Weird and Wonderful Casino Superstitions

In the midst of a scientific and technologically advanced era in which pretty much everything can be explained, we humans can still be prone to some very illogical beliefs.

Since the dawn of civilisation, mankind has held the firm belief that the supernatural can actually control our very destiny. As such, we still find that some people maintain what appear to be completely irrational superstitions, particularly when it comes to influencing good or bad luck.

Indeed, we can often observe people displaying some strange habits while they play in casinos, convinced their fortunes will be enhanced. For example, some believe that rubbing a coin to heat it up, before inserting it into a slot machine, will definitely improve their chances of winning.

This is just one example and has collected some of the myths which surround casino gaming, whilst also debunking many of the most illogical superstitions. Meanwhile, these are a few more strange and unique superstitions we might see when visiting a casino.

Is the number 13 really so bad?

Well, the superstitions which surround the number 13 are so profound and foreboding in western cultures, you won’t find a single casino resort hotel in Las Vegas with a 13th floor. The number has often been so strongly associated with bad luck and misfortune, it’s typically removed completely from buildings, and most hotels in Sin City also omit numbering rooms with 13 too. Some people will even avoid gambling on Friday 13th.

Despite such a strong aversion to the number, funnily enough, one place you’re still guaranteed to find 13 is on roulette tables in Las Vegas casinos. Some people will never place their bets there, of course, although statistically speaking it stands the same chance of winning as every other number. Imagine the ball hitting 13 on that roulette wheel, because we’re sure this would be an instant cure for triskaidekaphobia, as the fear of 13 is known medically.

Unlucky for the vultures

Amongst the most bizarre casino superstitions around is one that originates in South Africa. According to local practitioners of traditional multi medicine and magic, the smoking of dried vulture brains will impart visions of the future, which is considered to be a boon for gamblers that will improve their fortunes. This has led to more gamblers and casino goers trying this unusual practice, hopeful of glimpsing a winning future for themselves.

The practice itself is hardly fortunate for the poor vultures, however, with some species close to extinction according to an article published by the Scientific American. In 2010 it was estimated that the cape vulture and bearded vulture have both seen their numbers fall to less than 400 breeding pairs. Clearly, this is a baseless and illogical superstition that needs to end.

Sitting or standing at slot machines

If you’ve ever seen anyone sat cross-legged on a stool whilst playing a slot machine, the first thought is that they’ve simply assumed a comfortable posture. The other alternative could be they’re dying for the loo and they don’t want to leave their seat, which has actually led to some unfortunate accidents at some casinos over the years.

Interestingly, there’s also a superstition that crossing your legs while playing any casino games is bad luck. Apparently, it creates a barrier between a person’s body and the flow of good luck, if you can believe that. Some people do away with seats entirely when they’re playing slots, weirdly convinced that standing will somehow show the machine you’re ready to walk away, unless it starts paying out.

Wearing anything red will reap rewards

There’s a custom in China that red is the colour of good fortune, which probably explains why red is such a prevalent colour there. If the national flag being entirely red wasn’t enough, the colour everywhere to be seen during Chinese New Year, with a tradition that includes the gifting of money in red envelopes.

Although gambling in casinos is prohibited in mainland China, outlawed since the Communist Party rose to power in 1949, the Special Administrative Region of Macau is now the most lucrative location for casinos in the whole world. There you’ll see plenty of gamblers wearing something red for fortune, and if you don’t, chances are they’re wearing red underwear, as that’s regarded as being especially lucky.

Does luck actually influence the outcome?

Despite these examples of unusual superstitions and what people believe will bring them good fortune, there’s no actual evidence that such activities will enhance the chances of winning casino games. While the outcome of some table games can be influenced by element of skill and knowledge, when it comes to modern slot games, whether they’re mechanical one-arm bandits or video slots in casinos, the payouts are entirely random.

When playing any slot game, most of us will actually win something at some point. Electronic and online slots actually have targeted payback percentages, which are part of the programming. Each spin is entirely random, although it you’re fortunate to receive a winning jackpot spin whilst playing, it’s easy to associate that with good luck. The main aim of such games is entertainment and enjoyment, which should always be your objective.

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