Gambling superstitions that make you unbeatable
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Gamblers are some of the most superstitious people on the planet. Whether it be carrying a lucky charm, or having the same ritual before every single game, some gamblers will try absolutely anything to try and influence Lady Luck.
There are many gambling superstitions for your average player, here are some of our favourites below.
One of the most basic superstitions in gambling revolves around numbers.
In most cultures the number 13 is unlucky, so most people try not to associate themselves with this number. In fact, this number is considered so unlucky that most of Las Vegas hotels have no 13th floor!
In the gambling world, $50 bills are also believed to be unlucky. For many years, gamblers refused to be paid in $50s which caused a decline in circulation of the notes. Legend says mobsters used to tuck $50 bills in the jacket pockets of victims they buried in the desert…
A Chinese superstition is that 8 is lucky because it is pronounced ‘ba' in Chinese, which sounds similar to the Chinese word for prosperity (pronounced ‘fa') However, the number four is considered unlucky as it sounds like the word ‘death'.
The number 7 is considered to be very lucky for players. From wearing a necklace with the number, to carrying a dice with 7 instead of the 5 side, the number is widely thought to bring good luck to your game.
The color red is good luck is widely associated with luck in gambling.
In China, the color is symbolizes good fortune and joy, and is seen throughout the country during the Chinese New Year celebrations.
Many gamblers seek to bring this luck to the table, through wearing red clothing, or underwear to influence the gambling gods!
#3 Table Etiquette
Displaying bad table manners can mean that you are cursed with bad luck for the whole game.
Here are the guidelines to good (and lucky) table manners in gambling:
- Never count your money at the table – it's bad taste and extremely unlucky
- Never cross your arms or legs while playing as it so will cross out your good luck
- Singing or whistling are considered annoying and the gambling god will punish you if you do so
- No mentioning of books and no touching of shoulders allowed (the Chinese believe that “book” sounds like “lose” in the language)
And of course, last but not least, if a beautiful lady happens to pass make sure you ask her to blow on your dice for good luck. She could even toss the dice for you — it could be your Lady Luck…
From the traditional horseshoes to four-leaf clovers, to the more obscure such as bat hearts and a badger's tooth, many gamblers believe that lucky charms hold the key to their success.
One of the most popular is the rabbit's foot. This superstition is believed in several continents including Europe, China and America. Often died different colours and turned into keychains, you'll be sure to see this lucky charm in the hand of many a gambler.
Small troll figurines with fluorescent hair (yes, the one you had when you were 10) is a lucky charm for gamblers, in particular bingo players.
#5 The Bad Omens
One of the worst cases of superstitious behaviour ever seen was at the grand opening of the MGM grand casino in Las Vegas in 1998. MGM designed the resorts entrance like a life sized version of the company's logo – a lion.
Players had to walk through the mouth of the lion to get to the casino. They viewed this as severely bad luck as they were literally ‘walking into the mouth of the beast'.
Due to protests MGM remodeled their entire entrance, for millions of dollars — now that's bad luck!
Some gamblers believe that it's unlucky to enter a casino by the front entrance, as the bad luck of those leaving (having lost their money) could be passed on.
Gambling superstitions that pay off
Steve Dannenmann attributes his big win title in the 2015 World Series of Poker’s Tournament of Champions to luck and superstition.
Dannenmann wore the same shirt and visor for the entire seven-day stretch of the main event. He also arrived to all his games in a even-numbered taxi every time and he never used the front door.
His superstitions really paid off, as he won just over $4.2 million.
Likewise, 2003 WSOP runner-up Sam Farha is always seen betting with a cigarette between his lips or fingers. Even though Farha doesn't smoke, he always keeps this lucky charm – often changing the cigarette when his luck goes downhill.
Ten-time WSOP bracelet winner Johnny Chan is often seen with at the poker table with an orange. Once used to clear his nostrils in the smoke-filled casinos, he now credits the same orange with his high-stakes wins.
Why not check out this video from the 2014 World Series of Poker to see what the players think about superstitions: