Online Gambling SuperstitionsBy: Mark Freedman, Thursday February 5th 2009
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Sportspersons are known to be a superstitious lot. The basketball player Michael Jordan wore his "lucky" college gym shorts for six seasons and led the Chicago Bulls to victory in all six. Gamblers are more superstitious than others. This is expected because gamblers depend a great deal on luck and therefore use any means they think fit to draw luck to their side. Phil Hellmuth never wears white; Hal Kant never counts his chips; Mike Sexton avoids looking at dealers and Johnny Chan carries an orange to the poker table.
Even not so famous players have pet superstitions. These include wearing or not wearing certain colors, carrying some dirty clothing article, avoiding certain seats, blowing on the dice before rolling in craps, arranging the chips in certain ways, betting on certain lucky numbers in roulette and not picking up dropped cards.
All of these superstitions cannot be carried to the realm of online gambling, but there are some that can be copied by online gamblers. Wearing particular clothing and betting on lucky numbers in roulette are common. Another very common superstition is to keep a lucky charm. It could be a four leaf clover, a horse shoe, a rabbit's foot, a lucky coin or even a lucky nail. Some online players even touch the betting area on their monitors with the lucky charm before placing their bets or on the spin button before activating the reels. Other superstitions include starting the session at certain times or having a particular lucky person alongside while wagering.
The Asian gamblers, and particularly the Chinese ones, are more superstitious than their western counterparts. Gambling is an honored tradition in this area and superstitions are an integral part of this tradition. The strength of their belief in superstitions can be gauged from an incident that took place in Las Vegas in 1998. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino had an entrance designed as a lion's mouth. Asian gamblers believed that walking through the lion's mouth was unlucky. The MGM Grand had to redo the entrance because it was losing its Asian clientele.
Among the Asian community one will not find the diversity in superstitions that can be seen in the western players. In the west each player may have a different lucky color or a lucky number. But the Asian gamblers have common beliefs. They all believe yellow is unlucky. A casino in Sydney had to change the color of its bus from yellow because the Asian customers would not sit in it. Many Asian online players do not use the yellow chip to wager or change the deck if it has a yellow color.
The number '8' is extremely lucky because in Chinese eight is pronounced as "ba", which is very similar to "fa" the word for prosper. This belief in the power of '8' goes beyond gambling. The opening ceremony of the Beijing Olympics began on 8/8/08 at 8 seconds and 8 minutes past 8 pm. Recently Real Time Gaming released an online slot Happy Golden Ox Of Happiness to commemorate the Chinese New Year. The payouts were 8888, 888, 88 and 8.
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