Food Luck: Superstitious Beliefs and Rituals of Gamblers at the Table

A selection of three wines paired with a variety of delectable cheeses for a perfect culinary experience
A selection of three wines paired with a variety of delectable cheeses for a perfect culinary experience

There are many well-known superstitions in the gambling world regarding what brings good or bad luck. From a rabbit’s foot to sitting for hours, gambling rituals range from things you carry to things you just don’t do- but what about the things you eat?

You have heard of good luck, but what about food luck? Below, we discuss some of the best-known gambling rituals at the gaming tables and some food-related superstitions from the dinner table.

Some things you don’t need luck for – claim your bonus here to get your next gambling session off to a great start!

Food-Related Gambling Superstitions and Rituals

When it comes to boosting luck, people will try just about anything- including switching up their meal choices and walking around with some odd food items in their pockets. Here are four food superstitions used in the gambling community. 

Throwing Sugar

You may have heard of throwing salt over your shoulder to warn of evil, but what about feeding the ghosties sugar to bribe them into helping you win with some of their spiritual powers? If this is new to you, it may be because it is predominantly used by Chinese players. 

The idea is that by feeding some sugar to the little ghost behind you, they may be inclined to bring you good luck.

Carrying an Orange

Another strange food ritual in gambling that comes from China is taking oranges with you to the casino. Oranges are believed to hold lucky Yang energy, so it is not uncommon to see players eating oranges in the casino or walking around with a few in their pockets.

Eating a Lucky Meal

Some foods are believed to be luckier than others. What ones exactly depends on where you come from. Pork is a lucky food in Germany, Ireland, and some Asian cultures, while lentils are the lucky food of choice in Italy and parts of South America.

Pomegranates and black-eyed peas are also on the list of foods to eat for good luck, and then there is a whole list of foods that are recommended because of their actual nutritional benefits rather than what they symbolize. Nuts, blueberries, and avocados are some of the super snacks worth considering before you start gambling.

Gambling On an Empty Stomach

As much as certain foods are believed to bring luck, there is actually evidence to show that gambling on an empty stomach is scientifically more likely to yield good results. It is particularly relevant in games that rely on intuition, such as poker or blackjack. 

Why? Hunger encourages people to act intuitively, ultimately making better choices because they feel less emotional. A full stomach after a big satisfying meal can make the body release chemicals that make us more emotional, or at least think more emotionally.

Saving the big meal for after your gambling session is believed to be better. You can still eat your lucky snacks but do it a little earlier in the day.

Other Popular Superstitious Beliefs and Rituals for Gamblers at the Table

Some of these food-luck charms may be a little obscure, but the following table rules and rituals are well-known and somewhat woven into gambling culture. Here are five superstitious beliefs about what you should and shouldn’t do at the gaming table.

To Sit or To Stand? That Is the Question

There is debate over whether sitting or standing to place your bets is best, but people agree that once you pick one, you better stick with it! In poker, for example, if someone starts the game sitting, they won’t even get up to stretch their legs until it is over. If they were standing for their first bet, they shouldn’t sit down until after their final bet is placed.

Leave Your $50 Bills at Home!

American gamblers believe that $50 bills are bad luck in the casino. They will never pay or accept payment in fifties when playing slots or cashing out. 

It goes back to the days when the Mafia were in charge in Las Vegas. Apparently, it was common practice to put a $50 note in the pocket of a recently dispatched victim before burying them in the Nevada desert. The connotations are not exactly what you want for a successful night at the casino.

Never Count Money at the Table

One of the first rules of gambling is never counting your money while you are at the table. Kenny Rodgers said it best in his famous song The Gambler, and it speaks to etiquette more than superstition.

Counting winnings or chips at the table in front of others who were perhaps less fortunate is pretty rude and considered bad manners in the gambling community. There is also the superstition that pride leads to a fall, so counting your money at the table after a big win could be the end of your lucky run.

No Crossed Legs

Crossed fingers are fine, but crossed legs are a no-no. This really is pure superstition, but some people believe you cross out your good luck if you place a bet with crossed legs.

Wearing Red for Good Luck

Red is considered a lucky color in many cultures, and its connection to passion, intensity, and life also makes it a confidence-boosting choice that can help gamblers believe in their luck. 

Wearing red at the casino is a time-honored superstitious tradition, but what is more personal and popular is wearing a lucky item. Your old cap, your dad’s tie, your lucky shoes, or your grandma’s ring- it doesn’t matter what it is if it can bring a little luck next time to hit the tables.

Final Thoughts

Whether or not you are a superstitious person, it is easy to get caught up in the many rituals of luck in gambling. Why not give these food-good luck charms a go? Who knows – they might help you win real money!

Of course, always remember to gamble responsibly, and keep in mind that luck-leveraging superstitions do not guarantee a win. In fact, they can often have a negative impact on the way you gamble. Be smart about it, and keep your rituals as a bit of fun.

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Hi, Peachy here!

I'm a foodie mommy living in the Philippines. I'm a mom to two daughters named PURPLE SKYE and PERIWINKLE MOONE and wife to a loving husband I fondly call peanutbutter♥. I am a foodie by heart, a coffee lover and a froyo and yogurt junkie. Learn more →






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