Strangest Gambling Superstitions

Strangest Gambling Superstitions

When you’re in the habit of betting thousands of dollars on the outcome of a single roll of dice, turn of the wheel or turn of the cards, the concept of superstition can take on a whole new meaning – and frequently does. Here are just a few of the most famous and enduring gamblers’ superstitions:

Rabbit’s Foot

A rabbit’s foot has long been regarded as a potent weapon against any potentially malicious behaviour by the forces of fate. The logic is probably that the rabbit absorbs all available bad luck in relinquishing its foot, thereby freeing gamblers to proceed with confidence in their ability to take on the odds with the balance of good luck remaining.

Dice Blowing

Explaining the rationale behind blowing on dice during games of craps is somewhat more difficult to explain. The practice probably predates the sanitised environments of modern casinos, and dates back to an era when dice games were played on dusty battle fields by bored soldiers, who blew on dice to balance them before the roll. Another possibility worth exploring is that craps players are insane.

Women

 

Through the ages men plagued by a sense of uncertainty and of facing possible bad luck would take the easiest available route, and blame those presences in the environment which they were least capable of understanding – women.
As a result women were fed to volcanoes, sacrificed at feasts or simply toasted on open flames. While treatment of women is far less barbaric today, many male gamblers still get a chill up their spine when a woman seats herself at a gaming table.
Amongst the most famous gamblers suffering from female-phobia is poker legend Doyle Brunson, who openly wrote of his superstitious fear of women at cash games in his poker bible, Super system.

Clothing

In a nod to the obsessive-compulsive roots of superstitions, the most superstitious gamblers frequently target items of their own clothing as possible sources of bad luck. The self-proclaimed “best no-limit hold ’em player in the world”, Phil Hellmuth, is one such superstitious gambler, who believes that the colour of his clothing has a direct impact on his fortunes. He therefore refuses to wear anything white at poker games.

Numbers

The idea that certain numbers possess mystical properties dates back thousands of years, and has most likely been kept alive by gamblers during the intervening millennia. Today the belief that certain numbers are lucky is probably the most common gamblers superstition, with many believing that certain numbers or combinations thereof have special potency.

Money

While it might be possible to connect superstitions regarding money to those concerned with numbers, the fact of the matter is that one will always struggle to explain how gamblers can be afraid of the very object of their pursuit.
Gambling superstition, however, apparently knows no bounds, with many gamblers refusing to take payouts in specific denominations. One famous example is 1983 World Series of Poker winner, Tom McEvoy, who refused to touch 50-dollar notes while playing poker.

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