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Common Rituals and Superstitions in Poker

November 21, 2019 2893 0
Common Rituals and Superstitions in Poker

Chinese merchants started to introduce gambling in Malaysia at the beginning of the 19th century. It has grown fast and famous in the country. The introduction of horse racing came about during the British influence. The first and only casino in the country was from the group of Malaysian amalgamation, “Genting Group.” The request for a license for a casino and Casino de Genting was granted and operated in 1971. 

Since then, many professional poker players have been visiting Malaysia to play in the tournaments. Most of these players have their styles and strategies in hopes of winning the first prize. A lot of them go on beyond conventional methods of playing, even engaging in rituals and superstitions in poker. 

Fortunate rituals have probably been around as long as gambling has. Implementing different types of ceremonies and bringing lucky symbols to get desired outcomes has been quite well-known since early ages. In hopes of achieving big prizes, people would do all sorts of things at casinos, and some are quite extraordinary. There are still many brilliant players who engage these rituals every time they visit a casino. Some of these rituals are noticeable even at the classiest casinos in the world.

Gallup has conducted a poll in 1996 and concluded that 25 percent of Americans are superstitious and 35 percent of participants under the age of 30 admitted that they are also unfounded, older participants were more dubious.

Superstitious beliefs are more common in the UK, as claimed by the University of Hertfordshire's psychology department. Some people said that they knock on wood when they express about their good fortune.  

Before Playing

Some superstitious players are performing rituals before starting the game. Before going into the casino, some players will do all kinds of rituals to bring them luck. Here are some of the rituals performed by superstitious players:

  • Wearing lucky gemstones or garments is very common among gamblers.
  • Lighting candles at home, saying a prayer, and offers fruits to God are also observed by superstitious players before going to the casino.
  • Reviewing their horoscope, several players do this to see whether they are lucky with their endeavor or not.
  • Taking a bath with lucky herbal soaps and applying prosperous lubricants to the body and most especially to the hands, is also a familiar ritual for the players.
  • Bringing a lucky charm at the casino is also part of a ritual to a superstitious player.
  • A horseshoe is the right way to terrify off witches.

Superstitions in the Casino 

Pure devotees spend most of their lives saying away from bad omens and evils. Gamblers are typically not that superstitious until they go to the casino. Here is some impressive list of superstitions that are related to gambling.

  • It is unlucky to sing or do a whistle while inside the casino.
  • It is bad luck when you drop a card on the floor while gambling.
  • Crossing your legs while seated during gambling also brings bad luck.
  • Some gamblers consider a $50 bill to be unlucky, and they will not accept them from the cashier.
  • Entering a casino through the main entrance is also unlucky.

Players Who Wear Lucky Clothes

Pius Heinz is the 2011 World Series of Poker Main Event champ, and he wore the white Hugo Boss hoodie the whole week-long tournament. He wore the same clothing at the final table that had brought him a fortune. His advocates also wore white hoodies in support of Pius and kept good luck with him. With his aggressive playing style, he took over the table and won the championship with the price of $8,715,853.

Greg Merson, a professional poker player, wore different jersey every day of the Main Event tournament. He is from a Baltimore residential area and represented his home at the final table by wearing Adam Jones (Baltimore Orioles) jersey to take home the first prize of $8,531,853.

Just like Merson, Ryan Riess also likes wearing jerseys at poker games. In 2013, Reiss expected the same results by wearing a similar look. He knew whose jersey he would wear, Calvin Johnson #81 Detroit Lions autographed jersey. Enough, he took the first place and went home with $8,361,670.

Superstitions of Poker Champions

Johnny Chan is a professional poker player well-known for bringing an orange fruit on the poker table for good luck. The ritual began when smoking was still allowed during tournaments. Chan would bring an orange and would sniff it to mask the cigarette odor. The citrus cleared out his sense of smell. Chan won the WSOP Main Event in 1988, and the orange became a symbol of good luck in a poker game.

Sammy Farha is a distinguished player wearing gold chains and famous designer clothes. The unlit cigarette is always present in his mouth, and it is his ritual not to light it. It stayed in his mouth until it got him to the final table at the 2003 WSOP Main Event. He changes his cigarette every time he loses.

Doyle Brunson has a card protector printed with Casper, the friendly ghost. He used it to protect his cards and to bring him good luck. Players then noticed this and wanted it for themselves also. Brunson saw this as an opportunity to earn on the side. The price is $500 for 30 minutes and turned out to be a profitable business venture. 

Superstitions at the Poker Tables Reign

Many gamblers are known to be superstitious, and that includes poker players. A game of poker requires skills and correct judgment that determines winners. Several famous poker players carry lucky charms proving their belief in luck in the game. These players give meaning to their blessed objects because it worked for them. This event happens to players with selective memories, who remembers their successful matches and forget about their losses. It connects their lucky objects and winning games.

Players must have the discipline to walk away from their tables when they start losing. There are a lot of professional poker players who are deeply superstitious and spun out of control following their beliefs. 

Famous Superstitions and Rituals for Gambling Luck

  • Four-Leaf Clover – Some people believe that the opportunity to win with a four-leaf clover has a higher chance. The superstitious are found to be associated with Eve, the first woman created by God. It in this mythology that Eve kept one from the Garden of Eden as she left the garden. Other people believe in its energy says it is rare to find. It symbolizes love, luck, faith, and hope.
  • Rabbit's Foot – Considered as a representation of fortune and fertility, and some people wear it as a lucky charm to boost their luck. The belief has already reached its way to the gambling world. It has also become common among gamblers to wear such an amulet to enhance their chances of winning.
  • Lucky Number 7 – Its mathematical significance as an integer sequence and its importance in religious beliefs made Number 7 a well-known lucky number. Things like seven musical notes, Seven Wonders of the World, seven weeks, and seven continents are associated with the name. Getting a combination of three sevens in the casino means you are in luck. 
  • Crossing Fingers – There are a few theories that try to explain its origin. The first theory is that it originates from the Medieval Christian practice of making the sign of the cross for protection against witches and unwanted supernatural forces. Another method traces its foundation to the pagan belief and ritual where the cross may is a force that helps people make their wishes a reality with the help of the good spirits.
  • Food Fortune – Certain culinary specialties are considered as a fortunate platter in some societies. Gamblers who practice this belief prepares such cuisine for themselves before going to the table as a ritual of making them win the prize.  
  • Blowing on the Dice – One of the most popular rituals in the gambling industry. It is also common practice in board games. 
  • Magic Spells – A bit extreme for a ritual, but some players do use magic spells and potions. Magic charms usually applied to improve opportunities and bring about prosperity, wealth, and abundance.
  • Knocking on Wood – A lot of people would do this ritual to protect themselves from negative energies and improve their luck. This practice originated from the pagan belief that good spirits live in the roots of trees and have divine powers. Christians would use this practice as an act of admiration to Jesus Christ, crucified on a wooden cross.
  • Wearing Red Clothes – Conceptualized from the Chinese tradition. The Chinese recognize the red color as a color of wealth, luck, and joy. In Chinese culture, Red is also an acceptable color. The color moderately made its way into the gambling industry.
  • Wishing Well Fortune – Players make their wishes in a fountain by throwing up a coin into it. On the other hand, a player can also do the same in any body of water near to the betting hall you want to play in. 

A Player's Luck

Most superstitious players consider a lot of things to make them fortunate with their game. They would associate numbers, amulets, a card protector, or even an article of clothing. A poker game would usually require skills and correct judgment. 

Despite dependence on utilizing skills and reasoning at the table, many poker players give up argumentation when it comes to peculiar rituals they believe would give them good luck. 

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