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
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
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
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
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
Doyle Brunson's mini black rock charm is named Caspe
r because of the
Ghostbusters logo on it. Brunson brings in extra cash by renting out
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
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
Don’t forget your charm, photo, clothing or jewelry to attract Lady
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
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
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
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
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
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
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 &
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