Sunday, February 27, 2011

The Gamblers Superstitions

Hello Everyone,

Is everyone tired of winter yet? Well, today, I'm giving you a break from the snow, ice, sleet, wind, slush, mud and whatever else you have in your winter. A couple of weeks ago, I visited a blog and they talking about superstitions. My first thought was this ties in with The Odyssey Mysteries trilogy I wrote. There's no group of people more superstitious than gamblers. Ha!

Here are a few of the more common lucky or unlucky symbols and objects that gamblers think give them an edge. Wink! For starters, the rabbit's foot (remember the old movies where the gambler rubbed his rabbit's foot?), some believe wearing the same article of clothing such as hat or jacket brings them luck, a figurine, and wearing red underwear (red is considered the color of prosperity and good fortune).

The number eight in Asian culture is lucky because the word for eight in Chinese is similar to the word prosperity. Four is an unlucky number because the word in Chinese is pronounced like the word for death. In Asian cultures, flowers are considered good luck and water is a sign of prosperity and plentiful luck.

Some gamblers hold their cards or throw their dice a certain way. Don't tap someone on the shoulder when they are playing--that's considered bad luck. Don't sit cross legged when gambling, you will cross out your luck, and don't drop a card on the floor during a game.

Some other popular superstitions are it's unlucky to enter the casino by the main entrance. This superstition started when MGM in Las Vegas was themed after the MGM film studio and the main entrance was the mouth of the lion. Many players considered it a double curse to walk into the mouth of the beast along with the fact that it was the main entrance to the casino.

Many gamblers believe $50.00 bills are unlucky and will not accept being paid with them. Some people regard the $2.00 bill as unlucky. Never count your money while you are playing is a common belief. Kenny Rogers even immortalized this concept in his song the Gambler. Singing or whistling while gambling is considered bad luck.

Some guests at a hotel casino may ask the dealer or some other guest to not look at them because they believe it brings them bad luck. If you're a high roller, you can even ask to have a new dealer if the player thinks the one at his table is causing him bad luck.

Professional poker player, Johnny Chan has a lucky orange and poker star, Annie Duke, uses math and skill. Duke has a degree in cognitive science and a master's degree in math and probability. She says she encourages superstitions in other players because then they play badly. Former baseball player, Giannos, carries a red envelope he received as a gift 20 years ago. Some people believe it's lucky to set the dice a certain way, but Giannos just picks them up and throws them.

Did you know that some casinos in Vegas even keep the items on their property that many of the high rollers believe are lucky. For instance, the MGM Grand keeps a lucky frog figurine on property for one high roller so his lucky charm will be waiting for him.

Next, is the superstitions of the slot player. Wink! Now, I'm really shaking my head. Slot machines are a game of chance but not to some people. lol Some people think it has to do with the temperature of the coin that you put in the slot. They think the hot coin tricks the slot machine into paying out, while others think it's the cold ones. Some think if you stand you'll win more and others think if you are too relaxed at the slot machine you'll lose. lol

Others think that the casino is watching your every move and if you are winning a lot they cause the machine to quit paying out. If you're losing they will cause you to win so that you stay longer. Casinos do not have the power to change the slot machine. This is why they have regulators who check the slot machines for tampering. There are those who believe if an operator comes along to interrupt their play to inspect the slot machine that they are setting it to lose - not true, and also against the law.

Often people believe the newer casinos and machines pay out better than those that are older. There are many slot myths out there, and here are the more common ones.

Slot machines have a set pattern or sequence of spins that can be determined through careful and intense study. Not true -- there is a random number generator numbers which generate millions of combinations of numbers a minute. Whether or not you win this time, the first time, the last time, your chances of winning are the same each and every time. You could play for three hours and the next person walks up and wins. This doesn't mean they got your win, they just got lucky.

Someone just sat down where I left and hit a big jackpot. If I would have just stayed longer, it would have been mine. For this to be true, you would have had to push the spin button or pull the handle at exactly the same split micro second that the other player did. Any change in timing yields a different result.

I have played this machine for 5 (or 8 or 20) straight days and haven't hit the jackpot. It has to be ready to hit any time now. The odds of hitting the jackpot are exactly the same on the first spin and the fifteen thousandth spin. Slot machines are never due. Remember that all of the percentages are based on millions of spins, and for a player to even 500,000 spins at 500 spins an hour he or she would have to play for 1,000 hours. And even that is no guarantee of a jackpot.

That slot machine jus paid out a big jackpot. I'm not going to play it because it has to make up for the big win. Remember that slot machines are designed to average a certain payout percentage over millions of spins. The short term means nothing so a machine that just paid out a jackpot has the exact same odds before and after the jackpot.

Slot machines pay more often if I only bet one coin at a time. The mechanism that runs the slot reels, whether they are real or videos, doesn't know how many coins you put into the machine. It will produce the same spin whether you play one or max coins.

Casinos control when jackpots will be hit. The random number generator in the slot machine determines when the jackpot will hit. The casino can't control this in any way.

I have a better chance to hit a jackpot when the casino is busy. While this is true, the reason for this is that more people are playing. For example, let's say a machine hits one time out of every 1,000 spins, if the machine gets 200 spins when the casino is slow and 800 spins when it is busy, which time will it more likely hit?

All information for this blog came from Slots Hero,; Slot Machine Fan,; Gambling Superstitions at and Pressing your luck in Vegas and Vegas Superstitions. You can find all of these and more by searching Google.

This week, I earned ninth place for my blog in Bold eZine. I was very flattered to win such a high spot with them.

I hope you have found my blog of interest today. Until next Sunday, have a great week.



Linda LaRoque said...

Fun post, Sandy. I love to play the slots and have been guilty at staying at a machine because I just know it has to pay off soon. So much for my method, huh?

Sandy said...

LOL There's no good method, Linda. It's hit or miss. Grin.

Celia Yeary said...

SANDY--I knew some of these things about slot machine--I play once a year with some women friends--and the other three have such superstitions, they always make me laugh. With my science background, I don't believe in luck--good or bad.
You and I have the same format for our blog now! Did you just change yours? I changed mine about a month or so ago, just playing around, and found I like this wider one better. Be sure to take a look at mine.
Congratulations on your releases. It look like you're doing a great job of writing and promoting--Celia

Stacey Joy Netzel said...

Fun and interesting and just backs up my feelings on gambling: I work too hard for it to toss it away! I'd rather bet on better odds.

Congrats on the high ranking with your blog.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Celia.

I changed the format on my blog a month or two back. I'll be sure to check yours out.

Sandy said...

Thank you, Stacey. I agree with you.

Gambling should be considered a form of entertainment and not a way to win money.

Marianne Stephens said...

You've done lots of research into these superstitions! Well done, Sandy! I guess it's like football or baseball players who have their superstitions before games. When you consider everything, it all comes down to skill and luck...not what you do or don't do before. It's how well you play at anything!

Anonymous said...

Always reminds me of the great quote from the late Hugh "Duffy" Daugherty, football coach at Michigan State, when asked if he had any superstitions: "The only superstition I have is that it's bad luck to be behind at the end of the game."


Sandy said...

Thank you, Marianne.

You're so right about the skills especially with poker and black jack. The slots, not the case.

Sandy said...

Thanks for the quote, Roy.

Duffy definitely had that right. Grin.

Beth Caudill said...

Great blog

Donna Marie Rogers said...

Sandy, I got a chuckle from your blog today. We hit the casino once a week (or so), and according to my husband I'M his unlucky symbol...LOL I can be standing behind him watching, and as soon as I walk away, he hits something!

I've never noticed anything concrete as far as winning or losing. If a machine starts to hit, my husband will say he's loosened it up and now it'll pay for awhile. And for him it's usually true. For me, rarely...LOL My MIL tends to be very lucky. By the way, with most of the machines being computerized now (they don't accept coins anymore or have a lever to pull, just buttons) I think they can defintiely be set or controlled unlike the older spinning types.

Great subject!! And congrats on earning ninth place at Bold eZine!!