Lucky Charms And Gambling Superstitions

We’re all familiar with superstition. Most of us have probably thought twice about walking under a ladder or avoided stepping on a crack. Just as actors refuse to utter “Macbeth” before a performance, gamblers have specific rituals and charms to increase their chances of a win.

How Gamblers Get Lucky

There are various objects and actions that signify luck, while others are seen as bad luck. Just as with “everyday” superstitions, these beliefs can seem random. Some things that are thought to be lucky are:

  • Blowing dice
  • Wearing red
  • Sitting or standing a certain way while playing
  • Crossing fingers
  • Looking away from the table
  • Some numbers
  • Specific objects such as a rabbit’s paw, four-leafed clover, or something of personal significance to the gambler

The Significance Of Lucky Charms And Rituals

Some gambling superstitions are the same ones believed by general society: avoiding the number 13 and items such as a rabbit’s paw or clover. Others are very specific to the gambling world and casinos in general.

Red is believed to be a lucky colour and some casinos specifically include red in their décor for this reason. Many gamblers will wear a red item of clothing, a habit more common in China. Also specific to China is the belief that the numbers 3, 6, and 9 bring luck, especially when used with the number 8.

It’s unclear where the belief that looking away from the table brings fortune comes from – for some, it’s just a side effect of anticipatory anxiety. There are a few rituals employed by gamblers and online bingo NZ players that just might increase their luck – blowing on dice, crossing fingers, and even tapping on slot machines are practices of hopeful bettors.

What About Bad Luck?

There are a number of things believed to make a gambler unlucky:

  • Counting money on the table
  • Crossing one’s legs while playing
  • Lending money to fellow gamblers
  • Certain numbers
  • $50 bills
  • Entering through the front door
  • Whistling or singing at the table

Why Do Gamblers Fear These?

We all know superstitions, but only rarely understand their origins. In gambling too, certain actions or items are believed to be unlucky for specific reasons, even though they might not make much sense to an outsider.

Some habits – counting money on the table, $50 bills and lending cash – have their origins in etiquette and common sense. Counting money in public can be seen as rude, lending can leave you permanently out of pocket, and $50 bills were associated with being killed by the American Mafia. Likewise, avoiding singing and whistling while playing keeps distraction to a minimum – a very sensible strategy.

Most people think of 13 as an unlucky number and gamblers are no different. In China the number 4 is bad luck, as it has associations with death.

Are They Any Good?

It is unlikely that rituals and objects play any noticeable part in attracting good fortune, but for many, the belief that they do is enough. In casinos, charms and superstitions aren’t going anywhere.