Are you getting tired of those cliché lucky charms like the rabbit’s foot or the four-leafed clover? Looking for a new source of inspiration? Explore the rich Chinese culture with the most comprehensive set of gambling superstitions in the world.
Check this article for some of the most popular ones.
Long Tradition of Gambling in China
Gambling has existed since the dawn of time, and we humans have played games of fortune ever since. Naturally, if people have nothing to rely on except for luck, they tend to develop various superstitions, lucky charms, and other rituals. Today, there are countless crazy superstitions out there. One nation, in particular, deserves our complete attention. Of course, we’re talking about the Chinese gambling superstitions, their culture, their long tradition of gambling, and the extraordinary ways they attract luck and chase bad karma away. Chinese gamblers take their religion, as well as their beliefs, fairly seriously. So, it’s no wonder they developed a complex system of things to do before, after, and during a round of gambling.
Asian gamblers in general, not just the Chinese, are deeply committed to Feng Shui, their faith, and have a general respect for the rules they live by.
Speaking of superstitions, lucky charms are a vital part of their expression. In essence, the Chinese believe specific objects and numbers have special abilities which attract good fortune and prosperity. Let’s take a look at some of the most famous Chinese good luck charms and symbols below.
Chinese Symbols of Good Fortune and Prosperity
One of the most prominent superstitions in China are those pertaining to good fortunate and prosperity. Thus, as they take such a substantial space in this culture, we will examine them below.
Chinese Dragons, a Great Ancient Guardian of East
Dragons have played a role in Chinese mythology since forever; songs were written about them, paintings were drawn, the Emperor himself took it as the highest compliment if someone addressed him as the ‘Dragon Face’. Hence, as you can see, dragons are a clear favorite in China. Nowadays, though, this symbol goes beyond the borders of this country. You can find pictures of these majestic creatures everywhere, from ‘hipster’ shoulder tattoos to grandma’s pincushions, and even Chinese fast food restaurants and shops.
This magnificent creature is a symbol of ultimate intelligence, supreme wisdom, leadership, success, optimism, and most of all: good fortune. Across Asia, the Chinese dragon is a mythical ruler of rain, water, time, health, and happiness. Moreover, this, powerful, dragon is considered the great guardian of the East, lands of the rising sun, and the protector of all its inhabitants. This is why even the symbol of Feng Shui has an ancient Chinese dragon displayed on it.
Though, have you ever wondered why this beast has no wings? Well, simply put, it’s because it uses magic to make itself fly. The most common usage of this symbol can be found at a national emblem of the state. Although the dragon comes from ancient China, this figure was so influential that it endured the many centuries since its conception and remains relevant even today. It’s no wonder then that the Chinese use the phrase “I hope your sweet child will grow up into a dragon” as a sign of respect for this venerable beast. When the Chinese utter this phrase, they wish their comrades to accomplish great success, wealth, and power; just like the Chinese dragon.
The Chinese believe in the symbolism of, so-called, good and bad numbers. What’s more, their language is so fascinating, that people rarely learn more than 50,000 Chinese characters. Now, this brings us to the connection between the Chinese characters and numbers: pronunciation.
Namely, there are bizarre similarities between two words with entirely different meanings, which is quite common in the rich and ancient languages of China. Chinese names draw their origins from other words. This is the main reason some numbers are considered to be lucky—they sound similar to other, positive, words. On the other hand, if the name of a number stems its roots from a word with a negative meaning, it’s considered to be unlucky. This superstition runs so deep that some Chinese people actually refuse to use particular phone or house numbers, license plates, and even hotel rooms for that matter.
As for the modern Western cultures, the luckiest number is considered to be seven; throughout history it had serious religious significance in denominations such as Judaism and Christianity. Conversely, the number thirteen is avoided in many a gambling establishment. This superstition runs so deep that some Las Vegas casinos skip the 13th floor, as well as the 13th room.
Now, as for the Chinese lucky numbers, we have two, six, eight and nine. Number six is the most popular one, especially so in the workplace, as it originates from the word “flow”. That is why so many business owners opt to use this number inside their workplace, hoping it’ll bring them tons of profitable opportunities and prosperity. Number three means “life” or “giving birth”; which is why a lot of women use this number as a lucky charm when trying to conceive. As for gamblers, their holy number is none other than eight. The reason being, it sounds a lot like “wealth” or “fortune” — hence why players love this number so much, especially the double eight (88), also known as “double happiness.”
On the other hand, the award for the most superstitious number in Chinese culture has to go to the unfortunate number four. The pronunciation of number four is almost identical to the word “death”, which is why the Chinese tend to avoid it at all cost. This number is skipped in most of the buildings, floors, and phone numbers. But wait, there’s more! Four is just as bad when used in combination with other numbers, like fourteen or twenty-four. Therefore, be careful when giving your Chinese friends some gifts as you may very well insult them if it comes in a set of four or the like.
The Cursed Main Entrance
This one is important, particularly in Chinese gambling superstition. Namely, there is a widespread belief that the casino owners had their main entrances cursed by strong ancient magic. Others think that Feng Shui masters have placed a spell on every casino front door because they consider gambling to be one of the worst vices in the world. Should you pass this door, you will most certainly have no luck in any of your casino games, according to them.
Today, this superstition has outgrown China and spread all across the globe, right to the United States.
A particular establishment in Las Vegas had their fair share of the whole “cursed entrance” issue. What happened? When MGM Grand had their big opening, the casino managers were in a pickle. The majestic casino owners used their mascot, a big golden lion to garnish the exterior. But they placed it above the main entrance, and this was a double no-no. The gamblers refused to walk through the mouth of the lion because this was a double curse. Not only was the entrance to the casino terrible, but willingly stepping into the beast’s interior meant double trouble.
If you are married, the worst thing you could possible do is place a mirror facing your bed, as this will attract an unwanted third person into your bedroom. Others believe that by doing so, the mirror will capture your soul while you sleep. If this happens, the soul will never return, and you’ll have no rest or piece after that. Moreover, there’s yet another myth suggesting that the mirror will actually attract evil spirits which will try to steal your consciousness.
A less scary one states that your soul awakes and goes wandering off when you sleep. Additionally, if it sees its own reflection in the mirror, it’ll get terrified, causing you the worst nightmares you could possibly imagine. Such terrifying dreams will haunt you for the rest of your life, eventually leading you to lose your sanity.
Whatever the case may be, if you ask the Chinese if they ever face the mirror towards their beds, the answer will undoubtedly be no. This is a huge Feng Shui taboo—hence why the Chinese avoid it so.
Similarly to the pronunciation of different numbers, the word “book” also has a negative connotation as it’s fairly similar to the word “lose”. So, avoid books when you plan a trip to the casino. However, don’t think smart people in China dislike reading books, rather stay away from them when some big event is about to occur.
This is probably the weirdest way to treat salt you can think of. Well, the Chinese believe that salt isn’t just an excellent upgrade for your meal, but also a trick to bring you some good luck.
Salt has been praised as the best quality cleanser of both air (around you) and body. They use salt in treatments like massages and hot bubble baths. It’s a well-known fact that the concept of energy governs the majority of Eastern cultures. Salt removes the bad energy and replaces it with a more positive one.
Asians believe in salt’s mystical abilities to absorb the negative energy from a room, leaving nothing but pure, cleansed air behind. Maybe you should consider salting your dish as much as you can before proposing to your special lady, or hit the road and try your luck in a casino.
Wearing Red Clothing
Red is considered the bearer of luck in many cultures; not just the Chinese. Red represents joy and good fortune, passion, and courage. This superstition claims if you wear red panties and head up to your favorite casino, the winnings will not pass you by. We’re not sure as to exactly why wearing red underwear, in particular, brings the biggest fortune, but it definitely sounds like a Chinese thing. Brides in India wear red dresses to bring good fortune to their marriage. Though, one lousy combination of red and weddings is portrayed in the popular TV series ‘Game of Thrones’ where (spoiler alert) the Stark family gets massacred at the Frey household.
Washing Your Hands
First of all, you need to determine whether you’re on a winning, or a losing streak if you count on this Chinese gambling superstition to work its magic. If you are currently losing, maybe you should consider taking a break from the game you are involved in and wash your hands. The bad luck that followed you so far will vanish with this simple little trick.
Likewise, you shouldn’t wash them at any cost if you’re winning as you can actually wash away your good luck the same way you can get rid of the bad one. So, if you see someone next to you spilling a drink over your hands, it might actually be on purpose. Our advice is to man-up, be a grown-up, and play with sticky hands. After all, you don’t want to wash off lady luck with water and soap.
Don’t Touch my Shoulder Man!
Maybe you think it’s a good idea to tap a fellow gambler’s shoulder as a sign of support. If the person next to you is Chinese, think again. There is no greater insult for him than to touch his shoulder while he’s playing. This is considered to be the ultimate jinx, according to the Chinese gambling superstitions, besides being rude. Bottom line: don’t touch a stranger’s shoulder at the casino regardless if they are superstitious or not.
As most countries do, China has their own lucky charms and they turn to them to feel at ease as well. Let’s discover what some of them mean.
The Money Frog
Have you ever wonder the meaning behind this popular symbol? Well, we’ll share this adorable little frog’s secret with you, but please don’t tell! It’s are commonly known as the “Chinese money frog” but it’s actually a toad with three legs, smiling on top of a coin pile. People from the West might not think this way, but the Eastern cultures certainly give this symbol of wealth and luck the respect it deserves
Laughing Buddha Charm
Now if a stature of a serious Buddha doesn’t fill you with calmness and positive vibes, this one surely will. Feng Shui considers the figure of a Laughing Buddha a symbol of prosperity in every field of life. If you happened to own one, try facing it towards the main door on a small corner table, for instance, to receive its many blessings.
Mesmerizing Bamboo Tree, a Gift From Mother Nature
How can an article about Chinese superstitions be complete if we skip the symbolism behind the beautiful and gentle bamboo tree? It represents the strength of both mind and body. The qualities of this exotic plant are its flexibility, fast growth, and perseverance. If you choose to have bamboo as a part of your cozy home decor, place it at the southeast, or easternmost, corner of the room to receive its blessing.