- Casino

The Science of Luck and Gambling Superstitions

Numerous superstitions exist that are said to bring luck when gambling, such as wearing their lucky shirt or crossing their fingers when making bets. But do these beliefs actually help people win?

Professor Richard Wiseman conducted a study that revealed those who consider themselves lucky adhere to four basic principles. In this article we’ll take an in-depth look at these tenets.

Self-fulfilling prophecies

Self-fulfilling prophecies are causal loops that begin with an initial prediction and lead to behavior that reinforces that belief, such as sitting with legs crossed while playing poker causing you to lose more money and play poorly – this cycle continues until your belief is proven correct.

Superstitions may stem from one’s own behavior and beliefs as well as those held by others. A person who believes fortunetelling will help him win the lottery may gamble greater sums of money than those who don’t believe in this practice.

Studies also reveal that people who believe they are lucky spend more money gambling than those who do not, since they believe luck to be more than simply random occurrence. It involves many aspects, including personality and attitude as well as particular events which bring good or bad luck.


Optimism is a trait that may explain some people’s superstitions. Studies have shown that optimism can alter decision-making even when seemingly irrational decisions are being made; for instance, gamblers with optimism tend to believe good luck lies ahead, leading them to take greater risks with gambling activities. Furthermore, one study concluded that optimism influences gambling expectations following losses regardless of any upward counterfactual thinking that may influence these expectations.

Confirmation bias can also play a significant role in gambling superstitions, with individuals selecting information to support their preexisting beliefs. This can become especially problematic when playing casino games where players often remember only their victories without recalling when their lucky charms failed, leading them to believe their luck must come from trinkets they possess rather than themselves. A study surveyed 375 Ghanaian student athletes to analyze relationships among personal control, coping mechanisms, primary control and secondary control as well as superstitious beliefs.


Self-awareness can help you develop a deeper and more holistic understanding of yourself. Achieve this through cultivating empathy and learning new skills like meditation or yoga. Furthermore, seeking other perspectives and soliciting feedback from those close to you is also crucial in order to see yourself from different angles and strengthen relationships with those around you.

Gamblers frequently develop superstitions based on beliefs about luck and chance that can cause them to place more bets on riskier games than necessary and lead to greater financial losses. Upward counterfactual thinking allows a gambler to see that his or her own actions have an influence over random events; but not everyone takes advantage of this skill when gambling; some may even be unaware that they’re engaging in it due to not recognizing its impact due to superstition-driven habits.


People often associate luck and superstition with gambling, leading them to engage in riskier behavior than is rational. Researchers conducted one study that demonstrated this link by finding those who believed in luck more likely to gamble more money; similar results have been seen with previous research linking irrational beliefs in luck with problem and pathological gambling.

Gamblers often try to compensate for their lack of control by attributing losses to external influences. For instance, after experiencing a losing session with a dealer they may irrationally attribute it to trinkets they wear or rituals they perform – in an attempt to explain away losses they cannot control.

One key discovery from this research was that upward counterfactual thinking impacted betting behavior more than beliefs in luck did, yet was still unable to match up to its strength because people who hold unwarranted belief in luck tend to overconfidence themselves and think their traits affect the outcome of games more directly than do people who accept that luck alone determines outcome.

About Joss Kendall

Read All Posts By Joss Kendall

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *