Some gambling superstitions are widespread, others are personal. People have engaged themselves in gambling since the dawn of time.
Most have their own private lucky symbols. It could be a lucky piece of clothing or a charm. Here is a list of the most common gambling superstitions:
Some gamblers may stand up and turn their chair around to try to change their luck for the better.
A common gambling superstition when playing the craps is that you need to blow on the dice before rolling. That gesture should improve your luck.
It is also considered lucky to rub the dice on the head of a red-head.
Do not sit with your legs crossed. This will cross out your good luck.
Sitting on a handkerchief is supposedly good luck. Make sure you fold it in the shape of a square.
Do not let dogs sit near your spot when gambling. It is bad luck.
Never play poker on a polished table. The reflection may reveal what cards you have. It is for this reason just about all poker tables are covered with green felt.
Be sure you dress well. Do not engage in any sort of gambling looking sloppy. Since Ancient times it has been known that the Goddess Fortuna likes neatness.
Never sing or whistle when playing cards. It is bad luck.
If you find yourself losing it may be a good idea to go wash your hands. Superstition states that you will wash away your bad luck. For those of you on a winning streak don’t even consider washing your hands or you will wash away your good luck.
Do not look at your cards before the dealer has finished dealing the cards. If you receive a card you believe is lucky, try to discreetly touch it with your index finger for luck.
If your poker game is scheduled on a Friday, make sure it does not start before 6 P.M.
Never, ever lose your temper. That is simply a very bad omen.
Some believe it is lucky to carry a dice in your pocket at all times. That will ensure you will never run out of money.
Many will have some kind of lucky charm. Carrying a rabbit’s foot used to be very popular. Actually many million rabbit’s feet are sold yearly in the United States.
Others may swear to a lucky coin in their pocket or shoe. The coin is even more auspicious if it was minted in the year you were born. A coin with a hole in the middle is especially auspicious.
All in all any kind of lucky charm that has worked for you in the past is worth holding on to.
Chinese Gambling Superstitions
Never touch the shoulder of someone who is gambling.
Playing games for money is extremely popular in the Chinese culture. A good example is the game of mahjong. Walking into a room where games are played for money carrying a book is a big no-no. The reason for this is the word for “book” and the word for “to lose” are very similar in the Chinese language.
Always wear the color red. Red is considered highly auspicious. Make sure you always wear something red. It could be red shoes or socks. If red is not a complementary color for your complexion at least wear red underwear.
Never engage in sexual activity before serious gambling. Many believe you can’t be lucky in love and winning money at the same time.
Women have increased luck if they happen to have their period when gambling.
Try to avoid entering a casino through the main entrance.
Never count your money when you are in the middle of a game.
Never stay in a hotel room which is number four. Four is an extremely unlucky number in China. It is similar to the word for “death”.
Oranges are the fruits of good luck and prosperity. Many gamblers eat oranges for this reason.
Nezha – Chinese God of Gamblers
Nezha is the Chinese god favorite to many gamblers. He is also the god many professional drivers put their trust in.
He can fly fast on his wind fire wheels. Nezha was the third son of the general Li Jing.
He was incarnated and sent by the Jade Emperor to fight demons raging through the human world.
His mother had been pregnant for three and a half years before she gave birth. When she finally went into labor she gave birth to a small ball of flesh.
Her husband had a terrible tantrum and smashed the ball with his sword. Out popped Nezha. The boy soon showed he had magical powers. He was widely known to be full of mischief.
Nezha killed the third son of the Dragon King and got away with it. His parents ended up getting arrested because Nezha could not be found. Nezha then commits suicide to save his father’s honor.
His mother secretly builds a temple in his honor. Three years later the immortal T’ ai creates a new body for Nezha from lotus flowers. Nezha is reunited with his father and brothers. They fought off all their enemies and established the Chou dynasty.
Saint Cajetan – Patron Saint of Gamblers
Yes, there actually is a patron Saint for gamblers. His name is Cajetan. He is also known as Gaetano. He was born in Vicenza, Italy in 1480 and died in Naples in 1547.
His feast day is August 7th.
Cajetan was educated at the University in Padua where he studied theology and law. He had a promising and bright future. He went became senator in Vicenza and then later prothonotary in Rome.
Cajetan left his promising career to devote himself to helping the poor. He also worked hard against the demoralized clergy.
Many stories have been told about Cajetan. One story is that Cajetan used to love placing bets with his parishioners. He would bet that he could find a solution to their worries and troubles.
If Cajetan won the bet, the parishioner was obliged to help out during Mass. If he lost the bet the parishioner would not be required to help out during Mass.
He spent a lot of his time caring for the sick and poor. Cajetan founded a new order of priest to help him in his mission. They were called the Theatines.
Saint Cajetan also founded “montes pietatis” in Naples. They were non-profit pawnshops to help the poor.
Cajetan died in Naples on August 7th 1547. His remains are in the church San Paolo Maggiore in Naples He was canonized April 12, 1671 by Pope Clement X.