If luck is involved, you can bet there are going to be some pretty crazy superstitions you run into along the way.
Throughout the course of casino history, there have been a number of different rituals that players think will can swing the karma to their side and result in a huge payday. Obviously there’s no proof behind the claims, but if it works, it works.
Although superstitions often happen organically, feel free to borrow from this list if you’re down on your luck. In this article I’ll lay out 7 crazy casino superstitions.
1 – Not Walking Through the Main Entrance
This one is more of an Asian superstition, but it has been observed by some American players – presumably those who picked it up in Asia.
Eastern gamblers don’t like entering the casino through the main entrance as they believe it causes bad luck. Similarly, they tend to avoid walking into casinos where the entrance resembles the jaws of an animal. Honestly, I think this one kind of makes sense.
One interesting thing to note about these particular superstitions is that they’ve actually caused real change in world-famous casinos. Such an example can be seen in the way MGM Las Vegas has modified the casino to be more welcoming to far-East players.
MGM, which built an entrance that was a lion’s mouth, eventually changed it so that Asian players (who have a tendency to be big spenders) would gamble at their establishment.
2 – Blowing on Dice
Most people have probably observed this ritual on more than one occasion if they’ve spent any time around a craps table. The way it got started, however, is much more mysterious.
It might seem like blowing on dice is a silly superstition akin to rubbing a lucky item, but there might actually be some practical reasons behind doing it. Many have suggested that some gamblers would cover one side of the dice in a sticky substance that was activated by moisture. This means that blowing on the dice would increase the chances that it would wind up how the thrower intended.
To be clear, having a sticky substance on the dice is something that can easily be detected. Perhaps that is the reason why this trick hasn’t really stuck around, outside of the superstition involved with blowing on the dice.
If you see someone at your local casino blowing in their hand before they roll, it’s safe to assume they aren’t actually trying to gain an illegal advantage.
3 – Good Luck Charms
Obviously, carrying good luck charms has been in practice since the dawn of time. When it comes to the casino, there are a number of different items that are believed to have some sort of positive influence on the outcome of your evening.
Most people know about the “rabbit’s foot” charm, but there are many more that have caught on over the years.
One of the most popular good luck charms is a family memento, preferably of someone who has passed away. The philosophy behind this is that they have the heavenly power to help that ball bounce over one spot to black (or insert your own game reference here).
Some other interesting items include acorns (real or fake), certain figurines, hats that were worn during previous winning visits, and also the color red. It’s widely believed that the color red, which represents luck and good fortune in many cultures, is the best choice when visiting the casino.
4 – The Virgin
Relax, relax…it’s not what you think.
One longstanding superstition for craps players is that being accompanied by a virgin, meaning a woman who has never played craps, is good luck. I can’t say for certain, but it seems like this one was made up as an easy way to get a woman to accompany you at a table. However, if it helps, maybe there’s something to it.
Aside from a woman who has never played craps being viewed as good luck, there’s also another side to this superstition. It states that while a woman beginner is good luck, if you are playing with a male who is a craps virgin, your luck might be going in the opposite direction.
The moral of the story is that if you’re a man, it’s better to play with a woman than another man…how convenient!
5 – Walking Away
One of the most common superstitions that exists for a number of different games is the idea that walking away can help you.
Here’s How It Works:
Let’s say you place your bets down on roulette. Once the ball starts spinning, it’s said that it can be lucky to take a few steps back from the table and come back a moment later.
Now, it’s pretty difficult to see how this would actually help. Even for a superstition, this one is questionable at best. However, it does seem logical why players would have developed this habit. The nervous energy that comes with waiting on a ball to land needs to go somewhere, so if taking a quick walk away from the table makes you feel luckier, why not give it a try?
One thing that needs to be mentioned with this particular superstition – make sure you get back to the table in time or you’ll risk drawing the suspicion of staff as someone who is exhibiting strange behavior!
6 – Don’t Count It Out
As the late Kenny Rogers told us once upon a time,
“You never count your money when you’re sitting at the table.”
These lyrics aren’t just good advice in practicality, but they also reveal a longstanding superstition within the gambling community. It’s said to be extremely bad luck to start counting on the money you’ve won (or have left) before you actually decide to cash out for good.
You might be thinking that you need to count out your money for the sake of proper management, but if you’re sticking to your bankroll, you should be fine either way.
In addition to being bad luck, not just for you but for everyone else at the table, it’s simply bad etiquette to be flashing your money around other players. Wait until you’re in a more private spot until you begin seeing how much money you’ve won or lost, and under no circumstances should you ever be counting it at the table.
7 – Unlucky Numbers
You’re probably aware that some numbers are considered lucky, and others are considered a sign of coming misfortune.
The number 7 has been considered lucky for centuries, whereas the number 13 is thought to be the unluckiest of them all. The superstition is taken so seriously that many hotels don’t even have a 13th floor (11, 12, 14, 15).
Besides these two commonly-known superstitious numbers, there is actually another that might carry even more weight in the casino: 50.
The origins of the superstition are a bit murky, but the number 50 seems to be widely avoided when it comes to the issue of the $50 dollar bill.
Although there is no consensus, one reason why the $50 is avoided could have to do with the mob. It’s been said that mobsters in Las Vegas in the 1950s would put a $50 bill into the pocket of murder victims while removing all other money from them prior. The reason? So law enforcement would know not to investigate the crime too closely.
Another possible reason for the fear of the $50 could be the presence of Ulysses S. Grant on the bill. He has come to be seen as an unlucky historical figure and thus his bad luck carries on through the bill.
The $50 issue isn’t just something that players take seriously, but most casinos are on board as well. For example, many casinos don’t even hand out $50 bills to players because they’ve been so widely refused over the years.
Simply put, leave the $50 bill at home or stop at a gas station and make change before you enter the casino.
Do any of these superstitions actually have an impact on the final result? I guess that answer would depend on the success of the person you’re asking. One thing is certain though – these things laid out above are part of what creates the unique culture that is gambling.
Even if you don’t believe in them yourself, if you’re going to be spending time inside a casino, just play along. You never know what could happen if you’re able to curry good favor with the gambling gods.
Michael Stevens has been researching and writing topics involving the gambling industry for well over a decade now and is considered an expert on all things casino and sports betting. Michael has been writing for GamblingSites.org since early 2016. ...
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