Cooking Up Good Luck: Gambling Rituals and Tokens

min read
Two horse shoes and three four leaf clovers on a wooden table
BetMGM Nov 03, 2023, 9:11 AM

From Tiger Woods only wearing red on Sundays to Cristiano Ronaldo making sure his right foot touches the field first — many athletes practice rituals and superstitions. And it’s no different for gamblers. With the hope of attracting luck in a casino, many gamblers perform rituals to help guide them to victory. 

Although performing a pre-game ritual doesn’t improve your chance of winning, it does act as an effective mental and psychological boost. Whether you’re playing in person or at an online casino, you can adopt various luck rituals — just don’t expect them to ensure you win all your games. 

Luck plays a significant role in gambling already. Still, players use rituals to attempt to ensure good fortune. For instance, poker has various types of luck — like dealing, drawing and positional luck. This article dives into the world of good luck rituals for gambling.

The Different Types of Gambling Rituals

Whether you’re playing machine or casino table games, every occasion seems to have a gambling ritual. And while there is no single way that gamblers attempt to improve their luck, most are always trying to sway the odds in their favor — and many believe rituals are the way to do so. 

Attire

Gambling superstitions and rituals often begin when someone has experienced their most memorable win. Wearing the same clothes they wore on that victorious occasion can create lucky rituals among athletes and amateurs.

Others wear iconic gambling symbols like four-leaf clover (a symbol of good fortune) cufflinks or their best suit for a “dress good, play good” mindset. 

Lucky Charms

Influenced by cultural beliefs, there are a variety of lucky charms gamblers use around the world. The four-leaf clover is the most iconic charm associated with gambling, deriving from the Celtic tradition. 

Often kept in one’s pocket while playing, a rabbit’s foot is another well-known charm across many cultures and is believed to provide protection and bring good luck. Don’t worry. It’s not a real rabbit’s foot; they’re often plastic items bought in gift shops.

South of the border, Latin Americans correlate red with good fortune. When gambling, they’ll often wear red, with underwear being the most popular way to do so. 

Gamblers often wear lucky charm-inspired jewelry, such as a rabbit foot pendant on a necklace or four-leaf clovers on a bracelet. 

Anointments

Oils, colognes and perfumes are another popular pre-game ritual. And they’ll usually be casino-inspired; for example, Lucky Lottery Oil, Atlantic City Cologne and Winner — Vencedor Perfume. Gamblers apply these fragrances before entering the casino or turning on the laptop if gambling online.

Another quirky ritual is lighting a candle, like a Fast Luck Candle, before heading to the casino and anointing oneself with the oil extracted. 

Card Handling

When it comes to card games, gamblers use various specialized rituals to influence good luck at the casino table. A universal ritual is blowing on the cards before each round or tapping a specific corner.

When playing poker, some players will avoid looking at their hand during the preflop. The first time they look is after the dealer places down the flop. It’s unclear why they do this and that applies to others and their unique superstitions, but it might have something to do with mental preparation. 

Dice Rituals

Dice games like craps also attract unique rituals. A popular one is turning around and not touching the table after throwing the dice. At the same time, others like to shout at the dice or tap the table vigorously. 

Online Rituals

 With the introduction of virtual reality and live dealer online casino games, the online sphere is becoming increasingly closer to the real world. Online players can now play video poker, which entails a live dealer — helping bring the authentic experience to them. 

 There are several premeditated actions online players do in a bid to give them good fortune. While some place a specific bet in increments of four, others wait for their clock to reach a particular time before betting.

 Although gambling online requires no social interaction or dress code, players still tend to wear their lucky charms, clothes and scents. From the information above, it’s clear that there are many quirky and personalized rituals, whether online or offline.

Personal Rituals

 Similarly to Cristiano Ronaldo making sure his right foot touches the field first, many individuals have a personal routine. A heroic performance often influences these rituals, such as winning a high roller event or their biggest pot. Individuals will reflect on what they did in the build-up to that performance and replicate it repeatedly. 

 For many, this may be as quirky as putting on their left sock first, while for others it’s rubbing the casino wall as you enter. 

 Dancing Ritual

An uncommon ritual amongst gamblers, but it’s still performed worldwide. Dancing evokes emotion and some believe it to bring luck. Individuals often do it before leaving home, while getting changed or after a bet. 

Lucky Numbers

If you asked a friend or family member their lucky number, most would have an answer. Sometimes they’ve chosen their lucky number at random, while for others, the number simply resonates with them enough to choose it.

777 is the lucky number associated with gambling and players will often have it embroidered on an article of clothing. Or they’ll have a 777 charm in their pocket. 

Crossing Fingers

Crossing fingers is perhaps the most popular ritual performed around the world. For gamblers who incorporate this, they’ll often do it while the wheel is spinning (roulette,) before the next community card appears (poker) or when the machine is running (slots.) Some individuals take it one step further and cross their toes too. 

Friendship Ritual

Before an NBA basketball game, teammates often perform handshakes when they step onto the court. For gamblers who play together, their ritual before playing may be a handshake they’ve made up. 

Gamble Online at BetMGM

Put your lucky rituals to the test and gamble online. BetMGM is the perfect one-stop shop to enjoy all your favorite gambling activities and possibly even introduce you to new ones. 

Register today and enjoy a selection of themed tables, bonuses and live dealers. Whether you prefer roulette, poker, bingo, roulette or blackjack, you can enjoy a seamless experience on any device — laptop, tablet or phone.

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