies wearing/using 'lucky objects' so I adopted similar devices in some my camouflage 'characters'. Oddly enough, now I carry a personal 'lucky object' even when no camouflage is used.

At an intellectual level, I'm still devoted to playing based on a statistical edge; I'm not going to hit hard 17 vs. a dealer 5 regardless of what I'm carrying.

At a rational level, the effect of a 'lucky object' could be from its function as a psychological 'backstop' to support morale; if someone believes their object is taking care of the luck/std-devs, the player can focus more on counting and indices which may reduce error rates - hence the self-fulfilling prophecy.

I don't see how carrying your 'lucky object' can hurt your bankroll performance. (I suppose if it is too prominent/attention-gathering it could be used to identify you.)

Like to hear what everyone else think of this.

(Anyone looking for a similar argument is suggested to read about Pascal's Wager on Wikipedia.)

2. ### AC232323Well-Known Member

If you think at a rational level that it is 'taking care of luck' I would think that it would encourage you to take more risks or bad plays. You'd be more likely to bet those stupid side bets on a whim or play the lottery or any other bad play.

Not sure how Pascal's Wager applies here. As I understood it, the point of Pascal's Wager was that if there was a God, it would be positive infinity value, so you would still have +EV even if the odds are one in a gajillion that he exists. A lucky rabbit foot is not providing you positive infinity value.

3. ### GamblorWell-Known Member

But if the cost is practically 0, and EV is anywhere from 0 to +Infinity, why not take that bet. Its a fetish not to do it. :grin:

4. ### blacksheepMember

I also do not see the correlation with lucky objects and Pascal's Wager.

You should not take that bet because the terms, as he (Pascal) states them, are fallacious. There are many, many other bet propositions out there that claim exactly the same odds and consequences and no rational, definitive methodology or arguments can weigh the merits between them. Acceptance of one over another will simply boil down to culture or personal preference in most cases; accepting the rejection of one hell vs many, many possible others.

A lucky rabbits foot probably won't help you in any of those cases.

5. ### GamblorWell-Known Member

What's there not to get with analogy with Pascal's Wager?

Lucky rabbits foot = Faith in God
Positive EV because of "luck" = Reward in heaven

Put it another way, if someone were to offer you a ticket, for free, and tells you he doesn't know what the prize is, could be 0, they might not even give away a prize, or could be \$1000000 or any other dollar amount, why wouldn't you accept this ticket?

6. ### AC232323Well-Known Member

In order to think that this was the same as Pascal's wager you would have to think that the value gained by using the rabbit's foot is on par with the reward of heaven.

EV=p1x1+p2x2
Let p1 be the probability that the rabbit's foot does bring you luck and x1 be the amount of luck it brings you. Let p2 be the probability that it doesn't bring you luck and x1 be the amount that it costs (because of making bad bets, over betting your bank roll, etc).
Let's be generous and say that p1=1*10^-9 and x1=\$1,000 and x2=\$-10.
Our EV is then:
EV=10^-9*1000+(1-10^-9)*-\$10= \$-9.99999899.

I guess if you want to pretend it has no negative consequences and that it has a non-zero chance of bringing you positive EV, then sure do it

7. ### blacksheepMember

And that the negative implications of not using the rabbits foot are on par w/the negative implications of not accepting Pascal's Wager.

8. ### GamblorWell-Known Member

"There are known knowns; there are things we know we know.
We also know there are known unknowns; that is to say we know there are some things we do not know.
But there are also unknown unknowns – the ones we don't know we don't know." - Donald Rumsfeld

9. ### zengrifterBanned

See ZGI page-32 / para-7

10. ### jaygrudenWell-Known Member

I feel that you are underestimating the "cost" involved with assigning weight to your object. You are making the "win or break even argument" but it doesn't apply here.

Whatever weight you are giving your "lucky object" is automatically subtracted from the weight that you are giving the mathematical probability, whether you know it or not. Therefore I view these as "competing" concepts. You either believe 100% in the math or your don't. If you believe that 10% of the results can be controlled by an "object" (whether it's the variance or luck or whatever you want to call it) then you only believe that 90% of it is controlled by mathematical certainty. Your beliefs control your decision making so you will only act with the math 90% of the time and you will act with the object 10% of the time. If you lend more credence to the object (20%, 30%, etc.) then the numbers will be even worse.

This is why education is the single most valuable commodity available to a human being. Learning the truth about anything will create a belief system based on that truth. All decisions will when naturally flow from the belief system. This is true in the arena of card counting and also applies to every other area of life.

Example: Before I learned about, and started, counting cards I believed in the "gambler's fallacy" and my decisions were based on that faulty belief. Once I learned, understood, realized and fully internalized the statistical certainty of the game of BJ, then my belief system on the subject completely changed. As a matter of course, all future decisions flowed naturally from the new belief system. It is only through continual education that I can further develop my beliefs to make the proper decisions to improve my game.

JMHO

11. ### tthreeBanned

I don't carry a lucky charm but if I did, I would play 100% by math and believe the charm would help bring me more positive variance than negative. I can't speak for these superstitious people though.

12. ### Roswell Crash SurvivorMember

Some very eloquent responses so far from both sides.

Anyone who thinks I'm altering from my statistically correct play because I'm may not have fully read my original post.

13. ### MEJ1990TMNew Member

That made me think of the line that made the Doors pick their name.

"There are things known, and there are things unknown. In between there are the doors." I just cannot recall who said it.

14. ### tthreeBanned

Amusing wording to make a good point. The last one is the danger. To many act like something is a proven fact when it is at best a theory. Knowing that your most certain assumptions (assumptions that give scientific conclusions with the highest degree of certainty) to build on have a much much higher degree of certainty that they are wrong is lost on most people

15. ### FLASH1296Well-Known Member

MEJ1990TM,

You posted ...

"There are things known, and there are things unknown. In between there are the doors." I just cannot recall who said it."

I think that that was Aldous Huxley -- The Doors of Perception

16. ### sagefr0gWell-Known Member

yah....... what you said
http://www.blackjackinfo.com/bb/showpost.php?p=256768&postcount=1