Famous Gambling Superstitions

min read
triple seven playing cards standing upright on a green felt poker surface surrounded by stacks of poker chips
BetMGM Jun 10, 2023, 11:01 PM

Superstitious beliefs and the use of rituals are known occurrences and practices even in the gambling world. Whether it’s having the lucky number you always bet on or avoiding crossing your legs when placing a bet, most gamblers practice one superstitious belief or the other. The question now is, do they work? 

Gamblers believe that certain practices bring them good and bad luck. Although most have yet to be proven, many people have attributed their successes or failings at a gambling table to certain ritualistic practices, leading to their popularity. These superstitions are present in live dealer casino games, online gaming and on the gaming floor at brick-mortar casinos, including the craps tables

Below is a list of some of the most popular gambling superstitions bettors still use today.

Lucky Numbers

While most believe in lucky items or rituals to improve their luck, some gamblers believe that specific numbers are fortunate while others are not. They usually come up with this conclusion after randomly selecting the number and winning big a time or two. This superstition is present primarily in casino games like live or online roulette. 

The most common lucky number is the number 7; however, gamblers also have a combination of two or more numbers they consider lucky. And much like there are lucky numbers, certain numbers are also considered unlucky.

The number 13 is mainly associated with bad luck in Western culture. This belief extends past the doors of casinos to several hotels, apartment complexes and the like, which skip the 13th floor or 13th room to avoid bad luck. 

The number 4 is considered unlucky in Chinese culture because, when spoken aloud, the word sounds similar to “death,” so it is mostly avoided. Chinese also consider the number 8 lucky because it sounds like “prosperity.”

Lucky Charms

Several gamblers believe that certain items or even another person could bring them luck during the game. These lucky items include jewelry, articles of clothing, a horseshoe, a rabbit’s foot, a four-leaved Clover, lucky rocks, coins and even two-dollar bills.

These unusual items can be spotted on gamblers during casino table games or other activities requiring more luck than expertise, like online slots

While most of it’s still under speculation, it’s worthy of note that 10-time World Series of Poker champion Johnny Chan had an orange on him for every poker game. 

Counting Your Money When Playing

Similar to the old saying, “Don’t count your eggs before they hatch,” most gamblers frown on counting money while you’re still at the gambling table. While it’s difficult to identify exactly why this practice is bad luck, this gambling superstition is still popular among card players. 

Aside from the perceived bad luck, most people view it as poor casino etiquette. So, unless you’re playing casino games online, wait until after the game to calculate your winnings to avoid bad luck (or at least to not ruffle the feathers of other gamblers.)

Crossing Your Legs

Crossing your legs is another old and popular superstition among gamblers. Most believe crossing your legs before placing a big bet could lead to a bad outcome because you’re “crossing out on your luck.” 

This gambling superstition goes back decades to a time when people considered certain gestures as polite or impolite. Other theories claim that it was created to discourage women from gambling. When gambling at a table, most sit; during earlier ages, women were expected to cross their legs when they sat. Painting the regular practice as bad luck at a gambling table would then have discouraged women from gambling. 

While crossing your legs may not affect you as much during casino online betting, better to be safe than sorry. 

Blowing on Dice 

Blowing on a pair of dice before rolling has become so ingrained in the gambling world that most punters do it more out of habit than ritual. This practice has also made its way outside gambling halls and is sometimes seen in friendly family games. 

According to history books, blowing on dice became popular after some dishonest gamblers were seen doing so before rolling. It’s believed that they regularly coated one side of their dice with something sticky, which was activated by heat. Blowing on the dice ensured that they landed exactly as the gamblers wanted. 

Wearing Colors

The Chinese associate the color red with good luck and a symbol to chase evil spirits. Unlike most superstitious gambling practices, players who believe in this superstition can carry out this practice inconspicuously by wearing red undergarments during games. This can help to hide your optimism from your opponents. You can also try your luck at jackpot slots while wearing red and hopefully win big. 

As for unlucky colors, black is widely considered as no-go when playing card games or other casino games like online roulette. This belief likely originated from the widespread conviction that black is associated with death.

Itchy Palms

There’s an old saying which relates itchy palms to money on the way. While several cultures see it as a good sign or an omen of wealth, others see having itchy palms as a sign of bad luck or tells of stress.

Another superstition relating to itchy palms depends on which palm is itching. If you have an itch on your left palm, then you’re about to lose money, but an itch on your right palm means you’re about to land big bucks. This applies to both online casino games and in-person gambling.

Fate and Luck at BetMGM

Are you ready to put your gambling superstition to good use and play the best online casino games with a platform where your safety and entertainment are the top goal? Or maybe you want to try your luck at the poker table? Then you’ve come to the right place! We have a huge selection of casino games, including variety games and jackpot slots.

Register whenever you’re ready to join in on the fun and play at BetMGM.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
About the Author


Read More

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.