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Gambling Superstitions from Around the World

4 Apr 2019, 1:40 PM

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Gamblers need good luck to win, particularly when playing at high roller casinos. The stakes are high and the rewards are great. So when so much comes down to luck, it’s understandable that we automatically look for ways to shift the odds in our favour, to gain control over the game. That’s where gambling superstitions come in.

We’re all familiar with popular Western superstitions. The famous “Luck of the Irish” has us stuffing our pockets with lucky charms such as four-leaf clovers. We blow on the dice before rolling, or we refuse to enter a high roller casino without first putting on our lucky socks.

But superstitions vary all over the world, some of which are downright wacky and will have you blushing as red as a Chinese gambler’s underwear. But all serve the same purpose, to bring you luck! So if you’re looking for fresh inspiration to bring you that next big win, take a gander at some of these ideas.


The Chinese have been gambling for at least four thousand years. Plenty of time to cook up some interesting superstitions!

One of the most ancient superstitions stems from the belief that a baby ghost lives behind the gambling table. Make sure you feed the baby ghost some sugar before you start playing and it will bring you good luck. But be warned that annoying the dealer by pouring sugar allover the table may also achieve the opposite effect.

If you’re ever playing baccarat with a Chinese person and they suddenly yell out “Deng!” or “Ding!”, don’t be alarmed. Superstition says that these words will bring you good cards.

In Western cultures, we tend to view the number seven as lucky. In Chinese culture, it’s actually the number eight which is revered. This is because the Mandarin word for “eight” sounds like the Chinese word for “prosperity”. And forget your lucky socks, in China wearing red underwear when you’re placing a bet is meant to boost your luck.


It is said that the first casinos originated in Italy. So you maybe surprised to hear that Italians actually view the number thirteen as lucky. Avoid the number 17 instead, as it is associated with death.

In Serbia, if you get someone to spill water behind you before you play, good luck will literally flow through the water and help you win.

Consider putting your clothes on inside out before heading to the casino in Hungary, and you’re sure to win.

South Africa

In South African folklore, it is believed that vultures can see the future. Therefore, bring dried vulture brains to the casino as a good luck charm (we promise not to ask where you got them). So which superstitions really work?

Different things work for different people. But ultimately, just remember to have fun. Find which rituals work for you and embrace them. Some other gamblers might find your methods odd, but hey! If you’re winning and they’re not, then what’s the problem?

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