Are gamblers superstitious by nature?

There is a joke that illustrates how gamblers are invariably superstitious. It goes something like this. Two gamblers are playing at a table when one asks the other whether he is superstitious. He replies that he used to be but that he isn’t anymore since he heard that it was unlucky to be. It is an accepted fact that a majority of gamblers are among the most superstitious people on earth. For this reason they are prepared to take all necessary measures that may increase their luck and their ability to win. Many a study has been done to prove the relationship between certain superstitions and the act of gambling. Examples of such superstitions can vary from lucky charms to a number of different rituals that can be performed before or while gambling.

How superstitions arise

Several of such studies have concluded that superstitions develop among players and gamblers based on their past experiences while gambling. During their winning streaks they look for patterns, things and articles that took place in order to try and replicate these in further sessions. This is how and when gamblers may decide that certain items or elements had a positive effect on their luck. Similarly, should they experience a run of bad luck, the gambler will seek out the elements that may have led to their bad luck. A simple example of this is that if a gambler has a run of bad luck with a certain dealer, they may decide that the dealer himself is unlucky and therefore change table.

Existing Superstitions

Not all superstitions originate from personal experience. Some have passed into the general psyche and therefore have been accepted by most superstitious gamblers. Some may choose to avoid something on purpose so not to tempt fate. Others may purposely put a superstition to the test just to know whether they should believe it or not. Should you believe that to play poker cross legged for example is unlucky, should you do it one purpose and lose if only because you expect to lose, then that will simply reinforce the belief in the superstition.