snopes.com Post new topic  Post a reply
search | faq | forum home

  next oldest topic   next newest topic
» Hello snopes.com » Urban Legends » Old Wives' Tales » Gambling Superstitions

 - UBBFriend: Email this page to someone!    
Author Topic: Gambling Superstitions
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 605 posted      Profile for TB Tabby   E-mail TB Tabby   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I found this list in a Bathroom Reader. Just tthought I'd see if any gamblin' Snopesters have heard of any of these superstitions before.

  • Blow or spit on the cards, preferably when nobody is looking. (Be sure to wipe off the excess spit, so nobody knows you've fouled them.)
  • Wear an article of dirty clothing when you play poker. The dirt helps keep evil at bay.
  • Stick a pin in your lapel, or in a friend's lapel.
  • There's one lucky card in each deck. If you can figure out which one it is, touch it with your index finger before the game begins.
  • If you're sitting at a wooden table, choose a seat that lets you lay your cards with the grain, not against it.
  • When you're on a losing streak, tilt your chair on its forelegs and twist it three times. It works best if your twist following the path of the sun.
  • If that doesn't work, turn your chair around so that the back faces the table and sit astride it, facing the seat back.
  • If you're still losing, try sitting on a handkerchief, or walk clockwise around the table three times. If that doesn't work, switch to a new deck or take up dominoes.
  • If you see a hunchback on the way to the game, it's good luck. Don't touch the hump--just seeing a hunchback is all it takes.
  • Don't sing or whistle during the game. It unlucky, not to mention annoying.
  • Don't pick up your cards until all the cards have been dealt, and when you do, pick them up with your right hand.
  • Never let someone hover over you or look at your cards, unless that person never plays cards. If they don't, they'll actually bring your luck. These peole are called "mascots."
  • Don't sit cross-legged. You'll literally cross out your luck.
  • Never play in a room with a dog in it.
  • Never let someone place their foot on the rung of your chair. If you want to give someone else bad luck, place your foot on their chair.
  • Never play cards with a cross-eyed person. (This superstition dates back to the days when people thought cross-eyed players could see the cards of people sitting next to them.)
  • Never gamble in a room with a member of the opposite sex, unless that person is playing too.
  • Never play cards on a bare table. (Bring a felt tablecloth with you, preferably green, just in case.
  • Don't borrow or lend money during a card game.
  • If you're dealt a steady succession of black cards, someone in your family will die soon.
  • Pilots, coal miners, soldiers, fishermen, and sailors should never carry playing cards on their persons. If you do and bad luck occurs, such as a storm or an enemy attack, throw the cards as far away from you as you can.
  • The four of clubs is the "devil's bedstead." Discard it unless you absolutely need it. If you're dealt the four of clubs in the first hand, throw down your cards and leave the game--you'll have nothing but bad luck.
  • Dropping any card on the floor is bad luck, but dropping a black ace is the worst of all. If you do, leave the game immediately. Nobody recovers from luck that bad.


--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 1 posted      Profile for I'm Dreaming of a White Canvas     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
The only one of these I've heard of is the one about the hunchback.

The only one I'd believe is:
quote:


[*]Never play in a room with a dog in it.

because

 -

they cheat!

White*allow me [fish] *Canvas

--------------------
"You hold the Prince so I can duct tape his bottom to keep the bugs out." - My Mom

Posts: 193 | From: The Fabulous Finger Lakes, New York | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Troberg
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Troberg     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Don't borrow or lend money during a card game.
That's just common sense.

--------------------
/Troberg

Posts: 4360 | From: Borlänge, Sweden | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
qualli
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for qualli   E-mail qualli   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Never look directly at the horse you bet on.

Prick your finger and get a drop of blood on your stack of chips, they'll always come back to you (eww...)

If you have a good hand bite your tongue. If you get a good hand or a good roll of dice and you have something in your mouth (food, drink, smoke) don't swallow it or blow it out until it's someone else's play.

--------------------
"I still say Obi-wan Kenobi was The Force's bitch."

Posts: 820 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Hypno Toad
I'll Be Home for After Christmas Sales


Icon 05 posted      Profile for Hypno Toad   E-mail Hypno Toad   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by qualli:

If you have a good hand bite your tongue. If you get a good hand or a good roll of dice and you have something in your mouth (food, drink, smoke) don't swallow it or blow it out until it's someone else's play.

How will developing a tell bring you luck at cards?

Random 'all in' Dan

--------------------
A Freudian slip occurs when you say one thing while thinking amother - Cliff Claven

Formally Random Dan

Posts: 184 | From: England | Registered: Dec 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Stoneage Dinosaur
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Stoneage Dinosaur   E-mail Stoneage Dinosaur   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
There's one lucky card in each deck. If you can figure out which one it is, touch it with your index finger before the game begins
How are you supposed to figure out the lucky card before the game has even begun?

quote:
If you're sitting at a wooden table, choose a seat that lets you lay your cards with the grain, not against it.

Never play cards on a bare table. (Bring a felt tablecloth with you, preferably green, just in case.

These seem slightly contradictory.

quote:
When you're on a losing streak, tilt your chair on its forelegs and twist it three times. It works best if your twist following the path of the sun.
Such tactics will fool your opponents into thinking you are a total loony with extremely limited card playing ability.

quote:
If you see a hunchback on the way to the game, it's good luck. Don't touch the hump--just seeing a hunchback is all it takes.
Surely giving the hump a good grope will bring you even more good luck? Maybe not with the cards, but you might score.

quote:
Never let someone hover over you or look at your cards, unless that person never plays cards. If they don't, they'll actually bring your luck. These peole are called "mascots."
People who can hover over you are also sometimes called "superheroes".

quote:
Never let someone place their foot on the rung of your chair. If you want to give someone else bad luck, place your foot on their chair.
Preferably at high speed, in the direction of their crotch.

quote:
Pilots, coal miners, soldiers, fishermen, and sailors should never carry playing cards on their persons. If you do and bad luck occurs, such as a storm or an enemy attack, throw the cards as far away from you as you can.
But not into the storm in case the wind blows it back - as all snopesters know, a card travelling at high velocity can easily slit your jugular. [Wink]

--------------------
"You learn something new every day if you're not careful" - Wilf Lunn

Posts: 893 | From: Durham City, England | Registered: Aug 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Don Enrico
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 304 posted      Profile for Don Enrico   E-mail Don Enrico   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TB Tabby:
  • (...)
  • Never gamble in a room with a member of the opposite sex, unless that person is playing too.
  • (...)

This should put Las Vegas and every other casino in the world (without, maybe, some "men only" casinos in arabic/muslimic countries) out of business.

--------------------
My spelling is Wobbly. It's good spelling, but it Wobbles, and the letters get in the wrong places. - Pooh Bear

Posts: 2209 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Oct 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Signora Del Drago
Angels Wii Have Heard on High


Icon 206 posted      Profile for Signora Del Drago     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
It is bad luck to be superstitious. [Eek!]

--------------------
"This air we're breathing. Oxygen, isn't it?"~I’mNotDedalus, impersonating Vincent D’Onofrio.|"Sometimes trying to communicate can be like walking through a minefield."~wanderwoman
"Give people a break. It's not easy doing a life."~Joshua Halberstam

Posts: 4020 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Nov 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
qualli
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for qualli   E-mail qualli   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by Random Dan:
quote:
Originally posted by qualli:

If you have a good hand bite your tongue. If you get a good hand or a good roll of dice and you have something in your mouth (food, drink, smoke) don't swallow it or blow it out until it's someone else's play.

How will developing a tell bring you luck at cards?

Random 'all in' Dan

don't ask me. But I have found it helpful to tell superstitious people this before I play with them. Or else make sure they know I do it, so that I can use it if I have a desperatly bad hand.

Of course, go fish is slightly less cutthroat than poker

--------------------
"I still say Obi-wan Kenobi was The Force's bitch."

Posts: 820 | From: North Carolina | Registered: Nov 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Ulkomaalainen
Jingle Bell Hock


Icon 1 posted      Profile for Ulkomaalainen     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
There is one which is actually quite important (I am quite an experienced card player though mostly not at poker)

quote:
Originally posted by TB Tabby:
  • Don't pick up your cards until all the cards have been dealt

Because if you pick them up and the dealer misdeals afterwards, usually the game is cancelled, all cards go back and the game will be restarted.

If you had - or seemed to have - a winning hand up to this point, you will be disappointed not having been able to play this, and, depending on your personal attitudes of course, more often than not this will nag on you a little for the remainder of the day, diminishing your gaming qualities.

No superstition, just a little psychology.

Apart from that, I rather not play with guys who for no apparent reason start drooling on handkerchiefs while reciting some pledge backwards and jumping around the room one legged.

--------------------
Movie characters never make typing mistakes.

Posts: 586 | From: Hamburg, Germany | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
guruwan2b
Ding Dong! Merrily on High Definition TV


Icon 1 posted      Profile for guruwan2b   Author's Homepage   E-mail guruwan2b   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I have found Bathroom Readers to be a great source of fun. Some of the silliest conspiracy theories are in there, as well as quite a few urban legends.
Take it with a grain of salt.... just don't spill the salt on the table..... [Big Grin]

--------------------
Too much of this navel gazing and we'll disappear up our own arses.
Danvers Carew

Posts: 7465 | From: Oklahoma | Registered: Oct 2001  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
Seaboe Muffinchucker
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 206 posted      Profile for Seaboe Muffinchucker     Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Guru, I like to say they're about as authoritative as graffiti, but I love 'em too.

Seaboe

--------------------
Education is not the filling of a hard drive, but the lighting of a bulb. -- Yeats via Esprise Me

Posts: 5562 | From: Seattle, WA | Registered: Jun 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for robbiev - singin' off key   Author's Homepage   E-mail robbiev - singin' off key   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
I haven't heard most of these, but most of them seem to apply to playing poker.

However, I have heard just as many silly ones regarding craps and blackjack.

--------------------
Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

Posts: 1820 | From: Memphis, TN | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for TB Tabby   E-mail TB Tabby   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:
I haven't heard most of these, but most of them seem to apply to playing poker.

However, I have heard just as many silly one's regarding craps and blackjack.

Care to share a few?

--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 1 posted      Profile for robbiev - singin' off key   Author's Homepage   E-mail robbiev - singin' off key   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
Oh yeah...duh [Embarrassed]

Craps players seem to be particularly superstitious. Here are a few I hear all the time:

Any of the following cause a seven to roll if a point has already been established:

The dice go off the table
A shooter calls for new dice
The dice hit another player's hand
The dice hit a stack of money
Throwing the dice with a 7 showing on top
Stickman or dealer change
Saying the word "seven"
Walking up and making new bets during a roll that has already started
A "slow" game, or more specifically, holding the dice too long


Others:

If one shooter has a good roll, the next shooter will not.

Women who have never shot dice before (or at least "don't know what they're doing") will have a good roll.

Women who "know what they're doing" never have good rolls.

Men who have never shot dice before (or “don’t know what they’re doing”) will not have a good roll.

Setting the dice with a certain number “up” is lucky/unlucky.

If someone at the table is betting “against the shooter” that will cause bad luck.

In Vegas, dice tables stay “hot” longer than anywhere else.

If a dice table is crowded, everyone at that table is winning.

Certain numbers always roll following other certain numbers, or certain numbers roll in pairs, or the dice have a memory.

The casino controls every roll of the dice and whatever they want is what happens.

Certain people have bad “mojo.”

Some people “know how to throw the dice” and some people don’t.

Doing various things with the dice (how you throw the dice, how you hold them, what number you set them on, etc) makes a difference in what number is going to roll.

You can control the dice (roll whatever number you want at any time, or at least, change of odds of what numbers will roll) Note: while there are people than can control dice under some circumstances, it’s almost impossible, if not plain impossible, in a casino, and of the several dozen people I’ve heard say they can do it, none of the were able to do it.

Those are just a few I can think of right off hand.

Card players tend to be superstitious too. I’ve heard lots of blackjack players say they can “feel” what card is coming next.

ETA: and many people swear by these, like they are absolute fact.

--------------------
Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

Posts: 1820 | From: Memphis, TN | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
TB Tabby
We Wish You a Merry Giftmas


Icon 1 posted      Profile for TB Tabby   E-mail TB Tabby   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:

I’ve heard lots of blackjack players say they can “feel” what card is coming next.

They could just be card-counting, you know.

--------------------
I like to go down to the playground and watch the kids run and jump and scream, because they don't know I'm only using blanks.

Posts: 942 | From: Illinois | Registered: Jan 2004  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
robbiev - singin' off key
Happy Xmas (Warranty Is Over)


Icon 203 posted      Profile for robbiev - singin' off key   Author's Homepage   E-mail robbiev - singin' off key   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TB Tabby:
quote:
Originally posted by robbiev427:

I’ve heard lots of blackjack players say they can “feel” what card is coming next.

They could just be card-counting, you know.
Card counting is a way to know whether the number of ten-valued cards left in the deck favors the player or the house, or in other words, knowing whether there is a good chance any given card will be a ten-valued card.

"Feeling" what the next card is going to be is not quite the same thing.

The funny thing is, I've watched some of these guys play blackjack, and they can be wrong 15 times in a row, but then when they're finally right, they say something like, "see? I do know what I'm doing."

ETA: slight rewording to make it easier to read.

--------------------
Every time I see a good looking woman, I think, "0oooh. There's another one I'll never have!"

Corvette. The louder you scream, the faster I'll go.

Posts: 1820 | From: Memphis, TN | Registered: Sep 2005  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
DawnStorm
Let There Be PCs on Earth


Icon 218 posted      Profile for DawnStorm   E-mail DawnStorm   Send new private message       Edit/Delete post   Reply with quote 
quote:
Originally posted by TB Tabby:
[*]Pilots, coal miners, soldiers, fishermen, and sailors should never carry playing cards on their persons. [/list]

Izzat so? Well no one told this guy.

--------------------
Leashes?! We don't need no stinking leashes!!

Posts: 4771 | From: The Berkeley of the East Coast: Montgomery County MD | Registered: Mar 2003  |  IP: Logged | Report this post to a moderator
   

Quick Reply
Message:

HTML is enabled.
UBB Code™ is enabled.

Instant Graemlins
   


Post new topic  Post a reply Close topic   Feature Topic   Move Topic   Delete topic next oldest topic   next newest topic
 - Printer-friendly view of this topic
Hop To:


Urban Legends Reference Pages

Powered by Infopop Corporation
UBB.classic™ 6.7.2