Chinese Gambling Superstitions

There are two things we can say with great certainty about the Chinese and that is that they are avid gamblers and, regardless of gambling, they are very prone to superstition. Combine these two attributes and you will get that the average Chinese is a superstitious gambler.

People who have researched the causes and effects of Chinese gambling superstitions have concluded that the Chinese feel a need to constantly be in control and gamblers in particular need a sense of control, which of course is merely an illusion that is required for their success.

The strong beliefs they have in superstitions and adhering to the do's and don'ts of those superstitions gives Chinese gamblers a false sense of control over outcomes of their gambling sessions and a good overall control of their destiny.

Some of the most common Chinese gambling superstitions relate to lucky and unlucky numbers and the effect they have on gambling.

The number 8 is associated with prosperity and thus considered very lucky on its own or when combined with other lucky numbers such as 3, 6 or 9. Combination of these numbers can create sounds that resemble lucky phrases in Cantonese such as '998' that sounds similar to "prosper for a long time" or '168' that sounds similar to "prosper all the way".

On the other hand the number 4 is associated with death and thus is considered very unlucky and gamblers should avoid checking into hotel rooms that use this number and do check into hotel rooms that use the number 8.

Here are a few examples of Chinese gambling superstitions:

Don'ts
- Don't count the money you gain or lose while you gamble
- Don’t touch another gambler's shoulder while they gamble
- Don't enter the casino from the main entrance as its cursed by 'Feng Shui' masters
- Don't talk about reading 'books' as the word sounds similar to 'lose'.

Do's
- Do wear red undergarments while gambling
- Do relieve yourself (urination) if you have been on a losing session
- Do feed the "baby ghost" that's behind every gambling table with sugar
- Do say the word Deng (Cantonese) or Ding (Mandarin) before opening your cards
when playing Baccarat.
- Do pray and provide an offering to the gods before going on a casino trip
- Do pray to the gods the day before the lottery draw
- Do check the world around you for the next winning lottery numbers

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