Gambling Superstitions

by Gayle Mitchell

Gambling Superstitions are part of playing the game at casinos online and off. While Gambling Teachers programs highlight the best strategies, this lesson takes an entertaining detour to explore the superstitions that are second nature to casino players.
The influence of gambling superstitions involves two opinions. Experienced players who believe it is all about skill and luck is of little influence. Otherwise, there are the majority of the believers who would not leave home or sit down at a computer to play without a photo or lucky charm nearby.
Oddly, these good luck objects generally have a positive effect on the player by just knowing that the good luck charm or ritual is in place. The feeling of well being and confidence alleviates stress and perhaps helps players to utilize strategies with conviction thus profiting along the way.
After this brief analysis and the knowledge that players will act or carry items that are sensed, consciously or subconsciously, to bring good luck; I explore some casino superstitions in detail concluding with general beliefs.
The casino games covered are poker, craps, roulette, slots, video poker and bingo.

Poker: Gambling Superstitions
It could be debated that poker has the most superstitions attached to the game and therefore, is a good start to this list.
Red is a good luck color choice.
Head for that laundry basket and scoop up the dirty clothing to keep away evil.
Blow gently on the cards or craps dice for a good luck breeze.
Avoid crossing your legs or you will surely cross out your luck.
Speaking of feet, it is wise not to allow other players to rest their feet on your lucky chair.
Toss that four of clubs far away or bad luck is sure to ensue.
Don’t let the dog in the same room where there is poker action.
Be patient! All cards must be dealt and only then do you pick up you hand using only the right hand.

Reports from casino managers/dealers about gambling superstitions include:
A poker player who tosses chocolate candies on the floor before he places a bet in order that the devil will be distracted thereby leaving him alone with his good luck.
Another player slaps his head 3 times when losing to shake it up while yet another player brings along voodoo dolls dressed as the dealers in the casino in order to control the cards dealt to him.

The rich and famous poker stars bring these gambling superstitions to the table.
Doyle Brunson's mini black rock charm is named Casper because of the Ghostbusters logo on it. Brunson brings in extra cash by renting out this charmer for 30-minute intervals as he did for the 2005 World Series of Poker.
"I figure I rented him out for over $15,000 in a one year period. Not bad for a $5 piece of black rock!" Brunson said on his blog.
Then there is Johnny Chan and a fruit called Orange. Winner in 1988, Chan brought an orange along for good luck and to clear his nostrils of the smoke in the casino. Even without smoking permitted at WSOP tables today, the Chan Man can be spied with the lucky fruit.
Sam Farha, another non-smoker goes on the list of gambling superstitions because of the ever-present unlit cigarette dangling from his lip.
He states, "If I have a winning session, I'll keep the same things on, the same moves, everything. I don't smoke, but I keep a lucky cigarette. If I lose a pot, I change the cigarette."

Roulette: Gambling Superstitions
It is all about the numbers with the game of roulette. Lucky numbers can relate to birth dates, addresses, ages, telephone numbers that are yours or belong to special people in your life. Grouping these lucky numbers together and betting consistently is a good strategy rather than betting all over the table.
Perhaps a certain number or black/red bet has been ignored by the pill, otherwise known as the bouncing white ball and it’s time to make a sleeping number wager.
Don’t forget your charm, photo, clothing or jewelry to attract Lady Luck.
While dressing in red or black may help your game, a single zero table is the better bet.

Craps: Gambling Superstitions
If the dice bounce or otherwise lurch off the table, it is believed that the next roll will bring bad luck.
Also, if the dice touch the hands or other body parts of other players/casino employees, the same bad luck belief applies.
It is wise not to speak or touch the shooter who is on a roll. Pick up your winnings quietly and let him/her do their magic.
There are several gambling superstitions about the central craps number of 7 called the devil, or big red. The 7 is the most powerful craps number and the most pivotal. However, it is unwise to mention the name or number during play especially when the shooter is trying to make the point. 
It is bad luck and a definite no-no for a stickman to present a player with a 7 facing up on the dice.
Stay away from tables where you are the only player. It is assumed to be a ‘cold table’.
Our resident craps pro, Frank Scoblete has 2 excellent lessons about Craps Numbers. He reports the history, numerology along with the luck factor.
They are: Numbers 2 - 7 and Numbers 8-12.

Bingo: Gambling Superstitions
For many players, the game of bingo played online or off involves one or more lucky numbers, lucky clothing, lucky seat, lucky dauber colors and/or lucky numbers.
Additionally, it is bad luck to leave money on the table at which time you should
circle your chair three times to ward off the bad luck.

Video Poker and Slots: Gambling Superstitions
This is where I reveal some of my superstitions as video poker is my favorite game with occasional slots in the mix.
There are my lucky jeans matched by a lucky black shirt. I prefer Tuesdays to Thursdays and stay away on weekends to avoid the crowds. I have my pick of Video Poker machines during the wee hours of 1– 6AM and the quiet in the casino is the precise atmosphere to study and play the correct strategy.
A quirky superstition that amuses my friends is my wait and count method. If I am dealt 4 parts of a Royal or 3 of a kind, especially aces, I will hold the cards, stop and count slowly to 7 before discarding. Knowing that the machine continuously shuffles, I believe a little extra time will bring on the paying card(s). Of course, it does not work all the time, but another advantage is that is slows down the action to stretch both my playing time and bankroll.
As for slots, the newer arrivals on the casino floor or online are a good bet.
The luckier slot machines for me are at the end of the aisle and the slant-top versions are more comfortable for neck and back relief. “It’s better to look down than up”, I say!

General: Gambling Superstitions
The most popular gambling superstition and most frequently used is to carry a photo of a loved one and/or a lucky charm that can be touched and held when required to go into action.
Usually the photo is a person, however, cats, dogs, rabbits and others belonging to the animal kingdom qualify.
As for lucky charms, a four-leaf clover on a charm bracelet is believed to possess special powers. Others in this category are horseshoes, piggies, moneybags and black cats who are now able to scat away bad luck.
Similarly, a number 13 charm, usually bad luck, is now considered to have the power to reverse bad luck.
Amulets on neck chains or bracelets qualify with items from nature like bear, alligator or shark teeth. 
If you spot a coin that is face up, the rule is--a good luck sign. Face down, step around and keep moving.

This lesson concludes with an expensive and unusual superstition that is my top pick for quirky.
It belongs to the MGM Grand, Las Vegas who underwent a multi-million dollar renovation to the outside entrance into the casino in 1998. Specifically targeted to appeal to the beliefs of their Asian guests, the entrance was changed to avoid walking through a lion’s mouth that was considered unlucky.

With or without these quirks and superstitions, I wish you Good Luck at your next casino adventure.

Gambling Superstitions is followed by Gambling Winners, Records & Legends

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Tips, Terms & Wins

 Craps by the Numbers
The 6 is relaxed, passive, and normal, but it has a powerful love component as well, it represents a mother’s love
If the craps number 7 is the devil, then the Any Seven is a legion of fallen angels.
Seven is completeness, as there are 7 days in a week, and then we start all over again. In craps, a 7 wins in the beginning and loses in the end for Pass Line bettors; it’s just the opposite for Don’t Pass bettors.
For craps players, the craps number 7 is a god for it is feared, it is loved, it is supreme and we sacrifice a lot of money to gain its favor.
8 is also the first cube number and, as such, is considered the Guardian for craps.

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