When we think of superstitions we often think of people being afraid of black cats, or refusing to walk under a ladder. Or how about the one where you get 7 years of bad luck for breaking a mirror?
We all have lots of little beliefs we often don’t think about too hard, but if we looked at them logically we would be a little surprised. In gambling, some people become incredibly superstitious, and in ways you might not expect. If a big win happened while wearing a particular type of socks, the player may always wear that pair of socks, every time they play the same game- they might not wash them either!
Some superstitions however, are stranger than others. We’ve put together the top 5 strangest superstitions that will make you scratch your head in wonder!
Lucky Belly Buttons
The first superstition is based solely on your own your own body. In parts of China, they talk about Ins and Outs. And what they are referring to is their belly buttons. If you have an innie you are believed to have better luck than if you have an outie belly button. This means if you gamble, you’ll have better luck if you were born blessed with a belly button that goes in the right direction!
Winners Wear Red
Another strange superstition from China is that red is the lucky colour. In Chinese culture, red is the colour of prosperity and that has carried over into the belief that it creates luck. Red shoes, red underwear, red glasses and anything else red all contributes to your good fortune. Chinese casinos even have red rooms that are considered luckier, and this is where they hold their high stakes games.
While many superstitions have a long history, one is actually only about 20 years old. Many people believe it’s unlucky to walk through the front door of a casino and this originated from a time when MGM Grand Casino had a large lion as its entrance, and players had to walk into the mouth of the beast to enter the gaming floor. This may be a contributing factor as to why MGM Grand has revamped their entrance, and done away with their signature statue.
Some superstitions can actually be bad for nature and in South Africa; players believe they can increase their luck by taking muti. Muti is the local word for a magical medicine and in gambling you’ll be far luckier of you’ve smoked the dried brains of vultures. Unfortunately, vultures are an endangered species and the belief that they bring luck isn’t helping conservation efforts at all, nor does smoking their brains sound very appealing.
Getting Lucky in Thailand
Possibly the strangest and most interesting superstition is from Thailand. Thai players in casinos have been known to wear a penis medallion around their neck for good luck. The charm is called a Phalad Khik and means honourable surrogate penis. These amulets vary in size and can be anything from a finger length, to over a foot in length.
Traditionally, the Phalad Khik is worn under the clothing on a string around the waist, and slightly off centre from its real counterpart. Not only do they supposedly bring the wearer luck, they are also said to make them irresistible to women.
So there you have it, our top 5 strangest gambling superstitions. Next time you wear your lucky charm or blow on the dice, spare a thought for those whose beliefs have them smoking vulture brains or wearing strange shaped phalluses in a quest for bigger wins!