Casino Guide

Five Lucky and Unlucky Gambling Superstitions

Most gamblers know that luck plays a huge part in whether they find success on the casino floor or not. While you don’t have to be superstitious to hit the jackpot, plenty of people act out quirky gambling routines in the hopes that Lady Luck will appear to make it rain cash.

Whether it’s blowing on dice, whistling while playing a game of poker, or even something more obscure like not ending a relationship before heading to the casino – there truly are a heap of weird and wonderful rituals floating around these days, some that people believe should be acted out religiously and others that should be well and truly avoided if you don’t want to tempt fate. 

This article takes a look into the top five lucky and unlucky casino superstitions of all time. 

Bad Luck Casino Superstitions

The joys of winning are a lot more short-lived than the pain of losing to the house. Some gamblers have learned this lesson multiple times over, pushing them to avoid certain behaviors, numbers, bets, and other things that could land their bankroll in trouble. 

Here are a few of the casino superstitions known to turn the tables the wrong way:

Unlucky Numbers 

In the West, the number 13 is famously linked with ill fortune, but different cultures have their own unlucky numbers. In China, the number 4 is considered the most unfortunate as its pronunciation sounds like the word for ‘death.’ Similarly, the Japanese have an underlying fear of the number 9 because of how closely it mimics the word for ‘torture.’ This is why you’ll rarely see this number on menus, apartment buildings, or in telephone numbers.  

Counting Money at the Table

If you’ve got a bad habit of counting your winnings before a game is over, you might actually be tempting fate on your next hand. Not only is it considered rude and insensitive towards other players, but it’s also believed that doing this before a game is over or even immediately afterwards brings bad luck and denotes the belief that “pride comes before a fall.” There’s nothing inherently wrong with counting your money, but for the sake of superstitions and all the sorry losers at the casino table, it’s better to wait until you get home or back to your hotel room before you start fanning it around in front of everybody. 

Entering Through the Casino’s Front Door

If you’ve ever seen people suspiciously avoiding the front entrance to a casino, it’s not because they’re trying to figure out how to rob the place. Some gamblers do this because they believe that coming into contact with guests who may have lost at the tables before they arrived will mean they inherit their bad luck as they go in. This superstition became so ingrained in Vegas gambling culture that the MGM Grand even replaced their iconic lion’s mouth-shaped entrance in 1988. This obviously had zero effect on people’s luck, and lots of people who both walked through the new door (and continued to avoid the entrance) still lost to the casino.  

Playing With 50-Dollar Bills

If you’ve seen some of the Vegas gangster films, you’ll probably know why 50-dollar bills are associated with bad luck. It’s said that the real Las Vegas mafia would slip $50 into their victim’s jacket right after they ditched the body in the Nevada desert. This mark of death, as it were, actually became the reason many gamblers avoided using $50 notes when gambling in Vegas and Atlantic City. Many also ask the Cashiers to avoid paying them their winnings in $50 bills as well. 

Loaning Cash to Others

There is some merit in this next one, which is the belief that lending money to another player can lead to bad luck for the generous samaritan. Numerous gamblers are convinced that lending money to a fellow player is essentially tempting fate, as it involves giving away money without the expectation of winning it back. Again, there is no evidence that this is the case, and if you’re loaning money to a friend or family member, there is a good chance they will pay you back. But from a superstitious standpoint, lending money to fund someone else’s gambling activities increases the likelihood of not recouping that money, which, in itself, is perceived as bad luck.

Good Luck Casino Superstitions

On the flip side of what could bring you misfortune in a casino, there are plenty of good luck rituals that are said to bring about prosperity for gamblers as well. Here are five of the most popular good luck superstitions: 

Blowing on the Dice

This one became a trend after the release of the 1955 Guys and Dolls movie. In one scene, Marlon Brando is shown pleading to Lady Luck not to “wander all over the room and blow on some other guy’s dice.” Decades later, it’s been embedded as an actual belief that blowing on dice brings good fortune.

Wearing Red 

In Chinese culture, the color red is seen as a symbol of joy, luck, and prosperity, among other positive things. In India, red is seen as the color of purity, seduction, beauty, and love. Given the perceived luck and positive associations with red, it’s no surprise that many gamblers choose to wear red-colored casino attire to enhance their chances of hitting a jackpot. Moreover, studies indicate that, statistically, gamblers also tend to place more bets on red than on black when playing at casino tables. 

Lucky Charms and Trinkets

Whether it’s clothing, jewelry, or lucky charms like rabbit feet, horseshoes, or four-leaf clovers, numerous gamblers are convinced that these “lucky trinkets” hold some kind of mystical value that can bring them good luck, and they won’t step foot in a casino without them. An interesting example of this lucky charm concept can be seen in the habits of Johnny Chan, a renowned 10-time WSOP bracelet winner, who is famously known for carrying an orange with him to every poker game he plays!

Sitting or Standing to Gamble

Some gamblers believe that the position they assume when placing a bet should stay the same throughout a game, as changing from one to another could affect their luck. For instance, if they are sat down while playing a slot machine, they would need to stay seated until the last spin. Some take this superstition to the extreme and end up staying seated or standing throughout their entire visit to a casino!

Kissing a Love One

In the world of gambling, it’s amazing how many quirky and fun superstitions players have when they’re chasing that lucky streak! But here’s the real secret sauce for success – a trusty companion to share the joy and good luck with! Yep, some players firmly believe that giving their partner a smooch will bring them that extra dose of fortune. So, it’s time to pick your lucky charm wisely and make sure they’re ready for some playful pecks on your next casino adventure! Who knew good gambling could be so sweet and romantic? 

Ready to Test Your Luck?

Whether you’re a seasoned gambler or just trying your luck for the first time, embracing these charming superstitions might not bring you the jackpot of your dreams or replace a practical gambling strategy, but they may add an extra layer of enjoyment to your casino adventures if you do decide to test them out. Best of luck!

Enjoy playing the best casino games!
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