7 replies. Last post: 2004-11-24

• Hjallti at 2004-11-23

Streetsoccer looks to be the most ‘luck’ involved game on this site...

One would expect that in the game with less luck involved the championship would lead to the same champion all the time, and that when luck is involved the championship victories would be pretty random.

So let’s for the moment say the game which the least luck factor is the game with the most stable champion: In one game the first four championships went to the same player...

StreetSoccer

Strange.....

(maybe the league setup:19 rather then 9 opponents has probably a big influence)

I posted this here because I want to share this with all players, also the ones that think soccer would less fun because it is only luck.

• Tim Shih at 2004-11-23 Interesting topic. :)

The tournament fact you pointed out suggests to me the following: in a game that involves x% of luck and (1-x)% of skill, eventually, the same degree of luck will befall every player. Hence, the skill factor remains the one that will dictate if a player will be the champion or not.

Conversely, in a game involved with almost 0% luck, say, Go, world champions (or LG champions) change all the times. There are factors other than just luck and skill that will determine the outcome of a game. They are, for example, perseverence and alertness. :)
• Marius Halsor at 2004-11-23

Can someone please define “luck” for me? Does this mean the same to you as “chance” does? Then what about “rock, paper, scissors”, where chance is not involved at all. I still consider it a game of “luck”.

Surely, GO, chess and hex is nothing like “rock, paper, scissors”, but since neither game is solved, the player has to make decisions about what move to make next. When the game reaches a certain point, a good player will be able to solve it, and needs not make decisions beyond that point. But up 'till then, decisions has to be made. In one game, I’ll make one string of decisions, in another game, I’ll make another. When all is said and done, one string of decisions will turn out to be better than the other. Is this “luck”?

Just thought some of you philosophers out there might help me clarify this consept! :-)

Marius

• Ronald Lokers at 2004-11-23

Well, in my opinion a player with better skill will be better able to choose the chain of decisions with the better outcome.

And even in chess you could discuss about the presence (or absence) of luck. On the first day of a tournament, every player still has a big chance of winning and will put in every effort. Near the end of the tournament a player who already lost some games and can’t win the tournament anymore will be less concentrated and more easy to beat. So it might be considered lucky to play that opponent late in the tournament instead of in the first round....

• Tim Shih at 2004-11-23 Indeed, it is difficult to offer a precise definition of “luck”. In fact, it is difficult to give a precise definition to many things on earth.

What is the definition of “philosopher”, Marius? :) My Oxford dictionary (authoritative enough, huh?) defines luck as “chance thought of as a force that brings either good or bad fortune”. But then, what is the definition of “fortune”? or “force”? Does anybody care to look it up?

Finally, what is the definition of “definition”? :)
• Zeke at 2004-11-24

Personally I feel that “Luck” is best defined as a process in which some random attribute is given. This would include any random number generator or any order dependant game (cards, for example).

Go (chess, etc) does have a single element of luck, but it’s only related to who goes first. Everything else is skill based – even if it’s because of an “unlucky” miscalculation. Such misreads are a psychological element of the game (focus, mostly) but this is a skill that can be built in the same way as a reading out situations skill.

Lucky games on Little Golem are Street Soccer (Die roll) and Golem’s Word Game (Initial position of letters). The latter is reduced because of the point bidding process. The former does have a skill element, but consistantly bad rolls of the die can make even a champion lose to a beginner.

• Marius Halsor at 2004-11-24

I’m not by any means an expert on Chess computer programs, but I think they work approximately like this:

They calculate every possible move a certain number of moves ahead, and then uses a formula to give the resulting board positions a certain value. Then, a few initial moves leading to the “best” board position are considered, and the program chooses randomly between these few “best” moves, with a different probability for choosing each move. If the program manages to calculate a winning endstate, the move leading to this situation is always chosen.

Now, I think I work more or less the same way. Of course skill is extremely important, and that’s what separate good players from bad. Good skill allows you to look many moves ahead, and above all, at allows you to give a better evaluation of the end positions than a player with poor skill. However, When I have to decide between the few “best” moves, There is some sort of uncertainty involved. It is not chance, since I am totally able to decide which move to make. However, I will not make the same move every time in a given position. What makes me choose between the different moves? I really don’t know. But I think the comparisson with a computer program is proper.

But is this luck?

To Tim: Yes, definitions is difficult, and at some point you will encounter problems. This is described better by someone else in another thread, somewhere. And defining words to make sure one understands what other means, is very important. But as fun as this discussion is, in this particular thread I’ll focus on “luck”, and the definition of this.