When someone with limited experience achieves better than expected results it is referred to as beginner’s luck. The term is most often used in reference to a first attempt in sport or gambling. For example, if Mike beats veteran golf player Joe in his first game, Joe might attribute this to beginner’s luck. Beginner’s luck is also be applicable to non-sporting activities. For example, if Susan takes first prize in her first ever baking contest, she might have had beginner’s luck. The term is also used when no skill whatsoever is involved such as a first-time slot machine player winning the jackpot.
One would expect experienced players to outperform novices – when the opposite happens it is counter-intuitive hence the need for a term to describe this phenomenon.