Head-Scratching Gambling Superstitions from China

Just to clarify one important point right away – superstitions are make-believe.  At least in a purely factual and scientific sense, all the hocus-pocus in the world isn’t going to help you make money with gambling or casino gaming in general.

The above statement may not sit well with some of the more superstitious gamblers out there, but it’s true nonetheless.

Still, a pretty enormous proportion of the population lives its everyday life in accordance with certain superstitions. For example, would you be willing to book your driving test on Friday the 13th? Perhaps take the ‘risk’ of walking under a ladder on your way to an important job interview? Even if you don’t think you’re even remotely superstitious, you probably are…at least a little.

But at the same time, there will always be those who follow to the letter some of the most weird and wonderful superstitions imaginable.

Luck Vs Control

There’s a big problem when it comes to gambling superstitions in general.  The moment you allow your decisions to be guided by superstition is the moment you begin relying on pure chance. 

On a roulette wheel, you may comprehensively avoid the number ‘13’ due to your own personal superstitions, despite the fact that the ball is just as likely to land here as anywhere else. Or it could be that you see certain patterns or ‘warning signs’ along the way, which you subsequently use to guide your decision.  In all instances, you’re removing personal control from the equation and relying on luck.

Theoretically, any gambler who knows what they’re doing is fundamentally aware of the randomness and the element of chance involved in everything they do. But this doesn’t mean they don’t also bring a wide variety of superstitions along for the ride.

Once again, the more you find yourself basing your decisions on superstitions, the more likely you are to make illogical and generally poor decisions.

A Superstitious Nation of Gamblers

Given that gambling has been one of the biggest national pastimes of China for such a long time, it’s hardly surprising that superstitions perpetuate the Chinese gambling industry. The more popular and mainstream something becomes, the more the average member of the public begins to think their personal superstitions can help guide their actions. In any case, China has become a superstitious nation of gamblers in the extreme.

In terms of why it is that so many gamblers rely on superstitions, there are two primary reasons. The first of which being that when you make your decisions based on superstitions, you somewhat relinquish responsibility when things go wrong. In addition, a variety of superstitions owe their origins to longstanding traditions or history.

For example, the most commonly associated number with bad luck in the UK is the number 13. Over in China, the number 4 is considered to be a bad omen as it is associated with death. So just as in the UK hotels tend to avoid rooms with the number 13 on the door, it’s the same case in China with the number four.  By contrast, the number 8 is considered to be fortuitous and prosperous, which is why many gamblers in China try to ensure they gamble on days including the number eight, times of day around 8pm/am and so on.

But while this basic number-based superstition bears similarities to those in the west, there are other examples from the far east that are significantly more bizarre.

Chinese Gambling Superstition Don’ts

Kicking off with what you should never do while gambling at a casino, Chinese superstition dictates that the following could pretty much ruin your day:

Entering a casino or gaming hall through the primary entrance. If there are any other ways of (legally) accessing the building, the main entrance should apparently be avoided as a rule of ‘Feng Shui’.

Being touched on the left shoulder by any other person whatsoever while you are gambling. Or for that matter, touching the shoulder of someone else in the vicinity while they are gambling. Doing so apparently creates bad luck.

Talking about books or even mentioning the word while gambling or at a casino table. The reason being that in the local lingo, the word for ‘books’ sounds strikingly similar to the word for ‘lose’.

Chinese Gambling Superstition Do’s

As for the kinds of things you very much should doing, Chinese superstition pinpoints the following as predominantly positive behaviours:

Experience a losing streak and putting it to an end is as easy as paying a trip to the toilet and urinating. Many gamblers believe that this is a good way of quite literally ridding your body and soul of bad vibes.

If it’s an option, try to ensure that you wear red underwear when taking part in any gambling activity. The colour red apparently has the ability to improve your luck and prosperity.

When you have time, we’d advise taking a look at the legend of the “baby ghost” that’s apparently behind every gambling table. Feed it sugar and you could be in for a profitable casino experience.

It’s also said that making some kind of offering to the gods and saying a prayer or two the day before the next lottery draw can significantly improve your chances of winning.

Last but not least, many gamblers are firm believers in the identification of patterns and trends in numbers. To such an extent that many believe it’s perfectly possible to accurately guess the next winning lottery draw, simply by taking the clues provided by the universe all around you.

The thing about superstitions in general is that just as long as they are approached realistically, they can actually be quite entertaining. It’s just that to read too much into superstitions is to put yourself entirely at the mercy of luck.

Realistically, you only have yourself to thank or blame when you win or lose.  You and you alone are in control of the decisions you make – not the kinds of invisible forces you may or may not believe are surrounding you.

That said, feel free to don your lucky red underpants next time you hit the casino, if they make you feel that little bit luckier!

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