The world is filled with superstitions, both good and bad. Don’t cross the path of a black cat, don’t walk under a ladder, get outside before you open the umbrella, and for goodness sake don’t go breaking any mirrors! For good luck, we’ve been known to scour a carpet of grass for 4-leaf clovers, carry a rabbit’s foot on our key chain and stay well stocked on apples so that we can avoid a trip to the doctor.
Superstition beliefs aren’t upheld by everyone, but a significant margin of the world’s population does abide by at least one so-called delusory myth or another. If any of the above (mis)conceptions applies to you, the following list of regionally gathered gambling superstitions may pique your interest.
As we all know, deep down inside, mathematical probabilities control the long term outcome of all casino gambling amusements, whether it be a spin of the reels, or the shuffle of a blackjack deck. But in the short term, luck is an undeniable contributor to our success, or lack thereof. Thus taking a few steps to harvest a little extra luck (or ward off the bad variety) before hitting the casino can’t be a bad idea.
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Lucky Number 7
We’ve all heard that 7 is the luckiest number of them all. It’s not certain where this common gambling superstition came from, although it’s often been associated with the Bible. The numbers 3 and 7 appear more often than any other in biblical text, with lucky 7 being the day God chose to rest and enjoy his work.
Perhaps it’s less proverbial, referring to 7 continents, 7 seas, or 7 colors in a rainbow. Whatever the case, people love the number 7, which is precisely why so many casinos’ slot machines use the ‘Lucky 7’ on their reels.
(Un)Lucky Number 13
In most facets of life, we consider the number 13 to be bad luck. In fact, the fear of 13 has its own phobic title: Triskaidekaphobia
According to urban legend, 13 gained a bad rep when it was believed that Judas was the 13th person to sit at the table during the Last Supper, before betraying Jesus. In Norse mythology, Loki is said to be the 13th God, and the 13th to arrive at the funeral of Balder, who’s murder he was believed to have arranged. In reality, neither the Bible nor Norse mythology gave a number to them, but once the rumor spread, it stuck.
This theory was the basis of the cult classic horror film series, “Friday the 13th”, and culture has taken the idea so far that the majority of today’s multi-story buildings (especially hotels) do not even have a 13th floor.
At the casino, however, 13 has an opposite effect for some. The most popular gambling superstition associated with number is to where a charm bracelet with a #13 jewel on it, supposedly warding off or reversing bad luck.
Yes to 8, No to 4
In Chinese culture, numbers are thought to bear great fortune, depending on the sound made when pronouncing them. 8 is considered the luckiest number of all, because when said in the Chinese language, it sounds like the word for “Fortune”. At the opposite end of that spectrum is the unluckiest of the all, the number 4, which is pronounced much like the word for “death”.
If you play poker much, you’ve probably heard that it’s very bad luck to have a dog anywhere near the table. This superstition is derived from Great Britain, but the etymology behind it is unclear – at least to me.
We can only assume that C. M. Coolidge was unaware of this – or perhaps mocking it ridiculousness – when he painted the famous ‘Dogs Playing Poker’ series in the early 1900’s.
Lucky Trinkets and Charms
Every superstitious gambler I’ve ever met carries a lucky charm or trinket of some sort that they believe brings them better luck at the slots or tables. I’ve seen everything from a 4-leaf clover and rabbit’s foot, to a locket with a dead relative’s picture and even keychain urns carrying the ashes of a loved one.
Lucky Color Red
In some cultures, especially originating from the Orient, the color red is believed to bring prosperity. You may have noticed most casinos use a lot of red in their decorative pallets, just as many online casinos use the term in their name; Lucky Red Casino, 32 Red Casino, Cherry Red Casino, Vegas Red, Red Queen, Redbet, etc.