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More Poker Superstitions
Gambling and superstition go hand in hand! Poker players – along with gamblers in general – often have specific rituals they follow before or during play which they believe will bring good luck. Sometimes it involves wearing a particular article of clothing or jewelry or it might require carrying a specific item. And it often involves the environment in which they gamble. There are a number of superstitions that have been around for many years and others that have popped up more recently in places like luxury hotels on the Las Vegas Strip where resorts will go to great lengths to honor the sensitivities of their poker playing guests. An example of the foregoing is a multi-million dollar renovation undertaken by the MGM Grand in 1998. While the hotel management states the face lift was done for purposes of beautification of the five year old resort, it was also admitted that part of the decision to remodel the hotel’s entrance was based upon folklore and beliefs of their Asian guests – many of whom play Texas Hold’em Poker.
Prior to the renovation, players entered the casino by walking through the mouth of a lion. It was very quickly discovered that this important segment of their gamblers believed that walking through a lion’s mouth was considered unlucky – which resulted in the renovation of the entrance to the MGM Grand. A casino manager who must remain nameless reports that one of his regular poker players keeps chocolate in his pocket while at the gaming tables. This man throws a piece of candy on the floor before he places a bet in the belief that the devil will be distracted by the candy and leave him alone to have good luck. He reports that another of his regulars hits himself in the head three times when he is losing on the theory that he is “shaking things up”.
Yet another is said to bring voodoo dolls dressed like the dealers into the casino so that he can control the cards dealt to him. Some other superstitions held by poker players include the following: • When you play poker, wear an article of dirty clothing to keep away evil. • Blow (or spit) on your cards for good luck – preferably when no one is looking. • If you are playing on a wooden table, be sure to choose a seat that lets you lay your cards with the grain instead of against it. • Don’t cross your legs while playing or you will “cross out your luck”. • Never gamble in a room with a dog in it. • Wait until all the cards have been dealt before you pick up yours and be sure to pick them up with your right hand. • If you are dealt the four of clubs, discard it immediately unless it is absolutely necessary to your hand. Some poker players believe if this card is dealt to you in the first hand, you should throw down your cards and leave the game because it signifies you will have nothing but bad luck. • Do not allow any other poker player to place their foot on the rung of your chair.
If you want to bring another player bad luck, place your foot on their chair. Two factors of good luck agreed upon by most poker players include the color red and being well dressed when you gamble.
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