Tuesday, 6th December, 2016

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What Gambling Superstitions Are There?

Gamblers, as a breed of people, are a superstitious lot. Personally, I don’t believe in being superstitious. In fact, I think it’s bad luck to be superstitious! But still, a lot of people do things to bring them luck, or avoid doing things to avoid bad luck. I’m sure you’ll have seen them when you’ve been at the casino, especially Chinese players, that have their rituals or their lucky charms.

So, what superstitions do players have? Well, poker players are a breed unto themselves and might be the most superstitious players and that’s for another time. But table players, especially craps players, also have their superstitions and gamblers in general have their superstitions.

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One of the most famous superstitions is that it’s bad luck to have a dog near a gaming table. Well, I’ll be honest, I think it is bad luck if a dog is anywhere near your table at a casino and I’d question if you should be playing there in the first place. Of course, blind players might need their guide dogs at the table and would you be as mean as to leave the table because a blind player wanted to get in on the action? I hope not. And if you’re playing at home at an online casino, dogs can be a distraction, so just throw them out of the room you’re in. Simple!

There is also the belief that lucky charms can bring you good luck, so some players will have four-leaf clovers, or horseshoes or a rabbit’s foot on their person when they play. Again, if you’re playing at home, if you think it would help, surround your computer with these charms if you think they’ll bring you good luck. My desk is already cluttered, so there’s no space for lucky charms, but if you have space and you want to, they’ll be just as effective as if they were in your pocket or on your keyring or 1,000 miles away!

Red is also seen as a lucky color. It’s supposed to signal prosperity and it’s why there are casinos with a “red” branding. Lucky Red Casino is a good example of why red is seen as lucky and prosperous. I quite like the color red and I guess that’s why I like playing at Cherry Red and Lucky Red, although their games are good, too. So, if red being lucky is your thing, or, like me, you like the color red, it’s worth checking them out.

The idea that red is lucky is a Chinese superstition and a lot of Chinese players will wear red underwear when gambling to bring them extra luck. Of course, as I said earlier, the Chinese are a very superstitious race of people and the color red is only the tip of the iceberg. Chinese players also believe it’s unlucky to count your money when gambling and apparently it’s unlucky to have sex before you gamble. So, remember those ones, folks! Chinese gamblers also think it’s unlucky to see a nun or a monk before a gambling session, which might be something to do with them thinking it’s an affront to God, but I don’t know, as I’ve never worried about upsetting anyone when I gamble. They also think women are luckier on their period, which might hark back to the idea of red being lucky, as sick as that might sound.

However, my favorite Chinese superstitions revolve around numbers. We all believe 13 is unlucky and that’s why a lot of casino hotels don’t have a 13th floor. There are historical reasons for this, of course. However, the Chinese believe numbers to be lucky or unlucky depending on what word they sound like. In Chinese culture and gambling, 8 is seen as the luckiest number of all, as it sounds like the word that means “fortune”. 4, however, sounds like “death” and is the unluckiest of all numbers in Chinese culture. So, while people in the West favor the number 7, Chinese players will favor 8. Why do you think 888 Casino is so named? If 8 is the number of fortune, 888 will be even luckier.

Now, out of all casino players, Craps players are perhaps the most superstitious. If you’ve ever played craps, you’ll notice how a hot player is treated as opposed to a cold player. Craps players love their superstitions more than any other casino player. For example, if you’re a woman playing craps, let them roll if they haven’t already. A “virgin” female roller is seen as a good thing. Women that are “virgins” are supposedly good. However, if you’re a man, it’s not perceived as being lucky, as a man that is a “virgin” isn’t seen as a good thing in society, so it’s not supposedly a good thing at the craps table. Ridiculous? Yes. Does it bear any relevance to the actual game? Of course not! But it still happens.

But what else do craps players believe? Well, if the dice are thrown off the table, players will still ask for the same dice to be used, as they believe that dice that have been good to them will retain their luck and new dice will not be so good to them and if they take the new dice, a 7 will be thrown next. Also, if the dice touch another player’s hands, it’s seen as bad luck. Also, you should never touch a player who is on a hot streak, as your lucky might rub off on them, or you might rub their good luck off. And, whatever you do, never, ever, ever say the word “seven” when a player is rolling, as that will apparently force a 7 to come. Of course, there are more than these superstitions, but these seem to be the main ones that craps players believe.

So, there you go, it’s not a definitive list of superstitions, but it lets you know what’s out there. Everyone will have their own superstitions and carry their own lucky charms, but things such as horseshoes and four-leaf clovers are universally seen as lucky.

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In 1945, professional poker player, author and 1995 WSOP Main Event winner 'Action' Dan Harrington was born.

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