Luck and Gambling: Lucky Charms, Lucky Numbers and Superstitions
The connection between gambling and luck has always been strong. Many gamblers, usually recreational gamblers, attach their gambling success or failure to being lucky or unlucky, respectively. In order to improve their luck and maximize their winnings, they would, for example, play the same slot machine where they hit last time, place bets on roulette numbers which are considered lucky, ask the croupier to blow over their dice and many other such acts.
Here you will not learn how to improve your luck. You can read here about the different approaches to the abstract concept of luck in general, and about its close partnership with gambling in particular. Before we go over to the meaning of luck in exotic cultures, here are some clarifications.
Luck, whatever that means, can make you win in a roulette game, hit the slot machine jackpot or even beat your poker opponents or your blackjack dealer. However, in casino games such as blackjack, poker, and even sports betting, for example, if you rely strictly on waking up on your lucky day, you would end up losing eventually. Even in the casino games known as games of chance or luck games including bingo, slots and lottery it is important to be aware of the probabilities of winning rather than trustign intuitions and superstitions.
According to the English dictionary, the term luck is defined as:
1) The chance happening of fortunate or adverse events; fortune.
2) Good fortune or prosperity; success.
3) Ones personal fate or lot.
The different approaches towards the concept of luck and the impact it has on ones life are varied and can range from the rationalist claim, on one hand, which rejects any belief that cannot be supported by science, to the mystic approach, on the other hand, that uses certain rituals to avoid bad luck and to invite good fortune. Somewhere in the middle lies an approach that sees luck as an abstract idea that cannot be controlled or changed. Just like that faqct that you cannot pick or control the circumstances of your birth, you cannot control or choose other occurrences in your life such as selecting winning lottery numbers.
Each culture has its unique list of superstitions, rituals and lucky charms. Some are old and carry on from one generation to another, while others, such as human sacrifice, for example, are long forgotten. Each culture also has its lucky and unlucky numbers. The number 7 is considered as a lucky number in many cultures including the Japanese and most of the Western cultures from ancient times until our days. Thirteen is considered the unlucky number. For that reason, people will usually mark seven in their lottery ticket and will try to avoid bingo cards with a 13 number printed on them.
If you want to see contemporary luck rituals live, go to the closest bingo hall or visit a land based casino gambling area. You will see bingo fans wearing their lucky clothes and shoes, seating in their lucky seat, surrounded with family photos, cuddly toys, horseshoes or/and four leaf clovers and marking their bingo cards with their lucky daubers. You would see dressed up people gather around the roulette or the craps table carrying a rabbit foot in their pockets.
The topic of luck is much more widespread than it can be reviewed in such a short article. There is nothing wrong with being superstitious and carrying your lucky charms with you, as long as you do not leave your common sense at home. Try remembering this the next time you visit Las Vegas for playing your favourite game such as poker at your favourite poker room or bingo at your favorite bingo room somewhere.