Roulette Superstitions: Ignore or Enjoy?
Roulette is one of the most myth-soaked of Western casino games, and every self-respecting gambler needs to know which ideas are worth upholding and which are holding them back.
Some cultures have strong connections to numerology. China, for example, considers zero, six, eight and nine to be auspicious because they sound similar to positive words. Others simply connect numbers to important or positive aspects of their lives to bring that positivity to their roulette betting.
Ironically, this irrational idea can actually become the foundation for a system. Betting on any outcome regularly should produce a more consistent return than erratically betting across numbers and markets, giving players a better chance of matching or, if they really are lucky, perhaps bettering the house edge.
Verdict: Harmless when followed sensibly and consistently. Enjoy.
Simply put, sleeping numbers are those that haven't come up in a while and therefore, some players say, are 'due a win'. This assumption comes from the belief that every number must win a certain number of times because it has the same chance of winning as all the others. But because each spin is independent of the last, every number has a one in 37 or 38 chance of landing on each spin, regardless of what happened in previous spins.
Verdict: Shows a flawed understanding of probabilities and signs of gambler's fallacy. Ignore.
WATCH: What is the Martingale System?
If someone says a table is 'clocked', they're claiming it has been rigged so the croupier can stop the wheel on a set number. While there are signs that this happened once upon a time in unscrupulous dens of iniquity, modern casinos are regulated and quite comfortable without such crude cheats. Players who think they've spotted numbers cropping up regularly, or bet against the crowd in a bid to catch the croupier out, are just deluding themselves.
Verdict: A paranoid throwback that makes gamblers miserable and fatalist. Ignore.
Some players carry a rabbit's foot, others have lucky clothing or a ritual they perform prior to their visit to the Roulette table. Whether it's putting on their left shoe first or saying a prayer, there's no proof this affects what happens once they lay their chips down. But that's not to say it doesn't help. A study published in Psychological Science showed that good luck superstitions can increase the confidence and performance of sports players. So it could help a clear-headed gambler too.
Verdict: When accompanied by self-control and an understanding of the odds, there's no reason why these can't enhance your experience. Enjoy.
Betting With Your Gut
Whether the origin of this idea is 'divine inspiration' or a player's belief in their earthly intuition, this Roulette superstition is all about making quick decisions by avoiding calculations. This is a dangerous approach to a casino table game entirely based on chance. Of course, acting slowly is just as dangerous if you're playing the numbers: averages only even out after a large volume of bets after all.
Verdict: If you don't want to think during a game, make sure to do so before and after. If the approach is paying off, enjoy it, if not, ignore it. Or learn the odds and pick a system before you trust your gut.
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