Step into any casino and you’re sure to see a bewildering site. Outwardly-sophisticated casino gamers are rubbing rabbits’ feet and horseshoes, patting a lotus symbol on their lapel pin and fingering ladybug charms on their necklace or bracelet.
What’s going on? For some players, learning gaming strategy and using Thunderbolt coupons is enough to ensure that they experience the results that they expect when they play casino games. Others however look to good luck charms and talisman to give them a boost. What superstitions and good luck symbols are most-used by casino patrons?
History of Superstition
A superstition is the belief that an event can be foretold or influenced by an unrelated behavior or occurrence. For early man, superstitions helped people deal with fear of the unknown.
A superstition could help humans who were trying to understand events and experience a sense of control over those events. Superstitious beliefs vary from culture to culture.
For example, most Western casino players would never play the number 13 because they believe it to be unlucky. 13 was a lucky number for the ancient Chinese and Egyptians. Today, in Japan, it’s the number four that is considered to be unlucky.
Throughout the ages there have been many superstitions that seem to us to be random but which made perfect sense to the ancients.
Alarm over a sneeze originated with the belief that the sneeze expelled spirits from a person’s body but saying “God Bless You” would mitigate that danger.
Throwing salt over your left shoulder to deter bad luck has been dated back to 3,500 B.C. when the ancient Sumerians started the practice which then spread to Egypt, Assyria and finally to Ancient Greece.
Today’s fascination with telling the future with mirrors can be traced back to Ancient Greece where catoptromancy – divination with a mirror and water – was performed by seers who could tell a sick person whether or not he would live by dipping the mirror into water and having the patient look into the glass to see if their image was distorted (will die) or clear (will live).
Today’s gamers are almost certainly aware that good luck charms can’t possibly have any bearing on the results of a throw of the dice, spin of the reels or deal of the cards. Yet, around the world, the tradition persists of bringing a talisman to the casino as a “sign” of good luck for one’s gaming endeavors.
Some of the most popular good luck charms include:
A rabbit’s foot is an iconic good luck charm and is known as such in various cultures. The rabbit’s foot is rumored to have the power to attract positive energy and luck.
Rabbit’s foot charms can be trace back to ancient African and Celtic traditions. In those areas, people believe that a rabbit’s foot could ward off evil spirits. Carrying around a rabbit’s foot became popular in the 18th century because, it was believed, witches could turn themselves into rabbits and if you could get the foot of one of these creatures, you could harness the witch’s powers.
In China, a rabbit’s foot was seen as a symbol of longevity, peace and prosperity. Today, the rabbit’s foot is seen as a good luck charm that is especially powerful for gamblers and hunters.
Four Leaf Clovers
Many gamers keep a four leaf clover as a pocket charm while they are engaged in casino gaming. In Irish folklore, each leaf represents a different attribute: hope, faith, love, and luck. Others say that four leaf clovers are related to St. Patrick’s use of shamrocks and grant the power to see fairies.
It’s rare to find a four-leaf clover and that makes it a fortunate event, similar to the fortune that holders of four leaf clovers believe that the talisman will give them at the casino.
No one is prepared to drag a real horseshoe to the casino but many people come to the casino with a horseshoe that has been incorporated into a tie clip, cufflinks or a pendant on a chain.
Horseshoes have been associated with luck ever since the eighth century when Chaldeans thought its crescent shape represented various moon goddesses which could protect them against the curse of the evil eye by trapping and holding good fortune.
Most people who use a horseshoe as a good luck charm are unaware of this background but they see the horseshoe as bestowing protective qualities that guard them against negative forces.
Often, gamers bring personal items that have some kind of sentimental value with them to the casino as a good luck charm. Family heirlooms, photographs, pieces of jewelry and other items seem to provide players with a sense of confidence and comfort which then impacts positively on the gamer’s mindset.
There’s no scientific basis to indicate that any of these good luck charms produce better results for casino players but, as they say, nothing ventured, nothing gained. So the next time that you play casino games, choose your charm and give it a try!