Superstitions go way back, probably ever since the dawn of civilization. No matter where you come from, there’s always some crazy ritual or belief that people live by when it comes to gambling.
From carrying unique charms to performing a ritual before placing a bet, gamblers will do everything to influence lady luck to smile on them. Some of these beliefs are quite strange, so use your discretion before you adopt any of them.
Here are nine common superstitious traits of casino customers.
Ins and Outs
Chinese people are mainly superstitious when it comes to gambling. And it’s just not confined to their attire and habits, but also their bodies. According to the Chinese gamblers, a concave naval is exceptionally prosperous. They believe that the money comes to people with innie belly buttons. The dipped shape of the naval apparently translates to better luck at winning a bet. So the next time you go to a casino, remember to check your belly button. Luckily most people around the world are blessed with an inwards belly button. For the rest 10% of the population, well, you’re on your own.
Lucky Charms and Underpants
Fortune charms are part and parcel of almost every culture. Lucky pennies, four-clover leaves, and rabbit’s foot are some of the things carried by most gamblers. Some people also have specific items of clothing and jewelry that they believe bring them good luck. The color red represents joy and prosperity in many cultures. This is why most Chinese gamblers believe that wearing red underwear to the casino will impress the lady luck! If you don’t have any red undies, you can wear red glasses, red shoes or other red accessories as well. Chinese casinos even have red rooms that are considered luckier and used for high-taking betting games.
Carrying Mutilated Animal Parts
Bizarre as it may sound, some cultures around the world believe that bringing a rabbit’s foot or smoking a vulture’s brains could enhance their chances of winning a bet. Gamblers in South Africa smoke up vulture brains for better foresight and power to see the future. This ritual stems from a traditional medicine practice called Muti (basically voodoo magic) where minds of this now endangered bird are grounded and then smoked up. That’s what we call “fowl” play!
Bring Your Own Mojo
Gamblers are probably the most superstitious people and will do almost anything to win a bet. Some people believe in carrying trinkets, wearing pendants, rings, or other accessories to gambling houses. Others carry special leaves, flowers or animal parts. People in Thailand have taken it a notch higher. Gamblers in Thailand are known to wear penis shaped medallions around their necks. According to Thai culture, these phallic pendants known as “Palad Khik” not only attract good fortune but also make them irresistible to women.
Tap on the Shoulder
There are specific dos and don’ts that gamblers follow when they are inside a casino. For instance, it is considered unlucky to play at a new table or to whistle while you place a bet. Also, Chinese gamblers believe that tapping a fellow player’s shoulder during a match brings bad luck to them. However, this practice is less superstitious and more of plain old common sense. For, you see, gambling is less about luck and more about the brains. Games like blackjack, gambling, or poker require immense concentration and focus. Players need to put on their best stoic face to gauge the opponent’s moves beforehand. In such a crucial moment, a tap on the shoulder can turn the tables.
Luck and Numbers
Gambling is all about hitting the right numbers and making the correct calculations. However, some players believe some numbers to be lucky and some to bring bad luck. For instance, the number 8 is considered very lucky while number 13 is apparently spooky. Eight in Chinese represents fortune and is also a symbol of eternity. Many cultures have associated different meanings to the digits depending on their traditions. Gamblers usually don’t start with four as the number sounds a lot like the Cantonese word for “die.” Similarly, three and multiples of three have a mystic meaning attached to them.
Gambling and Grooming
Indians also have some fascinating beliefs when it comes to gambling. People believe that shaving or getting a haircut on a Tuesday brings bad luck. Most Indian gamblers would steer clear of the barber on a Tuesday before hitting the casino. The superstition made sense a couple of decades ago when a majority of the population was into farming and could get only the first day of the week off for their grooming. Slowly, this practice became the norm of the day as rumors spread about evil spirits that would catch people with trimmed fingernails on a Tuesday night.
The Lion’s Share
A lot of Chinese gamblers believe in the power of Feng Shui. This philosophy states that the world is full of both positive and negative forces or chi that can be manipulated to your liking. Players usually avoid entering the casino from the main door as the feng shui masters supposedly curse those. This superstitious trait stems from the MGM Grand Hotel and Casino that had a giant lion at its entrance. People had to walk in through the mouth of the beast to enter the gambling floor. The hotel has recently renovated its signature entrance.
You must have seen those pretty plastic waving cat figures on countertops, car dashboards, or in somebody’s guest room. These adorable cats are considered to bring great fortune in Japanese culture. Also known as Maneki-Neko or lucky cats, these figures are prevalent among gamblers. In fact, many online casinos in Japan keep these fortune felines close to the computer in hopes that the grinning cat would bestow them with good luck.