Humanity as a whole has always wanted to have certain control over the unpredictable, and there is nothing more unpredictable than gambling. Luck is a concept that was personified in the creation of divine deities in almost every culture globally, and while today worshipping a god of luck might be a bit outdated, the concept of a possible supernatural essence that favours and affects the outcome of a gambler’s gaming session, still exists. Today, we have explored the most common gambling superstitions and have analysed their origins and significance for your reading pleasure.
Starting with Things That Can Make You Feel Unlucky
Luck is a concept that everybody who believes in it agrees on one particular thing – it can be good or bad. An interesting phenomenon is that more efforts are spent in trying to avoid bad luck, rather than trying to invoke good fortune. These efforts usually manifest themselves in performing specific physical tasks, have special items in your possession, and follow a particular set of beliefs in order to make sure that no bad luck will befall you when you gamble. Check out some of the most common “bad signs” when playing in a casino.
Luck and Numbers Go Hand in Hand
We all know that the number 13 is considered to be an unlucky number, but why? Well, prominent mythological individuals such as Judas and Loki were considered to be the 13th participant in an event that brought great calamity to the overall story. Unfortunately, there are quite a few tales that deem 13 as a sign of bad luck, which is why roulette players often avoid making bets on the number 13.
Among Asian players, the number four is the one that intensifies the feelings of superstition to a whole different level. The reason for this, however, is a bit more explainable – the way the word for the “number four” sounds when it is said out loud, is incredibly similar to the word for “death”. Chinese and Japanese gamblers, in particular, tend to avoid everything with the number four on it.
Don’t Give Cash to a Different Player
While most superstitions stem from events that have occurred outside of the casino world, this particular one is a straight casino superstition. Basically, if you give money to someone else and they lose it in a game, it will somehow affect your own luck in the process. To a non-player, this might sound ridiculous, but you will be surprised how many seasoned players believe in this particular thing.
Body Posture Might Be More Important Than You Think
If you’re sitting on a game table, don’t cross your legs – or at least this is what the “crossed legs superstition” dictates. It is said that if your legs are crossed, it turns out that your body isn’t alert or focused enough within the game. Also, sitting or standing when winning can also be perceived as a state in which your luck works best – which is why you might see some people standing straight up when playing a specific game. Some players believe in that superstition to such an extent that if someone else sits the wrong way at their table, they will stop playing and go to a different one where there aren’t “players with bad luck”.
Not Looking at the Table When Awaiting the Result
Maybe you’ve tapped on the table to get your next blackjack card. Or a dealer has just spun the ball on the roulette wheel. What do you do? You avert your eyes! A lot of hardcore gamblers believe that if they don’t look at the moment where a card has been put face up or when a roulette ball starts to jump around in the pockets, the outcome will be in their favour. Although strange, this isn’t unexplainable – in fact, people believe that by looking at that defining moment, their eagerness to win is what will “jinx” the end result, and the only viable solution is not to look. That’s some quantum superstition manipulation, right there.
Not All Superstitions Prophesise Doom to Your Bankroll
You would be happy to find out that superstitions work both ways. What this means, is that just like there are things you have to do (or not do) to avoid bad luck, there are also some things you can do in order to make sure that your casino gaming session will be fortunate. Whether the methods described here work or not, will depend on your personal interpretation.
Lucky Items and Clothing – Choose Them Wisely
If you’ve been in a casino with your favourite hat on, and every time you wore it, you won, there is a chance that by now you think that your hat is lucky, and you take it everywhere with you. All is fine and dandy, until that thing starts to smell from all the times it has been used. The same thing will happen to all the lucky jackets, lucky pants, lucky shoes, and pretty much every other piece of clothing that a player has dubbed “lucky”.
While most superstitions are generally fine to abide by, the “lucky clothing” ones can truly be disgusting. The fact is, that casino players know their clothes stink – they probably don’t like wearing them as well, but the superstition with lucky casino clothes is the following – if you wash them, then the luck will wash away as well.
Small trinkets, items, and charms are the more “generally accepted” piece of lucky memorabilia that don’t make others around you cover their noses and avert their eyes towards the ceiling as if they need to take a breath of life-saving fresh air. Lucky coins, chips, even a card with a four-leaf clover in it is fine, but for god’s sake, don’t wear a rancid jacket that hasn’t been to the cleaners in the last ten years.
Wearing the Right Colours for Good Fortune
In Asian countries, the colour red has long been considered to represent fortune, liveliness, and overall prosperity. Today, almost every player you see in a casino will have something red on them – it will be either an emblem on their clothing, an item they are carrying, or pretty much anything else. The colour red also does bear some significance in western cultures as well, which is why its implementation as a “good luck charm” was universally accepted by casino players of different cultural backgrounds.
Physical Rituals for Luck or for Preventing Misfortune
Maybe a player snaps their fingers before sitting at a casino table. Others make sure to walk into a casino with their right foot, so their luck would be “right”. There are many examples of small physical gestures or “rituals” that superstitious casino players implement before engaging in a game or even walking into a casino. An interesting fact about those acts is that only a small part of them are meant to “enhance your luck”. Since there is a strong belief that misfortune is a product of being jinxed, all small physical rituals, in particular, are meant to act as a protective “spell” against being jinxed in the first place.
Some Superstitions Have a Real Life Impact on Most Casinos
When it comes to numbers, “seven” is considered to be exceptionally lucky; however, things aren’t so if you’re playing at a Craps table. For those of you who don’t know much about Craps, you need to know one thing – for all common bets that are made on the table, a resulting dice throw that lands a seven automatically makes all the players lose.
The “fear of seven” has gained such a profound philosophy on its own that players avoid even saying the word, and even dealers use different terms to refer to the number when the dice have produced it. The number seven is most often called “Big Red”. If inexperienced players or dealers voice it out, there is a chance that they will get a few strange looks from players at the table. There are also cases where players flat out leave the table because they heard someone say it.
Casinos everywhere have made very specific changes on their gaming floors in order to accommodate the needs of their players properly. This means that they have instructed their dealers not to speak about unlucky numbers or conduct the game in any way that would infringe on someone’s gambling superstition. Although not all individual superstitions are being accommodated by the casino, the most popular ones that have rooted themselves in the “casino culture” are being respected by almost all gambling houses worldwide.
Remember: Luck Is What You Make It
In all things scientific, there has been no proof; not even a shred of evidence, which proves that luck is a supernatural force that grants positive gambling outcomes. In fact, some of the superstitions mentioned above that usually mean “bad luck”, turn out to be signs of good fortune to people of another culture. For example: if a westerner is about to go through the entrance of a casino and a black cat runs in front of them, they might turn back and leave; however, if that person is Japanese, they will go in smiling. Why? Because in Japan if a black cat crosses your path, then it’s a good sign!