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 there are numerous people who don’t take superstitions seriously, most cultures have nurtured some of these beliefs - especially when it comes to playing casino games in land-based casinos. Naturally, these superstitions have extended themselves to online casinos nowadays, too.
Today we’re going to go over some of the well-known gambling superstitions from all over the world and even those much weirder ones you might not have ever heard about.
And that’s not all! We’ve prepared a cool, one-of-a-kind animated infographic highlighting exactly those stranger superstitions from various countries you may not be aware of. Ready to dive into the wonderful 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 tons of different myths players believe in. These beliefs manifest in different forms; some players get attached to physical objects or routines; others, however, stick to certain numbers or colours when playing in land-based or online casinos. Before we move on to our live infographic illustrating the lesser known superstitions, let us quickly go over some of the most common gambling superstitions from around the world, shall we?
Gambling Colours: When in Doubt, Wear Red
One of the most interesting and popular superstitions that come from Asia is that red is a lucky gambling colour. More specifically, for Chinese people red is the colour of prosperity and, therefore, a colour that brings good luck.
So what do superstitious gamblers do? They often wear red shoes, red underwear, red trousers or any other item of the same colour in order to increase their winning potential. There are even some casinos in Macau that have red rooms which were specifically made to bring good luck.
Crossing Legs vs. Crossing Fingers: Who Will Win?
Uh-oh! One belief says that if you cross your legs at the gambling table, that simple action will cancel out any good luck that might have otherwise come your way. So… maybe don’t do it?
On the other hand, just like in any other aspect of your everyday life, crossing fingers while playing at land-based or in online casinos should help you score that win. At least, superstitious gamblers will tell you so.
The Main Casino Entrance Stigma
Certain people believe it’s bad luck to walk through the front door of a land-based casino. This belief originated in a time when there was a gigantic lion at the MGM Grand Casino entrance, forcing visitors to walk through the actual jaw of the animal on their way to the gaming floor. Superstitions aside, that had to have been some pretty scary stuff.
Back in the day players literally had to walk through the mouth of a gigantic lion to reach the inside of the MGM Grand Casino.
Even though the MGM Grand had their entrance changed eventually, some people will still use the side doors instead of passing through the main one. Just in case.
To Look Away or Not to Look Away, That Is the Question
There are many players who believe that looking away or leaving the table while gambling will help snag a winning combo. Others, however, think it will bring them luck if they hide the screen while the game is still on.
Finally, there are those who don’t look away for a second, fearing that their absence would interfere with the game and bring bad luck.
Counting Money at the Table: A Huge Don’t
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 simply think counting money at the table is extremely rude and unprofessional.
Famous Superstition Numbers: Lucky Number 7 and Unlucky Number 13
Oh, what's in a number! Truthfully, there are plenty of numbers in the world that could be considered “superstition numbers”, or good luck and bad luck numbers. However, we'll all surely agree that none are quite as famous (or infamous!) as the numbers 13 and 7.
Somehow, 13 has always been considered to bring bad luck, especially in Western culture. Some people will tell you this belief dates back all the way to the Last Supper when there were thirteen people sat at the table. Or, more specifically, because one of those thirteen was Judas Iscariot himself, the man who betrayed none other than Jesus Christ.
Whether that’s its true origin or not, 13 is without a doubt one of the most famous bad luck numbers out there. Because of that, some hotels will miss the 13th floor or skip from room 12 straight to room 14. Why? Well, plenty of customers would deliberately avoid them, so why have them anyway?
Likewise, in the world of online casinos, people seem to be especially careful with the number 13, particularly while playing roulette.
The number 13 may be the most notorious bad luck number out there, but don’t be mistaken: it’s actually considered lucky in some parts of the world, too.
However, if you were to go against the current and ask yourself: “Wait, is number 13 a lucky number perhaps?” Well, in Asia, you would be right, as the number 13 is said to be one of the many symbols of good luck there.
On the contrary, the number 7 symbolises enjoyment and prosperity worldwide. What’s more, this number has a very special connotation when it comes to online gambling, principally when playing online slots and special versions of blackjack.
Several Other Popular Gambling Superstitions
There are, of course, more casino superstitions that people believe bring them bad luck, including lending money to another player, playing on a polished table, touching other player’s shoulders, turning in the chair while playing, and whistling during gameplay.
Lesser Known Superstitions from Around the World
Now that we’ve got the popular superstitions out of the way, it’s time for some uncommon casino superstitions and superstitions in general. So, grab your lucky rabbit’s paw and let’s see what the rest of the world considers lucky or less than so!
No 50 Dollar Bill, Y’all!
Let’s start with superstition from the United States. Did you know American players will not accept being paid with 50 dollar bills? It’s believed to be bad luck. This belief is thought to stem from mob gangsters stuffing 50 dollar bills in the pockets of the people they’ve murdered.
On another note (pardon the pun), said unlucky 50 dollar bill is also referred to as a ‘frog’ by gamblers.
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? Why, 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.
7 Can Be a Bad Luck Number, Too
Yes, we know we literally just said that seven is considered a good luck number worldwide. However, when in Australia beware (and not just because lethal spiders are lurking around every corner); even if you think of the number seven, don’t say it out loud.
Apparently, it is bad luck to say “seven” out loud while playing craps in Australia and, if you were to actually do it, superstitious gamblers around you might have a word or two to throw at you. Something tells us those words wouldn’t be so nice to hear, either.
Pregnant Women Are Lucky?
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.
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? Simple. In Japan four is considered to be a bad luck number as it sounds the same as the word “death”. No wonder sometimes hospitals won’t have rooms
What to Do When Your Right Hand Is Itchy
The “itchy hand” belief holds true for various Slavic peoples with minor differences, so we’ll be talking Bulgaria and Serbia today. Basically, in Bulgaria if your right hand is itchy, it means you’ll be giving your money away soon.
So, gamblers beware: if you’re about to gamble and your right hand starts itching, maybe stay away from a casino. You don’t wanna be giving away your money easily, do you?
In Serbia, it’s the same. Likewise, if your left hand is itchy, it means you’ll be receiving some money shortly. Well, how about that?
Your Very Own Bag of Mojo
It’s no news Louisiana is the 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 objects and herbs, you won’t ever lose at gambling!
Hide Your Lottery Tickets
We’re gonna finish our today’s journey through the less common gambling superstitions in Malta. For starters, buying lottery tickets and playing bingo is not perceived as ‘gambling’ by the Maltese people and it isn’t seen as taboo as habitual betting or table games, such as poker and blackjack.
One specific superstitious action present in Malta is hiding your lottery tickets so as not to jinx them. This belief probably stems from avoiding the curse of the evil eye.
Having Fun Is What Matters
Thank you for going with us on this exciting ride around the world filled with different gambling, card and dice superstitions. Whether you use some of the good luck rituals to boost your confidence or truly 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 specific good luck beliefs, rituals or lucky charms? Feel free to share your thoughts at our forum - we can’t wait to hear about your personal beliefs or even learn more about good or bad luck superstitions from your countries. See you there!