The 8 Most Common Casino Superstitions

When it comes to gambling, almost everyone has a superstition of some sort. Sure, there are a few of those logical, calculated players who’ll tell you that carrying around a lucky rabbit’s foot won’t change the odds in a game, but those who have superstitions believe in luck. They believe that different outfits, actions or patterns can change their luck.

Some of the superstitions are a bit out there. But regardless of how weird and wacky they might be, we wanted to compile a list of the most common ones among casino players. Here’s a list of the many you’ll encounter when you play at a casino.

Using The Front Entrance

Starting off with one of the more common superstitions, many players believe that using the front entrance of a casino can bring bad luck. The thinking here is that the superstitious gamblers believe that going through the entrance could lead to bad luck from the leaving losers to rub off on them. The good news is that casinos in Las Vegas – and in many places around the world – are big enough to have many entrances, so this is one that can be avoided.

Blowing On Dice At Craps Table

Women playing craps blowing on dice

Craps is the party game at the casino as you’ll often hear all sorts of hooting and hollering when players get on a roll. Speaking of rolls, players have all sorts of superstitions when it comes to playing craps online. That might include blowing on the dice before the shooter shoots, or maybe having one specific person roll the dice. Some people even have very specific ways of holding the dice – either stacking them and pinching them together before a toss, or just tossing them normally.

Taking Your Cards At The Blackjack Table

Blackjack superstition

If there is one superstition that has some mathematical logic behind it, it’s this one.

Many trained blackjack players prefer playing at a table alone with the dealer or with someone else who knows what they are doing. However, if they’re playing along with the dealer and some yahoo comes in, that can throw everything off. Part of it is superstition, but part of it is that the player might make bad plays and help the dealer get ahead. In other words, if a player is sitting on 16 and should have stood based on what the dealer is showing, but decides to hit one more time and bust, that card could have instead gone to the dealer to bust them.

There is some logic to it, but there’s not much you can do. This is one superstition that you can control, so if you don’t like the set up, you can get up and go to another table.

Slots Machine Players Have Many Superstitions

Woman playing slots

Slots players have tons of superstitions, and many of them simply don’t make logical sense. That’s OK, though, as many superstitions are like that.

Of course, one of the best-known slots superstitions is hitting a loaded machine. What that means is they’ll watch someone play slots at a machine for a while and if they don’t win, they’ll slide in and play right after. The thinking is that the first players has done a lot of the “work” and the jackpot is now right around the corner. A prime example of this is actually shown in one of our favorite episodes of Friends. Phoebe has an older lady watching her play slots, hoping to cash in after she leaves.

While that’s the most famous slots superstition, there are many more. There are some players who prefer to stand instead of sit. Or if they get a win while sitting, they’ll keep sitting or vice-versa. Some players believe that new slot machines are better than old ones. The thinking is that newer slots have a higher likelihood of paying out. And then there’s also the hot/cold coin theory. Some players will seem to think that heating up coins can trick the machine whereas others think chilling coins with ice helps too. It’s an interesting but neither is proven scientifically.

Lucky/Unlucky Numbers In Roulette

Roulette wheel

This one varies by person or by culture, but many people have superstitions when it comes to numbers. Often times, 13 is the number that people either avoid at all costs or consider lucky in roulette. Seven also seems to be a popular one that goes both ways. However, many people have their own number – something personal to them – that they view as lucky or unlucky.

Culturally speaking, Japanese people view the No. 4 as unlucky while the Western culture usually sees No. 13 as unlucky. That’s why you’d be hard-pressed to find a building in North America with a 13th floor.

Lucky Charms At Poker Table

Johnny Chan with orange

We’ve seen a number of really random superstitions at the poker table over the years. Like Johnny Chan, pictured above with an orange, which he claimed to bring him good luck. To be fair, there’s probably many more behind the scenes. After all, the World Series of Poker Main Event is the most broadcasted poker event and each year, we see a number of interesting lucky charms. There are loads more behind the scenes when players play online.

Some of the funny things we’ve seen include outfits. With players either wearing the same clothes for days on end, the same scarf, same jersey, neck piece, blazer and sunglasses. That’s just to name a few. And don’t forget about the guys that show up in full-blown mascot uniforms.

Poker players are known to be very superstitious, so careful calling something out if it looks weird. It’s likely part of their setup.

 Counting Your Money At The Table

Woman counting money after win

Like many of the others on this list, this one can go either way. In general, the superstition has always been that you don’t want to count your money at the table. Not only can this be bad etiquette – if you hold up the game and other players have to wait for you to count – but it’s also viewed as counting your chickens before they’ve hatched. In other words, you don’t want to count your money too soon.

The reason the perception of this has somewhat changed is because it might be important to now how much money you have. This is especially vital to know if you’re in a poker tournament or you’re just trying to gamble responsibly. Just keep in mind if you do it, you might catch an eye roll.

Various Physical Actions

Lastly, we wanted to touch on a number of various physical moves that are viewed as superstitious when you’re at a casino. Crossing your fingers or crossing your legs is seen commonly. A player might cross their fingers as the ball bounces around in roulette or before an important card is dealt. It’s as if crossing your fingers builds up your luck.

Kissing is another big one, which can happen in a number of different ways. Sometimes a player might kiss a partner for good luck. Other times, a player might kiss something like the back of their own hand. Even the dice, a card or something else. They hope that treating the gaming pieces well will in turn result in good treatment from the game.

Lastly, in games that involve chips, you’ll see players have different systems for stacking. Usually, it’s color coded but some will only make chip stacks a certain height.

What superstitions have you heard of, or do you believe in yourself?

Dave Golokhov

Dave Golokhov

Dave has a long history in the media. His career began at The Score Television Network. He’s since been a radio host on Sirius Satellite Radio, made numerous television appearances as a panelist, and has written for publications like FOX Sports, and The Baltimore Sun. He’s interviewed hundreds of celebrities in both sports and entertainment, ranging from Shaquille O’Neal, to Floyd Mayweather, to The Mannings.

As a travel/adventure writer, Dave has written a number of destination stories covering some of the most unique destinations, such as Bilbao (Spain), Tel Aviv (Israel) to Iceland. He’s also (been lucky to) had the opportunity to review the experience of eating at some of the world’s best restaurants, including Noma (Copenhagen), Amber (Hong Kong) and Eleven Madison Park (New York). All of those stories can be read on, The Daily Beast and The Globe & Mail.


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