casino gamer superstitions ala Grande Vegas

Superstitions have played a role in the world of gaming for thousands of years. From ancient Babylonia, Greece and Rome to medieval Europe and elsewhere, casual gamers and high stakes players have brought quirky beliefs and rituals into their gaming activities.

Some players do believe that they can influence the outcome of their gaming sessions by rubbing a rabbit’s foot, focusing on a specific thought or object, basing their gameplay on “lucky” numbers, wearing a favorite item of clothing or bringing some other ritual to their gaming session.

Others just embrace these behaviors because it’s cute and, well, what if…..

What is not debated is the fact that gamers from all areas of the world, playing many different games on many different levels, with casino welcome bonus promotions, daily bonuses or VIP amenities bring their superstitions with them to the gaming screen.

Superstitions As Part of Competition

In many ways, gamers and sports competitors are similar. People in both groups are known for performing ritual movements before a competition.

Some rituals are obvious and don’t raise an eyebrow such as an athlete who blesses him/herself before a race or someone who wears a shirt with a special number during a competition. Other superstitious practices may not be as noticeable like someone who wears lucky pants or uses a special piece of equipment.

But in both the sports and the gaming world, superstitions and rituals are common and widespread. Coaches agree that, for some players, such ritualistic practices may actually impact and influence the player’s success during an event.

A ritual can be defined as an action or behavior that the athlete or gamer carries out, based on his or her believe that the behavior will carry with it a power to influence performance. A superstition is defined a bit differently. It’s something that develops over time and becomes an important part of future events.

For instance, if a gamer experienced a successful gaming session while chewing gum, gum chewing may become a part of future gaming events based on the player’s belief that the presence of the hat somehow influenced the successful event.

Rituals as Healthy Practices

Some rituals are familiar to observers. The All Blacks New Zealand rugby team has been performing a Maori war dance, known as “The Haka” before every match for the last 100 years.

Football fans of the 1960s would wait to see Ajax’s Johan Cruyff spit his chewed up chewing gum onto the opposition’s half which they believed pushed Cruyff’s team onto victory – that belief was reinforced when Cruyff forgot his gum during the 1969 European Cup final and his team went on to lose the tournament.

Tennis star Raphael Nadal won’t pick up a racked until he’s adjusted his socks to no more than 15 cm above his ankle with the sponsor’s logo parallel to the ground and has 2 water bottles next to his chair – the baseline must face the side of the court on which he is playing.

As he enters the court he clips the floor behind him with the tip of his foot, tucks his hair behind first the left and then the right ear, wipes his nose and adjusts his hairband. Believers in such rituals point out that there must be something to those habits – Nadal has been ranked No. 1 in the world in singles for 209 weeks, won 22 Grand Slam men's singles titles, won a record 14 French Open titles and finished as the year-end No. 1 five times.

Observers tell competitors that some rituals can involve quite healthy habits that may, in the long run, be quite beneficial – not only in winning the game but as an overall healthy practice. They include the practices of eating healthy foods, meditation or prayer, pre-game naps, mental visualizations, listening to music, etc.

Superstitions may also have psychological benefits. Researchers have noted that, while superstitions are typically viewed as irrational, they can provide psychological boosts that suggest that activating good-luck related rituals often results in the improvement of subsequent performances because they create a positive change in the individual’s perception of his/her efficiency and abilities

Popular Rituals for Gamers

Every gamer who indulges in rituals has his or her own favorite ceremonial procedures. Some players may take them seriously while for others, they’re just lighthearted traditions. Some of the most popular include:

  1. Eating a specific food or drinking a specific drink before or during the gaming session.
  2. Setting up the screen in a particular way.
  3. Engaging in a pre-game warm-up routine.
  4. Holding lucky charms.
  5. Playing “lucky” games.
  6. Listening to specific music during the game.
  7. Following specific in-game routines (playing bonus rounds in a particular way, etc).
  8. Wearing specific items of clothing during a gaming session.

The real value of superstition or ritual is the sense of control and the boost in confidence that such rituals offer. If someone believes that they can perform better if they perform a specific behavior or action, they might, in fact, do so.


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