Humans are a superstitious bunch in general, believing that many arbitrary things can influence an outcome that is largely outside of their control. Gamblers are no different and are probably even more superstitious than the average person.
Many superstitions throughout history were centred on bringing good luck or warding off bad luck. Considering gambling is in many cases a game of chance or luck, it’s no surprise that a lot of these superstitions have been carried over to the gambling community.
Most gamblers admit that they have at some point in their pursuit of chance dabbled in superstitions that bring good luck or ward off bad luck. While the degree of this belief varies greatly, the percentage of gamblers that trust superstitions of some sort or another greatly outstrips the percentage of gamblers who don’t.
A very small sector of the gambling community approach the pastime on a scientific level and carry no belief that their luck is determined by what shirt you wear, the number you play, or other such superstitious beliefs. This type of player is however rare.
We’ve put together a few interesting gambling superstitions, some that are fairly common knowledge, and others that are a bit more obscure. We believe it makes a rather interesting read!
Gamblers’ Lucky Charms
Lucky charms are traditionally an object, or trinket that the holder believes will change their luck, or make good luck persist for them. These have varied over centuries from the common to the bizarre.
The traditional rabbit’s foot is a widely known and accepted symbol of good luck, obviously for the owner, but not so much for the rabbit! Many cultures around the world have their own variations of lucky animals or parts of animals that are considered lucky. Scarab beetles, horses, ladybugs, crocodile teeth, dragons and even pigs have the reputation of bringing good luck in various nations across the earth.
The list of generally accepted lucky charms is too long to mention everyone here, but some of them include the following:
- Finding a penny as long as it is found facing heads up and tails down!
- Horseshoes with the opening facing up to hold all your good luck.
- Four-leaf clovers
- Acorns are considered in some cultures to bring wisdom and good luck
- A three-legged toad or a statue thereof is considered to bring you wealth
Some lucky charms are more personal than cultural, like your lucky shorts, lucky shirt, lucky dice, or funny shaped stone that you picked up when you were a child. Jewellery that has some significance to the person such as a lucky ring, or necklace is often worn as symbols of luck. The charm bracelet is one such item that has similar roots, where small charms believed to bring good fortune are connected on one bracelet. I guess that is one way of covering all the bases!
Gamblers Lucky Rituals
Many pro gamblers have a ritual that they consider to be a luck-bringing activity. Some might even perform these rituals on their personal lucky charms, such as rubbing their rabbit’s foot or kissing their lucky dice.
There are even some rituals that certain gamblers believe bring good luck that others believe bring bad luck! An example of this is leaving the table during play, which some players believe brings good luck, but others believe the same action will cut off their run of luck.
Yet others believe that if they look away each time they press the button on the slot machine, their chances will be enhanced, while others believe if they look away their chance of winning has been squandered!
There are other such rituals, such as blowing on your dice before rolling, or touching the cards of the hand you are dealt in a certain way will give you an advantage over other players.
Crossing your fingers is a commonly accepted ritual for good luck that we have all done at some point, while others believe that crossing your legs will have the opposite effect on your run of luck! Counting your money while sitting at the table, however, is considered to have the opposite effect and will cause luck to leave your side!
A popular ritual amongst casino gamblers is to stack their chips in a particular order or in a specific way which they believe will bring them luck at the table.
For some casino patrons, the eating of certain foods either before arriving at the casino or while at the casino will bring them good luck.
Gambling Lucky Numbers
Numbers have had superstitious significance for humans for thousands of years, but numbers that are considered lucky for some are considered taboo for others!
We all know that 13 is considered to be an omen of bad luck, with lots of people wary of going to the casino if the date is the 13th and it falls on a Friday! Other cultures, on the other hand, revere the number 13 as a bringer of good luck…
The number 7 is generally considered to be the luckiest number in western culture, while the Chinese consider 8 to be the luckiest of numbers. Other gamblers consider their birth date, or that of their child or other relative to be their lucky number to play in a casino.
Gambling Lucky Colours
By far, red is the most popular colour worldwide that is believed to be a powerful portent of good luck. This perception is held across many countries and cultures. That’s actually why red is a predominant colour in many casinos and it even appears on the playing surfaces of some of the game tables.
Some cultures believe that the colour of luck changes with time, seasons and years. An example of this is the very superstitious Chinese culture that believes each year has a range of lucky colours. The lucky colours for the year 2020 in Chinese culture are believed to be blue, green, purple and white.
Some people believe that the colour of their birth year is their lucky colour and will wear an item of clothing of this colour every time they place a bet.
In days past, bookmakers who stood on the racecourse shunned the colour green – refusing to wear anything with the slightest hue of green for fear of being cursed with bad luck.
People As Symbols Of Luck
Some gamblers attach the significance of good or bad luck to certain people. If a gambler regularly loses when a particular dealer is shuffling the deck, they will consider that dealer to be unlucky for them and won’t play with that dealer. The converse is also true of a dealer where the gambler perceives they have good luck with a particular dealer.
Other gamblers carry a picture of a person who they think will sway the fortunes of chance in their favour, such as a picture of the Pope, a celebrity, ex-lover, or a special relative, whether living or passed on.
Gamblers who have a run of luck at the roulette table with a particular person standing next to them may ask that person to continue standing next to them and even blow on their dice before they roll. The person could be a stranger who happened to be standing there at the time, a partner, or just the nearest pretty girl; however, this may just be a strategy to get her number!
While lucky superstitions may be a factor, don’t rely on them when you gamble. Let the prevailing decision behind placing your bets be driven by common sense and not blind faith in your superstition.
If you have a unique gambling superstition or have heard of an unusual one not listed above, we’d be interested to hear about it, so drop us a message in the comment section below.