The Most Bizarre Gambling Lucky Charms from Around the World

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BetMGM Mar 01, 2023, 1:41 AM

Gambling and superstitions often go hand in hand. Players have gone to great lengths to appease the gods of luck in the casino. It could be carrying a strange good luck charm, wearing red clothing, adding weird habits and rituals to your gaming or chanting mantras. Some players even rely on star signs to guide their gambling and luck. Luck is elusive and people have found different ways to capture it. Some methods are straight-up bizarre. Check out our list of lucky charms from around the world, then put them to the test at an online poker table at BetMGM. 

Why do players use lucky charms for gambling?

Playing casino games can create a lot of pressure, especially when it comes to deciding on how much to bet. Lucky charms let players “share the pressure” and put their faith in something else when they can’t put it in themselves. No matter how skilled you are, you can’t control or predict everything in luck-based games. If you believe in them, using a lucky charm adds a little more certainty or belief in a game where anything can happen. You could win big, and you could lose big. A little faith never hurt anyone, right? 

But do these lucky charms actually work? If we look at the science and the mechanisms of casino games, no. Carrying a rabbit’s foot won’t improve your chances. If your game works with a random number generator (RNG) or a dice roll, your chances can’t be affected or influenced. The house edge remains the same and so do your odds of success. While these charms may be a tool to ground you when you play, or boost your confidence and faith, don’t bet on them. Use the added confidence to rely on your strategy and beat the game.

Craziest gambling good luck charms from around the world

Around the world, people have their own bizarre lucky charms with interesting originating stories. Let’s take a look at some of the craziest things people use for good luck. 

Rabbit’s foot

United States

Everything starts at home. Before we look at gamblers’ lucky charms from the other side of the border, let’s look at a strange one we have right here. While the US has a plethora of symbols for luck, none is as strange as the rabbit’s foot. 

The origins of the symbol differ depending on who you ask. One belief can be traced to ancient Celtics who thought that creatures that burrow into the earth like rabbits could directly communicate with gods and spirits. Others trace the belief to African American magical traditions and the cunning Brer Rabbit and how he used his intellect to overcome adversity. Today some people still carry a paw, often dyed and fastened into a keychain, to help them get lucky in the casino and in life. 


Norway and England

Placing acorns on your windowsill was an old Norse tradition to protect homes from being struck by lightning. As oak attracts lightning, the Norwegian Vikings believed that since the god of lightning and thunder had saved these trees, the acorns would do the same for their homes. 

In England, witches used to pass acorns between themselves in the woods as a secret message to tell others who they were and that they could be trusted. The acorns’ connection to magic stuck, and some people believe acorns can prevent illnesses and pain and speed up healing and recovery.

Carp scales

Poland, Austria, Germany

Serving carp for dinner on Christmas Eve is common in many parts of Europe. However, it’s much more than a meal. In Poland, Austria and Germany, carp scales are a popular good luck charm. Before it’s cooked and served, the fish must live in the family bathtub for a few days. Once it’s been killed, cooked and served, guests and family will collect the carp scales to carry for good luck in the new year. 

Who knows, maybe you could carry a carp scale to help you channel the different types of luck in poker games. If it doesn’t work, you can still say you had a great dinner. 

Scarab beetle


There shouldn’t be anything remarkable or special about a beetle that eats feces to survive, but the Ancient Egyptians begged to differ. When they observed how the scarab beetle rolled dung across the sand, they saw it as a symbol of the sun moving across the sky. The beetle became a symbol for the sun god, Khepri or Ra. The Egyptians believed the scarab would protect them from evil forces and spirits if they wore it. To this day, the insect is used as a good luck charm in many jewelry items. 

Next time you play the popular Scarab Gold slot or any other scarab-themed slot, you’ll finally understand the cultural significance of the beetle as a symbol of good luck. 

Three-legged toad


The three-legged toad, or the Jin-Chan as it’s known in its “native” China, is not the prettiest sight but it is believed to attract prosperity and good fortune in its homeland. The red-eyed three-legged bullfrog usually sits on a pile of coins with a coin in its mouth. According to ancient feng shui beliefs, the Jin-Chan helps attract and protect wealth because it symbolizes the flow of money. 

The money toad is said to bring good luck and fortune to your home, but if it doesn’t have a coin in its mouth, it must face away from the home or it will suck the wealth away. In China it’s still used traditionally to keep bad luck at bay and to help businesses prosper.


India and Thailand

All over Asia, especially in India and Thailand, elephants are a powerful symbol of stability, strength and wisdom. An elephant facing your door will bring good fortune and many Asian business owners place elephants at the entrances of their shops. But how did these pachyderms become such a prominent symbol that can be seen in businesses, clothing and jewelry?

The Buddhist and Hindu god Indra is associated with white elephants. Indra has a flying white elephant with 33 heads, commonly depicted with three. Indra and his elephant are thought to control the weather, and many believe elephants can bring blessings of rain and good fortune. The common belief is that the elephant’s trunk must be turned up for good luck. If it hangs down, some see this as a symbol of bad luck, while others think this allows luck to be passed freely among everyone.

Should you put your faith in good luck charms?

Good luck charms can teach us a lot about a culture and its values. While some of these charms might seem odd, you may have used them in your own life. Luckily, when you play online casino games, you are free to carry any charm or perform any ritual away from judging eyes. Always remember to trust the odds more than any charms or rituals. The best way to improve your luck is to choose the games with the lowest house edge and to play using the best strategies. Charms may be a fun confidence booster or a homage to a culture or a tradition you hold dear, but don’t let them lead you to irresponsible gambling. Set limits and stick to your budget. 

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Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are sports experts with a wealth of knowledge of the sports industry at all levels. Their coverage includes sports news, previews and predictions, fun facts, and betting.