What have some stars got in common with gamblers? Admittedly the answer may not seem obvious at first. However, the clue to solving this riddle lies with the fate of a class of transitional stars. These celestial bodies demarcate an evolutionary fence, separating the core-collapse supernovae and the formation of planetary nebulae. They present huge computational headaches for astrophysicists. Their fate is determined by two competing forces: core growth and mass loss from the bloated envelope of the star. Both forces are acting at very similar rates in these finely balanced stars, and the outcome depends on which of the two forces wins out.