Superstition is the belief that events can cause or impact other events, even if the two are not related. It is often related to luck. For example, a person may believe that they can get unlucky by walking under a ladder or conversely, that specific numbers will bring them good fortune.
Superstitions underlie and influence our everyday life, and the superstitions we adopt often depend on our culture and upbringing. Bad weather could be an omen of gloom and doom and walking over three grids could mean disaster while in some countries, you won’t even find the house number “13” because it is foreboding.
We also make our own superstitions on a personal level, especially when it comes to casino games. For example, you may have a certain color of clothing, a favorite table or machine or numbers that “always do well for you.”
I used to be quite superstitious. Playing online poker changed that a bit for me. After a couple of years grinding out low stakes, you realize that your green boxer shorts can’t save you from the despair of bad beats and dry sessions. You realize that your favorite album — the one that you had playing when you won that big tournament — doesn’t make you win every time. You learn that the 6-4 of hearts is not always the nuts even if you “like the look” of the hand.
Playing poker taught me to make cold, rational decisions and keep my emotions and superstitions in check. However, that doesn’t mean that I am beyond superstition. The first time I played roulette, I made a bet on a single number, and I haven’t stopped betting “13” since. I also can’t help but always bet the middle segment of the roulette board, subconsciously believing it to pay out more.
One great explanation of superstition is that we like to feel in control of events that we have no control over. Roulette is a game of chance, and to superficially counteract this our minds create illusions of control — we can pick specific numbers to “improve our game,” or bring a lucky charm to the tables to feel like we can increase our odds. Makes sense.
However, superstition is usually a bit of fun. We don’t let it rule our life. And if we play responsibly at the casino, it doesn’t matter what number you bet on, or whether a certain machine pays more. The only risk is if the superstition makes you bet more or higher amounts. If you believe that Tuesdays are your lucky day, this doesn’t mean you should suddenly wager all your week’s earnings. It’s okay to have superstitions but make sure you keep them in check.
I think superstitions are interesting phenomena. And even though I believe in superstitions, both in life and at the casino, I would never let them affect my game. Then again, I also try not to believe in bad luck. Do you have any superstitions that help you in life or the casino?