Everything is the effect of some cause, even though we may not be able to discover what that cause is. Not a leaf falls to the ground, not a wind blows, and not a flower opens, without a reason. There is really, then no such thing as a chance. But we still use the word to describe happenings the reason of which we do describe happenings the reason of which we do not know; and when such apparently causeless happenings are favorable to our interests we say they are lucky; when unfavorable, we say they are unluckily.
All gambling games are games of chances, because they are decided not by skill or forethought, but simply by the happening of something which we cannot control, like the fall of a coin or the turning up of a certain card. No doubt there is reason why, when we spin a coin, it is sometimes `heads’ and sometimes `tails’ but if we play fairly, we cannot discover that reason, and so we cannot control the all of the coin. So we say that its turning up heads or tails is simply a matter of luck or chance.
Now ignorance always produces superstition. When people do not know why a thing happens in certain way, they attribute its happening to good or bad luck. People, to whom pleasant things often happen, are called `lucky’ men; and those who are always meeting with misfortune are called `unlucky,’ as if there were something in the people themselves that attracted good or bad fortune.
When folk have once got this idea of good and bad luck into their heads, they believe in all kinds of silly superstitions, and really think that inanimate things can bring them good fortune or bad fortune. Such people are really nervous, if the salt is upset on the table in their direction; if they sleep in a room numbered 13 at a hotel; if they pass under a ladder; or see the new moon through glass. These things, for no reason at all, are supposed to bring bad luck.
Now of course all such superstitions are pure nonsense, and no educated person should bother about them for a moment. There is really no such thing as luck or chance; and only foolish people waste their lives in waiting for a miracle of good luck to bring them a fortune. The wise man will try to attain it by hard work, wise effort and enterprise, and leave nothing to chance. Most of the people who are called `lucky’ have good fortune because they work for it; and so-called `unlucky men’ miss it because they are lazy or stupid.