As with many things involving luck (and lots of money), people always try to see a pattern to the randomness, not able to believe that they are potentially throwing away their money into a game of chance and so through superstition, try to claw back some control and predictability. In a game of this type there is always some skill involved, but it is possible to see many different types of superstition in those playing this game; from maintaining everything a player is doing while in a good streak, such as leaving an unlit cigarette in their mouth, or leaving the table, to more bizarre things such as talisman rabbit feet, or other talismans. Stud Poker is played directly with the house, and so therefore tactics such as bluffing or other deception do not play a role in this game, potentially a further motivation in turning to superstition. Even professional players whose living comes from gambling are superstitious, and they are the ones who are supposed to rely more on skill over luck.
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How to Approach Caribbean Stud
In a game that already has favourable odds towards the house, it is important that those playing the game do not base their every move and tactics on emotions. Although many people have their superstitions and depending on their beliefs these may or may not work for them, it is important to have a good understanding of the practical components of the game, and understand that decisions should be based on awareness of the game than whether you’re feeling lucky or not; because when it comes down to it, you play the cards, not how you feel. There is already enough risk involved in playing any gambling game, but in a game like Caribbean Stud where different combinations of cards can put you ahead, it is always better to go with the cards in your hand that give the best opportunity and not build up the risk and the odds against you. Every act that is based on feeling lucky drives the odds against the player in favour of the house.
There are many superstitions that vary from player to player, especially when there is some personal skill and tactic involved as a pose to slots, which are just random luck and have no strategy. These superstitions may lead a player to work against rational deductions and sense when playing the game, or they may serve to reinforce a player’s confidence in their decision, which is based on the game in front of them.
Perhaps the most common superstition that most people have, not just when playing poker but from day to day life too, is the belief that certain possessions can bring good luck to the bearer. There is one such case of a professional poker player who loaned out his talisman with a Ghostbuster picture on for several hundred dollars per sitting because it was believed to have brought such good luck.
The Colour Red
The universal colour of luck, red, may be enough for someone who puts their knowledge to the background when faced with this colour. The player may be inclined to follow this colour rather than the odds, with the hope of a large reward from playing large risks at the end.
Distracting Bad Luck
This may sound especially irrational to those who do not subscribe to superstition, but it has been known for some players to divert the attention of bad luck by distracting it by dropping things on the floor, or even dressing up dolls as casino dealers. Sometimes though, a player’s belief in superstition can be somewhat manipulated by the Casino, who stands to win.
Casino’s React to Superstition
Casino’s sometimes react to the superstitions of players, because in the long run those playing relying on luck are bound to make irrational decisions and likely lose a lot of money, which means the house wins. Perhaps the biggest example of this goes back to the 90s when a casino had to completely redesign and build its entrance of a lion’s mouth, as Asians consider walking into a lion’s mouth bad luck, which is clear to understand why. An example such as this goes to demonstrate that the superstitions of players largely benefits the house; and for a game like Caribbean Stud, when playing directly against the house who have the odds in their favour, it is important to consider this when informing your decision.
An erroneous misunderstanding of statistics stemming from the probability theory of ‘regression to the mean’, is the assumptive habit that many gamblers resort to, that is based on the logic that if something hasn’t happened for a while, then it must do soon. It contradicts the essential requirement of all poker players, more so of Caribbean Stud players; the requirement of patience, and to play each hand separately from the last maintaining reason and a clear head for each. This is perhaps more important in the case of Caribbean Stud as element of bluffing and other deception is taken away; and although this could potentially be a damaging temptation, in this game the dealer will never fold, and never do anything that will benefit the player.
Handling the Cards
Picking up the cards dealt with your left hand is consider by some players to be bad luck; this superstition has roots in the centuries old belief that the right hand is pious, and the left hand is evil and lucky. A further way that some players believes to improve luck, or simply avoid bad luck is by not playing a hand that they have dropped while still playing it, as an act like that is sure to be a bad omen of an approaching failure.
Whether superstition works or does not work depends very much on the individual player and their beliefs. Some of the most famous and successful poker players have been superstitious and have written books on the subjects. The most important factor when playing a game of odds and understanding, is a clear understanding of the game as it unfolds and basing good reasonable decisions on that rather than anything else. A lucky talisman may make you feel positive and lucky, and this positivity may be good through a series of cold hands, or a losing streak, but it should never affect strategy.
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