Most Common Poker Superstitions
Even though poker is a game of logic and mathematical skills, this casino game is replete with superstitions, including wearing one’s lucky underwear, skipping the hand after a misdeal, and jinxing players by saying, “good luck.”
While poker superstitions don’t make any sense – as with any superstitious belief – they provide a sense of control that could reduce anxiety. For this reason, people who are experiencing a streak of bad luck tend to rely on them compared to those in a favorable position.
Here, we explain the most common poker superstitions.
In Western culture, 13 is the unlucky number that many buildings and airlines don’t have a 13th floor and 13th row, respectively. But interestingly, the number that brings misfortune differs from country to country. For instance, nine is the least favorite digit because when read out loud, it sounds like “suffering,” while in China, it’s the number four.
As weird as it may sound, some casual players believe that some hands bring them luck, including Kings and Aces, which are actually good starting hands in Hold ’em. Usually, this erroneous belief stems from the ugly beats they had in the past that involved these cards.
Wearing lucky clothes or fashion item
Some people, including professional poker players, wear their lucky underwear, necklace, or any piece of item they deem to bring them luck. While this one doesn’t sound too logical, at least it doesn’t have a detrimental effect on your gaming strategies, unlike the two previously mentioned poker superstitions.
Counting money at the table
At a glance, it looks like another absurd belief, right? But come to think of it. If you’re too preoccupied with how much money you’ve won (or lost), you may lose sight of the bigger picture – play a game and win it using a solid and consistent strategy.
There is some merit in knowing where you stand in the game, but not to the point that it distracts you from the actual game.
The jinx of saying “good luck”
Just like in theaters where you don’t wish actors and performers “good luck,” but instead you tell them to “break a leg,” in Sacramento poker rooms you’re also not supposed to say this phrase unless you want to jinx someone.
Perhaps this one of the most popular poker superstitions originated from players who heard too many words of encouragement only to suffer an ignominious defeat.
The $50 bill
The aversion to the $50 bill is a uniquely American superstition. In Sacramento poker rooms, whether it’s a cash game or tournament, it’s rare to see this bill because of a belief that it brings bad luck to the players.
While the exact origin of this popular poker superstition remains unknown, some of the possible reasons are not at all absurd. For instance, counterfeiters preferred making $50 bills to other denominations in the past.
Another possible explanation is that casino patrons often confuse them with $20 or $5 bills, especially those inebriated ones.
However, one theory, or more like an urban legend, tells a sinister story: A big-time Las Vegas mob used to bury bodies with a $50 bill in their victims’ pocket.
Some players feel that they can maintain their winning streak better if they stack their chips in a certain way, be it in 20s, 10s, or whatever they are comfortable with. Most casinos and Sacramento poker rooms tolerate this kind of superstition as long as it doesn’t involve keeping “dirty” stacks (hiding big chips).
Some poker superstitions like wearing lucky clothing and saying “good luck” are nothing but harmless beliefs, while others are downright detrimental to your gaming strategies.
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