As a game of chance, gambling obeys the theory of probability meaning that the outcome is under the control of nothing. It is simply based on luck. But unfortunately, some casino customers erroneously think that getting the same result consecutively for numerous times will give rise to an opposite result. This mistaken thinking is known as ‘Gambler’s fallacy’ which was proved wrong by Stanislaw Ulam’s theory that the effects of plays in the casino are not correlated. Here, I am going to discuss this and other similar gambling rituals and superstitious practices.
Common Lucky Charms
Every person is a member of a particular tribe and ethnic group. Each culture has its certain set of beliefs that influence the behavior of its. No matter how progressive one may be, they are completely free from some of these superstitions, a good number of which are regarded unscientific. Gamblers are not excepted. Typical example of such unfounded tradition seen among speculators is reliance on lucky charms. Below are some of the popular lucky charms utilized by casino customers.
1. A Four-Leaved Clover
The four-leaf clover is believed by some people to better their opportunity to win. This superstitious belief arose from an age-long legend connected to Eve taken to be the first woman to be created by God in some religions. According to this mythology, Eve left the Garden of Eden with one. Another set of people believe in them due to their energy arising from their rarity. It stands for hope, faith, luck, and love. Consequently, some gamblers take it as a way to make their luck shines during plays.
2. A Rabit Foot
In some cultures, in places like North and South America, China, Africa, and Europe, the rabbit’s foot is seen as a charm of good luck. Considered as a symbol of fertility and fortune also, some folks wear it as an amulet to improve their luck. The Celtic people have practiced this superstition as far back as 600 BC. The belief has already found its way in the gambling industry. It is not weird to find a player wearing the foot of a rabbit as a charm to enhance their chances of winning.
3. Lucky Numbers 7
It is normal for people to associated 7 with luck given its religious significance and mathematical importance as an integer sequence. A lot of things, events, and occurrences such as the seven continent, seven musical notes, seven weeks, Seven Wonders of the World, etc. are linked with the number.
It is a significant number in some popular global religions such as Christianity and Islam. In the casino, getting a combination of three sevens (777) gives the biggest winnings. Consequently, a significant number of gamblers wager with 7, especially in the lottery. Some players also have their individual lucky numbers.
Rituals That Are Truly Believed by Players
Apart from using lucky numbers and charms, one will also see gamblers that perform certain rituals before staking their money in order to improve their chances of winning. Below are some of the rituals common among casino customers.
4. Crossing Fingers
The genesis of this ritual remains unknown but there are a couple of theories that try to explain its origin. The first theory believes that it emanates from the medieval Christian practice of making the sign of the cross for protection against witches and unfavourable supernatural forces. There is another theory that traces its origin to the pagan ritual and belief where the cross is seen as a force that helps people actualize their wishes thanks to its high concentration of good spirits.
5. Food fortune
In some cultures, certain culinary specialties are considered as luck dishes. Thus, gamblers with such belief make such cuisine for themselves before hitting the action room as a means of making some earnings in their plays. In some places, it is chicken wings prepared with onion rings. If you prepare your meals by yourself, determine dishes considered as luck bringers and then consider making them before trying your luck with an operator.
6. Blowing on dice
This unscientific practice is popular among board gamers. Surprisingly, it appears to be the most common superstitious practice in the gambling industry. Numerous casino films have scenes where gamblers only cast their dices after their partners (mostly women) might have blown on them. Historians are not agreed on the origin of this unfounded act.
There are two dominant views. The first traces the origin to the old method of keeping the dice clean in street games before it was rolled. The second group of historians believed that it originated from the act of applying a sticky element on a part of a dice which was normally activated when it was blown on. This was one of the ways of cheating the casino.
7. Magic spells
Some gamblers try to improve their chances of winning using magic spells and preparing potions. There is quite a lot of these abracadabra utilized to improve luck by bettors and other people. Examples of magic charms normally applied to enhance opportunities and trigger abundance, wealth and prosperity are Wiccan Money Gold charm, Wiccan gambling photo potion, and lady luck.
8. Knocking on wood
Knocking on wood is not only common among gambling enthusiasts. A lot of people normally knock on wood to improve their luck or protect themselves against negative occurrence. This superstitious practice emanated from the pagan belief that good spirits live in the roots of trees and this makes them possess divine power. Thus, it is believed that touching a tree is a way of recognizing its supernatural power and the action rewards the doers with protection from ill-luck. Christians especially Catholics enculturate this practice as an act of reverence to Jesus Christ who was crucified on a cross made from wood.
9. Wishing well fortune
Gamers normally carry out this ritual before they engage in a play with a huge payout. It does not involve any complicate practice. Just go to a fountain and throw up a coin after making your wishes. Alternatively, you can also do the same in any body of water (except a pond) close to the betting hall you want to gamble in. Though many casino customers indulge in this act, I cannot say with certainty whether it is effective or not. Given this, there is the probability that it works. If you want to give this a trial, don’t use up all your coins.
10. Wearing Red Clothes
Wearing red clothes to improve one’s chance of winning a game arose from the Chinese traditional conception of the colour red. In traditional Chinese society, red is a colour of joy, luck and wealth. This explains the Chinese accepted wedding colour in China is red. This practice gradually finds its way in the gambling industry.
Apart from wearing luck charms and performing certain superstitious rituals to improve winning chance, there is also the practice of coming to the casino with a partner to provide additional luck. Probably, the combination of positive energies from a human being and other luck charms cause the gambling gods to bring more positive outcomes to the speculators.
What Brings Bad Luck? – Gamblers Superstitions
Besides arming and improving your winning opportunities with luck paraphernalia and rituals, you should also be aware of and put into practice certain practices believed to protect gamblers against ill-luck.
11. No Front Entrance
Many people believe that one impedes on their chances of winning a game if they enter a physical action house through the major entrance. The origin of this superstitious belief could be traced to the years when a casino had a major entrance sculpted as a large lion and players walked through the animal’s jaw.
However, during this time, there were people that went to the gaming floor through the side rather than following the main gate. The gambling operator later changed the entrance, but a good number of its customers still continued to use the side door. This eventually gave rise to the misconception that entering a betting house through the main door will bring back luck.
12. Counting Your Money
There is a misconception that counting one’s earning while still at the table bring bad and can make one lose in the future plays. This unfounded belief derives from common saying that pride comes before a fall. However, it is also believed that controlling the urge to count what you have earned when you have not left the table makes you look better mannered.
13. Crossing the Legs
Crossing one’s leg when wagering is generally believed to bring ill-luck which is quite the opposite of crossing one’s fingers. The action is regarded as tantamount to crossing one’ luck. But this action when rationally seen helps one to maintain a healthy position for straight back and stable pelvis.
14. 50 Bucks Bills
For some gamblers, $50 bills bring ill-luck and thus should be avoided. Some even go to the extent of rejecting payments made in $50 dominations. This superstitious belief has its origin to the time when there was mob rule in Las Vegas. During this period, it was rumoured that gangsters buried their victims in the desert with $50 bills in their pockets.
15. Unlucky Numbers
Some numbers such as 13 are avoided by gamblers because they believe it brings them bad luck. The abhorrence of these numbers (plus colours) is founded on the cultural belief that they bring bad luck or even death. This superstition is taken seriously by some people that they have developed a phobia for it. Such numbers rarely betted on roulette pocket. Some hotels even don’t include them on their floors’ numbers.
Gambler’s Habits in Cultures Around the World
Gamblers from different cultures across the globe have different habits and attitudes due different beliefs. These practices may appear to be foolish for an outside but their adherents hold on them and have reasons for keeping to them. A number of these superstitions are associated with luck. Since casinos are based on chance, players from these traditions carry them into the betting house to improve their opportunities of winning. Here are some of them.
South Africa – The Voodoo Magic
Though many cultures and religion are likely to have a negative view of gambling, South African cultures believe that Voodoo witchcraft can be positively utilized to improve a person’s luck. For example, South African speculators hold to the conception that a person’s chance of winning big will be improved if they breathe in the smoke oozing out from vultures’ dried brain.
India – Shaving Quirks
Shaving quirks are common among the Indians. Certain cultures in India discourages people from giving their hairs a wash on Thursdays or grooming on Tuesdays as such an act induces bad luck according to the belief. The same is the case if nails are trimmed on Tuesdays or Saturdays. There is the tendency for adherents of cultural practice to come to action houses with smelly bodies on the days they are not expected to wash their, as this will make them not to shower.
Serbia – Spilling Water
For the Serbs, one brings good luck to themselves by spraying water behind them before they engage in any activity. I cannot say for sure how this practice emanated among the Serbs. It is probably because of the calming effect of water. It is capable of making a person’s path of luck to be smooth.
Thailand – ‘Palad Khik’ 😉
Palad Khik is a type of necklace worn by Thai gamblers to bring good luck to themselves during wagering. The phrase means ‘honourable surrogate penis’ in English. However, in the same culture, the wearing of the same necklace is believed to increase libido and makes lust to opposite sex difficult to control.
Europe – Big Smash!
Smashing dishes is a common practice in Europe especially in countries like Greece or Denmark. This culture is not only unique to Europe as it is a global occurrence, though carried for the same but on different occasions. In Denmark, dishes are broken to wish a new house occupant luck while in Greece it is done during a wedding ceremony.
In some cultures, people only engage in a new activity after they might have smashed a dish. It has become a culture in the gaming field. The ugly side of this action is the cost of the implication of purchasing a new dish when one constantly breaks their dishes for good luck.
China – Color is Everything
Red is an invaluable colour in the traditional Chinese society where it considered to enhance luck. This is why it remains a dominant hue in any Chinese action house whether online or offline. To wish a celebrant on any occasion the best of luck, the Chinese normally put their monetary gift in a red envelope before giving it out. Some Chinese speculators always appear on red attire including their, underpants, footwear and stockings to trigger their winning luck.
There are other unscientific gambling beliefs and practices held unto and cherished strongly by the Chinese. I have discussed them above – wagering on number 7, not counting one’s earning while still at the table of play, entering the casino through the side and taking one’s leave at a particular point.
Other superstitious practice among the Chinese includes bending of cards to avoid reusing them in the next round (their faith is playing with a new card provides one a better winning opportunities) and tapping from the luck of a successful player (for example, gamblers place a side bet on any visitors that wins but if the reverse is the case, they will make the side wager on the dealer.
Famous Gamblers and Their Lucky Symbols
Some famous gamblers such as Doyle Brunson, Johnny Chan and Sammy Farda are associated with certain lucky symbols. These players have put up different fetish practice in the casino and have made good winning which earned them popularity in the industry. It is not certain whether their big earning is because of their luck charms. It is up to you to decide whether to give it a trial or not. But bear in mind that casino will never cease to be a game of chance. Below are three of these popular speculators and their luck charm.
Doyle Brunson with His Casper
Doyle Brunson, a Hall of Farmer, is the most renowned gambler on the list. His favorite game is poker. He has a small ornament which he normally speaks to before making any bets. He made some winnings as he performed this ritual. Other speculators believe that ornament has some magical powers and some gamblers would want to speak to it before wagering.
Brunson took advantage of that to enrich himself the more. He would only give out the magic Casper for $500 for a duration of 30 minutes. He struck a deal of $3,500 with Howard Lederer, a poker professional that allows Howard to take over when Brunson passes out.
Johnny Chan’s Cigarette and Orange
Johnny Chan is another poker professional that has risen to fame in the industry through his routine action at the betting house. The Chinese-born American normally keeps an orange closer to his stack when wagering on the poker table. He lived during the period before the ban on public smoking.
He would raise the orange to his nose to enable clear his sinuses by inhaling deeply when a large mass of smoke emerged from his cigarette. Johnny emerged the winner of WSOP main event in 1998. After this great winning, Johnny not only established a routine with his orange ritual but also consider the fruit as a symbol of luck.
Sammy Farha and ‘A Lucky Smoke’
Sammy Farha is a popular figure in poker because he was declared the winner of WSOP titles for a number of times which increased his worth by $100 million. Sammy is not a smoker but when playing poker, he normally has an unlit cigarette in his mouth. He said that the cigarette improved his luck making him get to the finals of the Main Event of 2003 WSOP. One surprising thing about Sammy superstitious practice is that he changes the cigarette anytime he loses a game.