Chance vs. Luck: What's the Difference?

Edited by Sawaira Riaz || By Sumera Saeed || Updated on November 3, 2023
Chance refers to the possibility of something happening, while luck is the success or failure brought by chance rather than one's actions.

Key Differences

Chance is a concept that relates to the likelihood of events occurring. It is often expressed in terms of probability or odds. When someone takes a chance, they engage in an action or behavior that has an uncertain outcome. Luck, on the other hand, is a more abstract concept that describes the outcome of an event that appears to be governed by chance. It is often seen as a force that causes good or bad things to happen to people.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023
The usage of the word "chance" can imply a neutral stance towards the outcome of an event, suggesting that there is an equal possibility of various outcomes. For example, when a coin is flipped, there is an equal chance of it landing on heads or tails. The term "luck" is typically used post-event and is often associated with a positive outcome, as in being lucky, or a negative one, as in bad luck. Luck is frequently considered to be out of one's control and is sometimes thought to be influenced by fate or destiny.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023
In mathematics and science, chance is quantifiable and can be calculated using statistics and probability theory. There is no place for luck in these calculations; the term is more commonly used in a casual or superstitious context. For instance, a scientist would speak of the chance of an atom decaying within a certain period, never its luck.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023
While chance is often used in a context where risk and opportunity are weighed (taking a chance), luck is generally reflective and is often invoked to explain the past rather than predict the future. People say they had the luck of the draw after outcomes are known, not typically before.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023
Although both chance and luck are integral to games of risk and gambling, they play different roles. A player may calculate their chances of winning in a game, but they might also need a bit of luck to actually succeed. In this realm, chance can be somewhat managed or calculated while luck remains the unpredictable element that can change fortunes in an instant.
Janet White
Nov 03, 2023

Comparison Chart

Definition

The possibility of something happening.
The force that causes things to happen.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Control

Can sometimes be calculated or influenced.
Generally considered beyond control.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Context

Often used before an event.
Usually referenced after the event.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Measurement

Can be expressed in terms of probability.
Not quantifiable; often seen as random.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Association

With opportunities and risks.
With outcomes, either positive or negative.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Chance and Luck Definitions

Chance

Possibility.
There's a good chance we'll be late.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Luck

Serendipity.
They met by pure luck.
Harlon Moss
Nov 03, 2023

Chance

Risk.
They decided to chance the rough seas.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Luck

Good Fortune.
She thanked her luck when she found her lost ring.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 03, 2023

Chance

Opportunity.
He took a chance on a new business venture.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Luck

Success.
His luck at cards was astonishing.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Chance

Randomness.
The lottery is a game of pure chance.
Janet White
Nov 03, 2023

Luck

Random Favor.
He had the luck of the Irish with him.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Chance

Probability.
The chance of rain today is high.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 03, 2023

Luck

Favorable Outcome.
Her luck in the interview landed her the job.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Chance

The unknown and unpredictable element in happenings that seems to have no assignable cause.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 21, 2022

Luck

The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune
They met one day out of pure luck.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 21, 2022

Luck

Good fortune or prosperity; success
We wish you luck.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 21, 2022

FAQs

Do people have control over chance?

They can influence it in some contexts, like strategic decision-making.
Harlon Moss
Nov 03, 2023

Can chance be calculated precisely?

In many cases, yes, through statistics and probability.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 03, 2023

Are luck and hard work related?

Hard work can create opportunities, but luck is often seen as a separate factor.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Can taking a chance lead to success?

Yes, if the outcome is favorable.
Aimie Carlson
Nov 03, 2023

Is luck just a matter of perspective?

Perspective can influence how one interprets random events as luck.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Yes, it often involves the likelihood of events.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Luck is random, but some believe in enhancing it through various means.
Sawaira Riaz
Nov 03, 2023

Can someone be naturally lucky?

It's a common belief, but there's no scientific basis for it.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Is taking a chance always risky?

Taking a chance involves some level of uncertainty and risk.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Is luck the same as destiny?

Luck is random and momentary, while destiny implies a predetermined outcome.
Janet White
Nov 03, 2023

Can chance events be predicted?

To some extent, via probability, but not with certainty.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Can you increase your chances of winning?

In some games, strategic play can increase winning chances.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Does luck play a role in games of chance?

Yes, luck can influence the outcome of such games.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Is it possible to have zero chance?

If an event is impossible, the chance is indeed zero.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Is it better to be lucky or good?

It depends on the context; skill and luck can both be valuable.
Sara Rehman
Nov 03, 2023

Is there such a thing as a luck factor?

Some studies suggest a psychological aspect to feeling lucky.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Are some people born lucky?

Luck isn't hereditary; it's a concept applied to random success.
Janet White
Nov 03, 2023

Does chance favor the prepared mind?

Preparation can position one to take advantage of opportunities.
Janet White
Nov 03, 2023

Can luck change over time?

As a concept based on random chance, luck can fluctuate.
Sumera Saeed
Nov 03, 2023

Do lucky charms work?

There's no evidence they affect luck, but they may boost confidence.
Harlon Moss
Nov 03, 2023