Psychology Behind Betting Patterns

Superstition in GamblingBy Sadie Smith.

There are many different superstitions and good luck rituals in the gambling world. Interestingly enough, this has been present in people’s lives since forever and it looks like it is here to stay. Lucky numbers, charms, rituals, mantras, and incantations have been with us for as long as we can remember and read in history.

Regardless of how superstitious you may be, there must be some ritual you have or used to have. It is almost inevitable and no matter how we rationalize it, it is difficult to resist superstition. So, what makes us manifest this type of behavior? Is it a confidence thing, and most importantly, does it work?1)EDITOR NOTE: Pretending to be superstitious can reap benefits as a blackjack card counter or advantage player.  It is one of the camouflage tricks of the trade.

Is superstition modernized?

We are all familiar with blowing or kissing dice, having your favorite chair and a table at a casino, lucky charms, and many other forms of superstitious activities during gambling. However, did these customs transfer to the world of online gambling?

A short answer would be affirmative, given that there are many new traditions in online gambling lucky rituals. Of course, some superstitions could not be transferred as they would require a physical space to gamble. However, they did adapt to the online environment or new ones were invented.

There has been word of a whole bunch of new rituals and lucky actions. However, scientifically, it has absolutely zero impact on online gambling platforms. For instance, most online casinos use random number generators and algorithms so good that no external factors can change their unbiasedness (source: Their algorithms ensure randomness and a fair game, making sure everyone has a good time regardless of which machine they use or how they do it.

How does superstition manifest in the online world?

There are many creative ways people present with superstitions. Some people always log in at the same time, convinced that the time of login will provide them with good luck to that session. Many people also love setting the mood. For instance, some people have their favorite chair or table at the casino, while the ones that join online can also have a favorite chair, something to drink, special clothes or any pre-game ritual they feel helps them while playing. Some always listen to the same song before starting their session.

There are also various rituals when it comes to making patterns for playing. These things happen spontaneously and they stay purposely as soon as a win happens. Using certain fingers in a specific manner is considered a lucky charm for many people who practice online gambling.

Do superstitions work?

One thing we can say is that no pattern or superstition can change the will of the random number generator. However, superstitions still have all sorts of effect on our daily lives.

Whether they impact the algorithm is not even that important. What humans get from honoring superstitions is a certain confidence boost. When we fulfill our rituals, it makes us feel ready and accomplished. It boosts our ego and makes us more prepared for what is ahead. The confidence boost is a huge part of the betting experience and it even makes us enjoy the whole process more.

Therefore, when someone says that superstitions don’t work, you just point them to a confident person who is enjoying there life due to a little self-esteem boost. That ought to change their minds.

… before leaving to play, I put on some Old Spice after-shave lotion.  My next session was a dramatic winner.  For the next several weeks I doused myself with this lotion without fail before playing.  If I went out the door, and remembered that I’d forgotten the after-shave lotion, I’d return for it. Sure, we’re scientists, but I guess certain superstitions creep in periodically.Ken Uston (Two Books on Blackjack)

The gambler’s mindset

There are various psychological phenomena related to gambling. One of the most popular being the gambler’s fallacy. That simply means that people’s judgement changes due to certain events. For instance, you are playing roulette and it is now already the sixth time the outcome was black. This series of events changes our judgement to believe that the next time, the outcome will be red. This also boosts confidence and makes us more motivated as we become more certain that we will win the next time around.

Another famous phenomenon is the bandwagon effect. This happens when many people are taking part in betting or the lottery, for instance. Everyone’s excited and everyone is a part of it which motivates you to be a part of it, too.

Moreover, throwing your hat in the game will almost always make you think you increased the winning chances. Somehow everyone thinks they are their own lucky charm in a way. By joining a sports bet for some team, you instantly boost the team’s chances to succeed now that they have you on their side.

Simply being in a good mood will boost your ego and make you wish to gamble a bit more. This also makes sense – you are in a good mood, which means you would be more confident in a positive outcome of gambling.

Lucky numbers, rituals and charms also put us in a better mood as we feel they increase our chances of winning. So, who is to say that they don’t work? If it is all in good fun and done responsibly, applying good luck rituals to your gambling routine can only have positive effects on the gambler.

IMAGE CREDIT: Microsoft’s Copilot



1EDITOR NOTE: Pretending to be superstitious can reap benefits as a blackjack card counter or advantage player.  It is one of the camouflage tricks of the trade.

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