World’s 5 Strangest Gambling Superstitions

Not putting new shoes on the table, crossing fingers while slot reels, blowing the dice, rubbing a coin to heat up – these are widespread gambling superstitions that anyone who visits a casino may be familiar with or even live by. Gambling or playing games for money is a common practice, and one thing is, every gambler hopes to win. Some have private rituals, while some popular practice superstitions to help them win.

Meanwhile, there are some gambling superstitions in some cultures that are quite strange and unusual. In this article, we take a look at some of the most bizarre gambling superstitions you’ve probably never heard of.

1. Itchy Hands

The itchy hand superstition is popular in the Slavic nations.

A variation of the superstition believed by Bulgarians says never to gamble when your right palm is itchy. The superstition originated from the belief that an itchy right palm means you will be giving away money. When you play in this condition, they believe you will keep losing money to your opponent.

Interestingly, Serbians and African-Americans believe that an itchy left palm means you are about to receive money. So maybe you should try to pay attention to which palm itches; you may be about to hit the jackpot or lose the last change in your pocket.

Meanwhile, itching palms, regardless of the one itching, will get you money in some variations, while in some parts of the world, you will lose money. Such a confusing one, right?

2. Wearing Red

In China, red symbolizes prosperity and wealth. That’s why it’s common to see Chinese in red during weddings and New Year celebrations. During celebrations, the Chinese use gifts in red envelopes with money as a gesture of good luck. This belief found its way into the casinos as many players in China wear red clothing for good luck on the gambling table. Most of them prefer to wear red underwear as they believe it’s the best way to tap into luck. 

Asides from Asians, different people worldwide also believe in this unseen power of red. For it to work, you need to wear or carry a red item. It could be a redshirt, shoes, jeweller, or tie. Some even wear red from head to toes: red shoes, red underwear, red socks, red shirt, everything red.

Also, Roulettes players who believe in this superstition bet more on red numbers than black.

3. Inhaling Smoked Vulture Brains 

Some gambling superstitions/traditions are weirder than others, and such is the case of the smoking vulture brains. Traditional magic is still common among some tribes in South Africa, and the magic is more of a force of good than a force of evil. Some gamblers believe this magic can help them with gambling. 

The gambler has to smoke or breathe in the fumes from the dried brains of vultures. Some even go as far as eating them. It is believed that this practice will give you more luck, help you predict lucky numbers and foresee lottery results.

As weird as it may sound, this is a practice common amongst South African gamblers, and vultures are almost going extinct due to how popular it is. Well, we all want to win big but smoking vultures brains?

4. Penis Medallions

Thailand gamblers wear penis medallions around their neck because it’s believed to bring good luck. The necklace, known as Palad Khik, is one of the most popular talismans among Thai men. Palad Khik means ‘Honorable Surrogate Penis’ in English, and the necklace has a penis shape. Thai people wear this necklace while gambling because they believe it has the power to multiply their wealth and bring luck. This originates from the idea that the male organ represents fertility, and its energies are a life force that brings luck.

People originally wore Palad Khik to increase libido, get women’s attention, and offer protection from objects like bullets and knives. So, hopefully, you won’t be so distracted by the women that you forget to place a good bet.

5. Poor Grooming

In India, some gamblers believe staying unkempt and poorly groomed will bring you luck. That’s why it’s not uncommon to see some gamblers with a dishevelled appearance at the casino.

While some are naturally poor groomers, some gamblers deliberately stay unkempt on certain days for the superstition to work.

If you want it to work, you shouldn’t cut your nails on Tuesday and Thursday for good luck. Also, don’t shave on a Tuesday and don’t even think about washing your hair on a Thursday. Superstition says that you’re washing away your good luck. 

These are just 5 of the different strange gambling superstitions from around the world.  While many believe it makes no sense, there are some ardent followers of these gambling superstitions. These beliefs strengthen their hopes for winning, so don’t be surprised if you come across people like that. Perhaps you even have a few you want to try yourself? Although there is no scientific evidence that these superstitious practices may help you win a game, many don’t mind trying since it brings no harm.

Meanwhile, it’s important to remember that gambling is a form of entertainment and the main aim is to have fun.