The weirdest gambling rituals and superstitions


Gambling is an area that has always been steeped in superstitions and rituals. Many players, for example, do not rely solely on their luck or skill, but also employ a variety of rituals and superstitions in the hope of getting luck on their side. These practices vary culturally and personally, ranging from simple acts to complex ceremonies, and often have deep historical or cultural roots. In this article we take a look at some of the weirdest and most interesting gambling rituals and superstitions from around the world.

Wearing red

In many Asian cultures, especially in China, red is considered the lucky color. This superstition comes from Chinese culture, where red is associated with luck, joy and prosperity. It is not uncommon for players to wear red clothing to improve their luck, especially during important events such as Chinese New Year. Some even go so far as to wear red underwear when visiting a casino in hopes of attracting good luck.

Avoiding the main entrance door


A particularly unique practice occurs at the MGM Casino in Las Vegas, where many players avoid the main entrance. The reason for this lies in the design of the entrance, which used to lead through a huge lion’s head, which many considered to be bad luck as they believed they were “walking into the lion’s mouth”. Although the design has been changed, many continue to avoid the main entrance due to superstition.

Knocking on wood

Knocking on wood to ward off bad luck is a common superstition that is also practiced in gambling. Players knock on wood or simulate knocking when discussing an upcoming winning streak or hoping to end a losing streak. The gesture is intended to ward off “evil spirits” and persuade fate to be favorable to them.

Avoiding the number 13

The fear of the number 13, known as triskaidekaphobia, is widespread in many cultures and does not stop at casinos. For example, many hotels and casinos in Las Vegas do not have a 13th floor or avoid the number 13 when numbering their slot machines. Players themselves often avoid betting with the number 13 or consciously choose it in order to go against fate.

Lucky charms and talismans

Many players bring personal lucky charms or talismans with them to the casino. These can range from simple objects like coins and jewelry to more unusual items like rabbit feet or even small figurines. The selection and use of these items often follows a personal logic or lore intended to bring the player luck.

Rituals before rolling the dice


Craps players are known for their complex rituals before rolling the dice. Some have a particular way of holding, shaking, and tossing the dice in hopes of influencing the outcome. Others whisper words of encouragement to the dice or blow on them before they are thrown. These actions are based on the belief that one can “persuade” luck to be on their side.

Avoiding Saying the Word “Book”

In Germany there is a superstition that saying the word “book” while playing cards brings bad luck. This belief is so common that players often use synonyms or paraphrase the word to avoid the perceived bad luck.

These rituals and superstitions show how deeply rooted belief in the supernatural is in gambling. Although many of these practices are scientifically untenable, they provide players with a sense of control and comfort in an otherwise unpredictable environment. Ultimately, it is the combination of hope, faith and a bit of superstition that makes the gambling experience so fascinating for many.

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