Casino Superstition: 5 Bizarre Myths & Superstitions

From lucky charms to gambling etiquette, superstitions have become a key part of casino culture. Read on to discover the five most bizarre superstitions you'll find at casinos all over the world.


When it comes to gambling, it’s no secret that luck is a key factor. Perhaps that’s why gamblers all around the world have developed so many casino superstitions. From lucky charms to strict casino etiquette, many players choose to participate in weird and wonderful practices in an effort to bring themselves good fortune. 

It’s important to say that superstitions are completely illogical. If you’re playing at a regulated casino, a coin from your left pocket is just as likely to win the jackpot as a coin from your right. That being said, there are plenty of superstitions that have become an integral part of casino culture. If you ignore them, you might raise a few eyebrows. Here are five of the most popular:

The Color Red

In China, the color red is said to signify wealth, happiness and good luck. It can be seen on the national flag, in the colored lanterns which are hung in Chinese businesses and in the traditional red envelopes containing gifts and money which are passed around each New Year. The superstition may have started in Asia, but it has spread to casinos all across the globe. You’ll often see gamblers wearing red, or else betting the color on the roulette table. 

Unlucky Numbers

Speaking of roulette, superstitious players tend to avoid betting on the number 13. In Western cultures in particular, 13 is said to be the unluckiest of all the numbers.

Many airlines (including United!) don’t have a thirteenth row on their aircrafts because nervous travelers prefer not to sit there. Similarly, hotels across the world including many in Las Vegas have chosen to skip the thirteenth floor. It isn’t known exactly why the number 13 is the root of superstition, but it’s important to recognize that not all cultures treat it with such evasion.

In Asia, the number four is considered the unlucky one. By sheer coincidence, on a traditional roulette table, both four and thirteen are black numbers. The famously lucky numbers of three and seven are red!

Crossing Your Legs

While crossing your fingers is said to bring good luck, crossing your legs apparently does the opposite. Many players avoid crossing their legs at the table as it is said to ‘cross out’ all the good luck they’ve accumulated. 

Counting Your Money

In the famous words of Kenny Rogers in ‘The Gambler,’ “you never count your money when you’re sittin’ at the table, there’ll be time enough for countin’ when the dealin’s done.” It is said that pride comes before the fall, and counting your money at the table is definitely considered an act of pride. If the superstition is to be believed, you’ll soon lose most, if not all of it following the count. 

Of all the casino superstitions, not counting money at the table is one that most gamblers take heed of. Not only is it said to bring bad luck, but it is also seen as improper and unprofessional to count money in front of those who may have had less good fortune. Some gamblers swear that counting money within the wider casino is also bad luck, and so only take stock when they’ve left the building all together. 

Using $50 Bills

That’s right, playing with $50 bills is said to be highly unlucky, especially in Las Vegas. While the origins of the superstition are murky, there have been a collection of plausible theories pointing to its roots over the years. 

Firstly, in the 50’s Vegas mobsters were said to leave a single $50 bill in the pocket of their victims so that the police knew who was behind the crime. It has also been suggested that the $50 was easier to counterfeit than the $20 or $100 in those days, and so the market was flooded with fake bills.

This led to gamblers refusing to accept $50 bills out of fear that they would be handed a fake one. Another theory is that the bill is unlucky purely because Ulysses S. Grant, whose face appears on the note, often faced financial hardship and bankruptcy in his own life. 

Regardless of the supposed origins, superstition is believed to this day. It’s not uncommon to see players reject $50 bill payouts at the casino cages. 

Do you have a lucky charm at the casino, or do you prefer to focus on superstitions? We know this for sure — luck charms won’t help unless you’re up-to-date with your strategies around casino bonuses, online casino games, and more.

Joseph Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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