Top 5 of Gamblers’ Superstitions


Posted: May 2, 2016

Updated: May 2, 2016

Gamblers’ superstitions are said to be the weirdest of all. Join us and discover the most common and the strangest beliefs in the world of gambling.

Some gamblers tend to watch out for signs and indicators in every nuance that happens around the table, firmly believing that those will influence the game-play and their luck. Even if they don’t always make gambling news, gamblers’ superstitions can go to such extremes, as keeping a rabbits’ foot and rubbing it for the best possible chances. Let’s take a look at some of the well- and less-known superstitions among gamblers.

1. The novice player’s luck

As a new player you can be sure to enjoy your fifteen minutes of fame on the casino floors. The novice player’s luck, or beginner’s luck, is one of the most widely-known superstitions among gamblers. It’s believed that a novice player cannot lose on his first bet. Based on this belief, when there’s a beginner player at the table, some of the more experienced ones will follow his bets. So why are the beginners luckier than seasoned players? Scientists say that it’s pure psychology: experienced players are under pressure to win, while beginners are free of expectations.

2. What about the ladies?

Gamblers’ superstitions are pretty contradictory when it comes to female companion. On the more extreme side, some believe that it’s a bad omen to meet a woman on your way to the casino or card room. Also, you should not let a lady touch your shoulder before taking seat at a casino table as, some say, it brings nothing but bad luck. On the contrary, Edwardians believed that the presence of a beautiful girl will ensure their luck in card games. 

Lucky charm girl

Tell her she’s your good luck charm (Photo: Genting Casino)

Some Edwardian players were actually hiring attractive girls to stand behind their chair while playing.

3. Gambler’s superstitions concerning animals

It was already mentioned that some gamblers are more than willing to hold and rub rabbits’ foot to secure their luck. Nowadays, rabbits’ foot come in various colors and forms. You can attach one to your phone, hang another on your keychain, or simply wear it in your neck as – a rather disturbing – accessory.

Lucky charm rabbit leg

Forget about the poor rabbit, lucky, you! (Photo: Wikipedia)

Badgers, more specifically their teeth, are also believed to guarantee fortune. Accordingly, if you’re armed with badgers’ tooth, you’ll be unbeatable. Last but not least: make sure to play at a casino where dogs are not allowed. Some say that the presence of a dog brings bad luck to gamblers and it might also suggest cheating.

4. Unlucky cards

Some of the mentioned lucky charms might help you to avoid the ‘Devil’s Four-Poster Bed’, better-known as the Four of Clubs. Some gamblers think that a hand that contains this card is destined to loose. Furthermore, if you’re the first to receive the Four of Clubs your whole sitting will be unsuccessful. The Nine of Diamonds is also a bad omen, especially among Scottish gamblers. This card is also known as the ‘Curse of Scotland’ as it was the card used by the Earl of Stair, Sir John Dalrymple, to authorize the Glencoe Massacre. Poker players should be familiar with the Dead Man’s Hand, a two-pair poker hand consisting of black aces and eights. According to the legend, these were the cards held by Wild Bill Hickok’s when he was murdered.

5. Gamblers’ Superstitions at the racetrack

If you bet on sports you’re not safe at the racetracks either, as horse racing is also surrounded by superstitions. Most bettors consider the horse’s number, or the color of the jockeys’ clothes. Long time horse-race enthusiasts will warn you against betting on a horse whose name was changed. They believe that a horse gets confused and insecure if its name was changed.

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