The Origin of the 5 Strangest Gambling Superstitions

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supersition1. Ins and Outs

According to Chinese superstition, the money comes to the people with innie belly buttons. This might be because the dip shape suggests a full and prosperous life. The next time you gamble, visualize your belly button filling up with poker chips. Or don’t.

2. Bring Your Own Mojo

Dedicated good luck-seekers sometimes bring a bag carrying a good luck token or trinket. The bag has a variety of names like the jomo, the toby, or the nation sack, and contains an item such as a rabbit’s foot or five-finger grass. Mojo bags came from the rise of hoodoo beliefs in the American south.

Mojo bags can be filled with all sorts of items, including fool’s gold to attract real gold, the number 7 to attract good luck, the number 13 to turn bad luck into good luck, and a real winner: a raccoon penis bone wrapped in a $20 bill.

3. Seeing Red

For the more risqué luck-seekers, there are red shoes, red sunglasses, red matching friendship bracelets, and finally red underwear. Red is the color of prosperity, or so says the long-standing Chinese tradition. The red underwear part might be a newer addition.

The usage of red does not stop at clothing color. Red room decorations and paraphernalia bring their own luck, as does something a little grosser. A woman on her period is said to have the most luck of all, more luck and can be bought with all the ruby slippers in the world.

4. The Mouth of the Beast

You may have heard someone mention it’s a bad idea to enter a casino from the front. This tradition is actually only 20 years old. The superstition stems from the MGM Grand Hotel & Casino, which forces patrons to walk right into the mouth of a gigantic lion. If the casino had picked another animal to model the building after, this superstition may have never existed.

5. A Tap on the Shoulder

Chinese tradition dictates that tapping the shoulder of a gambler brings bad luck, but it’s actually no more than common sense. Especially for mentally demanding games such as blackjack and games requiring a stone face such as poker, a tap to the shoulder can really turn the tables. If tapping the player’s shoulder brings some bad luck of its own, that’s just the icing on the cake.

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