Superstition Ain’t the Way: Top Unfounded Gambling and Casino Beliefs

playing cards dice and horseshoe on wooden surface

You’ve likely heard of some pretty specific rituals from fellow gamblers, such as not whistling at the table or always wearing their lucky red socks at the casino. When a game is left to chance, people believe they need to act carefully to not bring bad luck upon themselves. That’s why superstitions are rampant in the gambling world, including the idea that slot machines can be hot or cold.

Of course, believing in gambling superstitions will not guarantee you a win (or loss). Here are the top superstitious beliefs you may hear about as players try to snag a big win.

Stay Away from Unlucky Numbers

One of the biggest beliefs across all cultures is that there are unlucky numbers. In Western culture, the number 13 is associated with bad luck and even death. For this reason, gamblers avoid placing bets on the number 13. In China, people avoid the number 4 on the casino floor because it is associated with their word for death, “Siwang.” Of course, there haven’t been any studies supporting this logic of unlucky numbers.

Itchy Hands Tell the Future

In many European countries, there’s a common superstition that a gambler’s itchy palms can predict whether they will win big or lose out on money. Specifically, the left hand itches when good fortune is around the corner, and the right hand itches when a loss is imminent. While there’s no evidence indicating where or when this superstition originated, there have also not been any studies proving this belief true.

Red Is for Good Luck

Many Asian cultures associate the color red with success in life. This is why many gamblers wear red clothing, such as red underwear, when playing casino games. They feel this small act will help them win big.

No $50 Bills Here

A popular superstition that originated in the United States is that you shouldn’t use $50 bills for gambling. It’s said this belief came about because $50 bills were the bills most likely to be counterfeit. It may have also come about because the Mafia used to bury people in the Nevada desert with $50 bills in their pockets. With these two scenarios, it’s no wonder why players actively avoided $50 bills. Of course, now it’s just an unfounded superstition.

Don’t Cross Your Legs

One of the most popular casino superstitions is crossing your legs at the table. This relaxed posture is said to bring back luck to the player, but there’s no evidence to support this claim. No one is even sure where it originated from.

Grab Your Lucky Charms

Good luck charms have been around for centuries. People use them to support their favorite sports teams, and players use them to secure a big win. These lucky charms can range from a special cap to pieces of jewelry to a lucky rabbit’s foot to a favorite card protector. It doesn’t matter if the player loses more than they win with the lucky charm — as long as they have it when they hit the jackpot, they’re convinced it brings good fortune.

Unlucky in Love but Lucky in Cards

The Germans have a saying — “unlucky in cards, lucky in love” — that is meant to encourage someone who has just lost a hand. However, today, it has been twisted to suggest that you will have good luck while playing games if you’re not lucky in your relationships. This superstition is probably one of the most unfounded beliefs. In fact, many famous poker players are happily married.

The Truth Behind the Lies

Have you fallen for any of these superstitions? Hopefully, you’ll now be able to see that none of these practices can bring you good or bad luck while playing. These superstitions are simply ways people feel some sort of control in a game of chance.

If you find it difficult to manage your gambling behavior, you can reach out to our team for help dealing with your gambling problem. Struggling with a gambling problem is nothing to be ashamed of. In fact, many people have misconceptions about problem gamblers, just as they do about gambling superstitions.

If you’re interested in gaining access to resources and services to help you manage your problem gambling, get in touch with us through our confidential and free helpline.


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