Anyone who plays casino games such as online poker knows that gambling obeys the theory of probability which means that the outcome cannot be controlled. Luck plays a huge part when people play at a land-based casino or online. Yet, when it comes to having luck on your side, some players will do everything in their power to help influence the outcome of the game, whether it can be proven or not.
There are some strange superstitions, habits and quirks that people around the world have adopted. Whether it’s a game of skill or a game of chance, some players will still go out of their way to attract luck to their gameplay. After all, gamblers are known as a very superstitious group.
Let’s take a look at some of the most outrageous casino superstitions around the world and the impact people believe they have on gambling and luck.
1. Lucky/unlucky numbers
The number 13 is widely regarded as an unlucky number and not just in the gambling industry. In fact, the fear of the number 13 is an actual phobia called triskaidekaphobia. When it comes to casino games, players tend to avoid anything concerning the number 13. As many casino operators are aware of this superstition, it’s not uncommon for some casinos to leave out 13 when labeling their floors by jumping from 12 to 14.
In China 4 is considered to be an unlucky number owing to the fact that the Chinese pronunciation of the number is similar to the word “death.” Meanwhile, the Chinese consider 7 to be an extremely lucky number. You’ll notice a range of slot machines have the number 7 symbol on their paylines. On July 7, 2007 (7/7/7,) casinos were filled with gamblers looking to bask in that extra bit of luck.
The number 8 has always represented luck in Asia and it seems to have become part of the western world’s luck too. You’ll see the presence of the number 8 in the gambling mecca of Macau. In Chinese, the word “eight” sounds quite similar to a positive phrase which translates as “to generate wealth.” With that kind of luck, it’s no wonder the western world has embraced the number 8 and regards it as lucky when seeing it in casino odds.
2. Lucky/unlucky colors
Similar to numbers, colors are also thought of as being associated with either good or bad luck. For many people, black is considered to represent bad luck, perhaps because it is often associated with death.
However, red can be seen as a favorable color and represents luck. This can be seen quite notably in Chinese culture. Many Chinese gamblers will wear red whenever they are gambling. The color red is also very popular in Chinese-themed slot games as it is said to bring prosperity and good fortune.
3. Lucky charms
It is common to see gamblers with lucky charms whenever they play at a land-based casino or even when they indulge in online casino games. Even bingo players have superstitions and rely on lucky charms that they believe improve their chances of winning. Lucky charms are vast and it will depend on the person’s association with the particular object. Popular lucky charms include a horseshoe, an alligator tooth and four-leaf clovers. Some players have lucky clothing that they simply must wear whenever they’re gambling.
4. Saying no to $50 bills
American gamblers believe that $50 bills are extremely unlucky and will refuse to be paid out with this denomination. This superstition is said to have come from the mobster days in Las Vegas; rumor has it that gangsters would put a $50 bill in the pockets of their victims before burying them in the desert. No wonder gamblers outright refuse to be paid out in $50 bills!
5. Standing while playing a slot machine game
There are seats in front of slot machines for players to be comfortable while playing. However, many slots players believe that you are less likely to win when you’re comfortable in front of a slot machine. The strange belief is that the slot machine can sense when somebody will play for a while and will, in turn, deliver more losing streaks. So, as a slot player looking for great winning combinations, it is best to stand, according to this superstition.
6. Physical actions
Many casino players have a strict routine that they need to follow in order to bring them luck. Usually, it’s a physical action that they do before the dice are rolled or a hand is dealt at the poker table.
Here are some gamblers’ practices to keep bad luck at bay:
Perform a cleansing ritual: If you think you may have bad luck lurking around, it’s important to perform a cleaning ritual. This could be something as simple as meditating or throwing salt over your shoulder, depending on your own cultural beliefs.
Knocking on wood: While many people know you should knock on wood to avoid jinxing yourself, many gamblers also believe that you should knock on wood before gambling to bring yourself good luck.
Blowing on dice at the craps table: The craps table is the most lively table on a casino floor. It always manages to draw a crowd and creates a fun atmosphere in the casino. There’ll be all kinds of cheering and hollering when someone is on a roll. Blowing on dice before the dealer shoots is quite popular and is often shown in casino films. Some players might even hold the dice a certain way to ensure that luck is on their side.
And here are some actions that gamblers believe will bring them bad luck:
Cutting your nails at night: Many people from India, including gamblers, believe that cutting your nails will bring you bad fortune. However, this may be because people used to use sharp blades to cut their nails, which was obviously risky once the sun went down.
Crossing your legs: Although crossing your fingers is considered a universal gesture to communicate hope and wishes for good luck, the crossing of legs while making a bet is the exact opposite of that sentiment. Gamblers believe that you’re actually crossing out your good luck!
Using the front entrance: Some gamblers believe that when entering the casino, the bad luck of people who are leaving may rub off on you.
Counting your money at the table: You should never count your money or chips when playing any casino game — if you want to continue winning that is. Gamblers believe that counting your money before the game is over or immediately after the game is done is extremely bad taste. This behavior goes against gambling etiquette and goes hand-in-hand with the belief that pride comes before the fall. It’s best to avoid any chance of bad luck and count your winnings only once you leave the casino.
7. Itchy palms
If you were wondering whether there is an itching superstition, yes there is. However, the meaning of itchy palms varies across the world, with some countries and cultures believing it means that you are likely to experience good luck soon while others believe the exact opposite.
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Whether any of these superstitions will teach you how to have good luck at a casino is up for debate, but at the very least you’ve expanded your mind and learned about different cultures and people. Have we mentioned any gambling beliefs that you follow? What are some of the unusual superstitions that you believe in? Whether it’s wearing red or blowing on dice, we’re sure this practice works for you.
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