Darryl McEwen

{standaloneHead}Darryl McEwen{/standaloneHead}

Dr. Tina Seelig has spent nearly two decades observing what makes people luckier than others and trying to help people increase their luck. She teaches entrepreneurship in the Department of Management Science and Engineering at Stanford University.

According to Seelig, luck is defined as success or failure, caused by chance.

It looks like it’s chance, she says, because we rarely see everything that comes into play to make people lucky.

However, after observing for so many years, “Luck is rarely a lightning strike – isolated and dramatic,” she claims. “It’s much more like the wind, blowing constantly. Sometimes it’s calm, and sometimes it blows in gusts, and sometimes it comes from directions that you didn’t even imagine.”

So how do we catch these winds of luck?

It’s easy, Seelig claims, but it’s not obvious.

In a TED Talk, broadcast on National Public Radio in March, she shared three things anyone can do “to build a sail to capture the winds of luck.”

Change your relationship with yourself. Be willing to take small risks that get you out of your comfort zone.

Change your relationship with other people. Understand that everyone who helps you in life is playing a huge role in getting you to your goals. Be sure to show your appreciation.

Change your relationship with ideas. Most people look at new ideas that come their way and they judge them. “That’s a great idea” or “That’s a terrible idea.” But it’s actually much more nuanced. Ideas are neither good nor bad, she says.

So, how does all this apply to casino gambling?

Following Seelig’s advice:

• If you usually bet 50 cents when you play a slot machine, increase that amount to a dollar.

• If you usually play only the Wheel of Fortune slots, try something new.

• If you play penny slots at max bet, switch to a dollar machine and wager the same amount. Odds are in your favor that you’ll do better in the long-run.

• Be nicer to slot attendants and cocktail servers. These are not easy jobs. Treat them as you’d like to be treated – and tip them accordingly.

• And, no matter what you’ve heard, sign up for the casino’s player loyalty card. Despite rumors to the contrary, inserting that card before you play has absolutely no effect on the outcome of your game, but it can get you free slot or table play, meals, rooms, giveaways, and invitations to special player-only events.

Recreational gambler Darryl D. McEwen, a former professional journalist, is president of his own consulting firm that manages several small national and international trade associations, and provides public relations and fundraising services for a number of charitable organizations. Have a comment on this or a question specifically related to an Atlantic City casino, players club or other promotion? Email Darryl at MrACCasino@gmail.com and he’ll try to respond to you personally. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column. Visit his website, MrACCasino.com, and follow him on Twitter @MrACCasino. Your question — without your name — may appear in a future column.