Here's a question for you: Are you superstitious? Most people won't admit it, even if they've occasionally knocked on wood or crossed their fingers to avoid bad luck. Guilty as charged, right?
While many people don't take superstitions seriously, most cultures have nurtured some of these beliefs, especially when playing casino games in land-based casinos. Naturally, the advent of online casinos gave these superstitions a new lease on life.
Today we will go over some of the best-known gambling superstitions from all over the world and even those weirder ones you weren't aware of.
Ready to dive into the mysterious world of common and uncommon casino superstitions with us? Let's roll!
Most Common Gambling Superstitions All Over the World
Gamblers are thought to be among the most superstitious people, and there are dozens of myths players believe in. Those beliefs can take different forms: from being attached to physical objects or routines to sticking to a set of numbers or colours when playing in land-based or online casinos, so let's go over some of the most common gambling superstitions from around the world, shall we?
Crossing Legs vs Crossing Fingers: Who Will Win?
Have you heard about this one: if you cross your legs at the gambling table, you risk cancelling out good luck that might have otherwise come your way.
Conversely, crossing fingers while playing at land-based or online casinos is thought to bring good luck, no matter what types of casino games you choose to play. At least, that is what superstitious gamblers will tell you!
To Look Away or Not to Look Away, That Is the Question
Many players believe that looking away or leaving the table while gambling will help snag a winning combo. Say roulette is your game of choice: according to this superstition, you should place a couple of bets, then leave the table and return a moment later.
The same goes for those who enjoy online gambling: they believe hiding the screen while the game is still on helps to summon Lady Luck.
Finally, some don't look away for a second, fearing that their absence would interfere with the game and bring bad luck.
We cannot say for sure what's the origin of this belief, but we're inclined to think that it's a mix of anxiety and excitement brought on by gambling. When stakes are high, some people may find the suspense unbearable and prefer to keep their eyes shut! After all, maybe turning your head away will make Lady Luck come your way!
You may have nerves of steel or be in a rush to learn the outcome of your bet, but what matters is that you always take your gambling responsibly. If in doubt, take a look at our Responsible Gambling guide for more info on how to keep gambling fun.
Good Luck Casino Superstitions
Over time, some superstitions have come to mean good luck; how that happens is a matter of more in-depth research into different cultures and the history of gambling. This article will be limited to explaining some of the most common good luck gambling superstitions.
From slipping a red handkerchief to your friend who wants to try their luck at a casino to blowing their dice for good luck, here are the most common superstitions many gamblers rely on when gambling.
While you explore the most common gambling superstitions, please remember that none of these actions will guarantee you a win; when gambling, and especially when playing online, what is considered 'luck' boils down to the odds. So, your best bet would be to research the odds of a particular game and calculate your chances.
Wearing Red at the Casino
Here's one of the most popular superstitions whose origin is widely known! The belief that red is a lucky gambling colour comes from Asia and is likely one of the oldest on this list. China is the most probable place of birth of this superstition; for the Chinese, red is the colour of prosperity and, therefore, a colour that brings good fortune.
So what do superstitious gamblers do? They will often wear red shoes, red underwear, red trousers or any other item of the same colour to increase their winning potential. Some casinos even go so far to capitalise on this belief that they paint entire rooms in red, as seen in many casinos in Macau.
Something old, something new, something borrowed, something red? Perhaps this colour brings luck to your friend who occasionally has fun gambling; no other way to find out but to pore over our blog about the best gifts for gamblers and make the next gift red!
Lucky Number 7
The next is the number 7, a symbol of prosperity in various cultures. Also, this number has a special connotation for online gambling, principally when playing online slots; have you noticed that classic fruit slots often feature 7's as lucky numbers?
How did 7 come to be considered a lucky number? Biblical scholars, for instance, have found that the number 7 often represented completion or perfection in the Bible; there are seven deadly sins; God created the world in six days and rested on the seventh, and so on. Other religions, including Judaism, Islam, and Confucianism, also rely heavily on this number.
Another reason could be found in the number 7's mathematical features: 7 is an odd and a prime number, which means it can only be divided by itself and 1, which is a pretty awesome characteristic, come to think of it.
Blowing on Dice
This one can be seen most commonly at the craps table; movies, however, are responsible for making it outrageously popular. Here's the premise: you will land the numbers you need if you or a pretty lady next to you blows on the dice before you roll them.
Now, the explanation for this gambling superstition is easy, but its origin is much more mysterious, and honestly, we couldn't find it. Maybe it all started with a guy trying to draw the attention of a woman playing at the same table? Maybe we'll never know.
Feed the Baby Ghost for Good Luck
If you thought gangsters and murder victims were a curious belief, wait till you learn about this superstition from China. Namely, you will see Chinese gamblers feeding sugar to a baby ghost before starting their game of blackjack at a casino.
Wait, what baby ghost? You see, the Chinese believe that a baby ghost sits behind you at the gambling table, and if you feed it sugar before you play, it might bless you with good luck.
Thanks to their long history, the Chinese nurture many beliefs about the items that bring good or bad luck. Read our in-depth review of Chinese lucky charms for gambling and learn more about the Chinese culture of summoning good fortune.
Pregnant Women Are Lucky?
Apparently, in the Philippines they are. In fact, superstitious people will rub a pregnant woman's belly for good luck.
So, if there's a pregnant woman at a casino, it is said that she will drive the bad energy away and bring players good luck.
Your Very Own Bag of Mojo
It's no news Louisiana is home to various voodoo practices, so it makes perfect sense that this one particular belief comes straight out of New Orleans.
Namely, the so-called "mojo bag" superstition dates back to the 19th century. It says that if you stack up a flannel sack with the right combination of lucky charms and herbs, you won't ever lose at gambling!
We recently had another blog post about gambling lucky charms, so take a moment to check it out; maybe you already have one on you!
Bad Luck Casino Superstitions
Just as people nurture little quirks they believe would bring them luck, others try to stay as far away as possible from actions and objects thought to summon bad luck for gambling.
Imagine having a decent streak on the craps table, only to see yourself hitting the ATM more frequently once the dice start falling the wrong side up; it's no wonder why your average gambler would think their luck has changed.
As you might have guessed, culture plays a significant role in perpetuating bad and good luck gambling superstitions.
The Main Casino Entrance Stigma
Some gamblers believe it's bad luck to walk through the front door of a land-based casino. The belief holds that if you rub off people walking out of the casino, you will also rub off and attract some of their bad luck.
If it works for you, go for it, there’s always a side door for anyone who prefers to stay away from the crowd.
Counting Money at the Table: A Big No-No
Yet another activity that most superstitious gamblers tend to avoid is counting money while playing casino games. This kind of behaviour is usually typical for card players.
While some gamblers swear it's bad luck, others will tell you that counting money at the table has more to do with manners than bad luck; it simply comes off as rude and unprofessional.
Unlucky Number 13
Somehow, 13 has always been considered to bring bad luck, especially in Western culture. Some people will tell you this belief dates back to the Last Supper when Jesus and his 12 apostles sat at the table, including Judas Iscariot himself, the man who would go on to betray Jesus.
Whether this is true or not, 13 is undoubtedly one of the most famous bad luck numbers. The number 13 is so infamous that hotels will miss the 13th floor or skip from room 12 to room 14. Why? Well, plenty of customers would deliberately avoid them, so why have them anyway?
Likewise, in the casino world, people seem to be particularly careful with the number 13, particularly while playing roulette.
Despite being considered unlucky in some parts of the world, in others, people believe it actually brings luck. In many Asian cultures, 13 is believed to bring good fortune, so maybe stick to 13 if you happen to find yourself there.
No 50 Dollar Bills, Y'all!
Did you know American players will not accept getting paid in 50 dollar bills? This one comes straight out of the United States and most likely has its origins in movies and the practice of mob gangsters stuffing 50 dollar bills in the pockets of the people they had done in. Yikes!
On another note (pardon the pun), gamblers also refer to unlucky 50 dollar bills as 'frogs'.
We bet being splashed with 50-dollar bills wouldn’t be an issue if you were to break the bank, right? If you’re unfamiliar with this expression, make sure to read our essential guide to gambling terms where you’ll find dozens of popular gambling expressions.
7 Can Be a Bad Luck Number, Too
We're aware that several paragraphs before we said seven is believed to bring good fortune. However, when in Australia, beware (and not just because venomous spiders are lurking from every corner); even if you think of the number seven, do not say it out loud!
As it turns out, it is bad luck to say "seven" out loud while playing craps in Australia, and if you were actually to do it, superstitious gamblers around you might have a word or two to throw at you. Something tells us those words wouldn't be lovely to hear, so keep it in mind.
Another Unlucky Number: Number Four
While we've established that most people in the world will avoid the number thirteen like the plague, in Japan, it is number four that most people will steer clear of.
The reason for this anti-four sentiment? It's simple: in Japan, four is considered a bad luck number as it sounds the same as the word "death". No wonder hospitals often won't have room No. 4.
What to Do When Your Right Palm Is Itchy
The "itchy hand" belief holds true for various Slavic peoples with minor differences. In Bulgaria, for instance, if your right palm is itchy, it means you'll be giving your money away soon.
So, gamblers, beware: reconsider visiting the casino if you're about to gamble and your right palm starts to itch. You don't want to be giving away your money easily, do you?
In Serbia, on the other hand, people believe that if your left palm starts to itch, you're up for a financial injection soon. Well, how about that?
Hide Your Lottery Tickets
Here's one from Malta. Maltese people don't perceive buying lottery tickets and playing bingo as gambling just as they don't judge habitual betting or playing table games, such as poker and blackjack.
However, people from this island advise hiding your lottery tickets so as not to jinx them. We're not 100% sure, but we'd say this belief stems from the curse of the evil eye, or Nazar in Arabic, and hiding away anything you hold dear from folks that mean you harm.
Lending Money to Another Player
Now, here's a gambling superstition that might have some truth to it. The popular belief holds that lending money to a fellow player will bring bad luck. Gamblers believe that by lending money to another gambler, you are tempting faith by giving money away without a serious prospect of winning it back.
Statistically speaking, this casino superstition is based on the premise that lending money to someone else to gamble increases the risk of not seeing that money again; when you put it this way, it does feel like bad luck, doesn't it?
OK, we're not sure whether whistling while playing will splash a wave of bad luck on you, but we can definitely say that it's downright annoying and uncalled for, so we would advise you to refrain from it.
The superstition has its origins in old times when sailors were not allowed to whistle on board a ship because the practice was thought to encourage the winds to blow harder. How it made way to the gambling world? Beats us!
Having Fun Is What Matters
Thank you for joining us on this exciting ride filled with different gambling, card and dice superstitions. Whether you use some of the good luck rituals to boost your confidence or honestly believe they will help you win, one thing is for sure: as long as you're having fun, it's fine.
So, do you consider yourself to be superstitious? If so, do you have any personal rituals or lucky charms? Feel free to share your thoughts in our Forum - we can't wait to hear about your personal beliefs or even learn more about your local good and bad luck superstitions. See you there!