Superstition and Gambling

A lucky 4-leaf clover leads to a win

Superstition is in many ways, ingrained in our very beings. Whether we’re constantly avoiding stepping on pavement cracks or just a little bit more careful on certain Fridays than on others, most of us have had a brush with superstitious behaviour.

Many gamblers, especially, have pet habits believed to be the workers of lucky magic. Often, superstitions start out quite innocently. A certain action or event will coincidentally precede a winning streak in a favourite casino game, resulting in the belief that the action or event was in fact the cause of the winning streak.

The more often this happens, the stronger the belief is re-enforced in the mind of the gambler. Many believe that an explanation for this kind of coincidence is found in the fields of psychology and philosophy, and not necessarily in the realm of the paranormal. The argument is that whatever happens often has more to do with what we have made to happen than what we believe to be true.

Be that as it may, there are tricks and beliefs that have paid the kind of dividends that cannot be ignored, irrespective of the why or how behind it all.

Gambler’s Fallacy

The Gambler’s Fallacy or Paradox is the misconception that a series of past events will always result in the same or a similar future event. What the misconception completely disregards is the fact that most casino games are absolutely random; games of chance in every which way possible.

When a Roulette wheel spins, for instance, each spin will have the exact same probability of landing on black as it does red, irrespective of what the outcome was during the previous turns.

The No-No’s

Gamblers don’t only hold on to positive talismans or superstitions, but also believe that certain things or actions are to be avoided altogether.

The following are gambling superstitions believed to be the bearers of poor luck:

  • Counting winnings or money while still playing.
  • Crossing fingers or legs while at the game table.
  • Swivelling or turning in the chair while playing.
  • The unlucky number 13.

There are also many superstitions relating specifically to dice:

  • If a dice that is in play falls off the table, the player should retrieve it. Using a new dice is considered to be very unlucky.
  • Dice should never hit the player’s hand. Hands must therefore be steered clear of the games table.
  • A member of the fairer sex has a bigger chance of hitting it big when playing for the very first time.
  • The opposite is unfortunately also believed to be true – men do not have the best of luck the first time round.

Love And Luck

There is also a much darker side to gambling superstitions and beliefs. Many gamblers hold fast to the old saying, lucky in gambling, unlucky in love. The theory is that players who constantly win big are never very lucky on the home front. It is believed that they either never find true love or will end up with a string of failed marriages or relationships, seemingly unable to make personal connections work.

By any logic, the opposite must therefore be true also. Those abuzz with personal happiness will most likely not be very successful around the blackjack table.

Back To Fun

In many ways, a gambler being superstitious is the ultimate loop. Many gamblers believe that the very act of being superstitious is the bearer of bad luck. The theory is that as soon as too much focus is placed on any one thing, that thing will come to pass, and often in the exact opposite manner than what we would prefer it to come to pass.

The conclusion then is to forget about superstitions, and just have fun!

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