Gamblers are superstitious; there is no way to avoid it. The very nature of being lucky is an inherent quality of players when they win and when they lose they always blame negative outcome on some external force. The short term variances seen by players in their truncated playing stints sometimes backup their claims, but in the long run a college freshman statistic student would tell you with complete confidence that over the long term these “superstitions” have no bearing on the outcome. But not missing a chance to make money, casinos will take advantage of player’s beliefs to separate them from their money. This article will take a look at some of the more creative methods conjured up by casino gaming marketing departments.

Historically, whether cats signify good luck or bad luck depends on what part of the world you are in. In modern times in western culture black cats mirror bad luck, mostly because of the association with Halloween and Witches. But this hasn’t always been the case, and this has defiantly not the case non western countries. In the USA it is generally considered good luck if you see black cat or sneezing cat on your wedding day. Similarly, dreaming of cats is thought to be good luck.

In Ancient Egypt there is a Goddess that looks like a cat. It represents the goddess of joy, love, protection, dance and music. Cats are very popular in the Egyptian culture It is especially important in Ancient Egypt where cats were a sacred animal and it is forbidden to kill them. The Egyptian themed games like CLEOPATRA by IGT have a space on their reels occupied by picture of a cat. And true to the luck association, when the player gets all the center reels occupied by the cats picture a jackpot is awarded to the player. The popularity of cats being lucky has extended to the online casino realm. Cool Cat Casino is a very popular online casino where players can learn about casino games, get casino tips and of course play casino games.

The three wheel slot game’s that are seen in casinos and pay a jackpot when three 7s come up has long been associated gambling. The number 7 has had significant importance throughout history, and is strongly associated with positive outcomes. It is even prevalent in major religions like Judaism and Christianity. But it has been most relevant in Buddhism and throughout Asian cultures. In traditional Chinese cultures the number Seven represents the combination of Yin, Yang. It also symbolizes the Five Elements of nature (Metal, Wood, Water, Fire and Earth). The combination of these 5 elements represents “harmony” in the ideology of Confucianism. In Chinese Taoism, it stands for the Tao and this has a closely connected with kindness and beauty.

Gaming companies and specifically the game development companies have taken advantage of this strong association of the number of 7 with being lucky. Some of the long time popular slot machines are the Lucky Sevens, Super Sevens and Blazing 7s three wheel slot machine. These machines pay the jackpot for the machine when the center-face plate shows 7’s across all three wheels. The number 7 and gambling are forever linked.

Casinos adjust their interior decor to attract cliental who are very superstitious. This is done to attract perhaps Asian market players and Asian players in general; this is because gambling is a big part of the Asian culture. The Wynn and Encore casinos in Las Vegas and Macau as well MGMs most profitable property the Bellagio make huge efforts to attract the Asian players. The interior is decked out in the Asian lucky color of red, as well as East Asia themed paintings, rugs and general furnishings. It is primary part of these casinos strategies to attract the coveted the rolling Asian gamblers. The conservatory at the Bellagio even sets one of its 4 yearly themes to honor Chinese New Year. In Las Vegas this is one part of the Chinese New Year’s festivities that take over Las Vegas every year in Late January through February. Lastly, the Lucky Dragon Casino in Las Vegas is the newest property and it is designed to lure the top Asian Gamblers.

In casino gaming centric towns like Las Vegas, the local governments take steps to ensure their local economy is profitable. They employ tactics to entice tourist to gamble their money in hopes of winning a life changing sum of money. They do this in a few different ways. The first way is this through collusion with the airline companies. When a traveler books a flight to a town that has a casino driven economy, the flight number is some combination of a “lucky” set of numbers. Usually, it consists of flight # 777 or 711 arriving at 7:11 am or some variation of this. The thoughts of I’m going to be lucky on this trip fill the unsuspecting tourists mind.

When you arrive at the international MCCARRAN airport in Las Vegas there are slot machines greet you as soon as you exit the jet way. The slots that are in the terminal are themed with very recognizable TV or movie characters further implanting the false hope of luck onto the player. Leaving the airport doesn’t get the player away from the not so subtle messaging. When you get into a cab or UBER to go your Hotel you will notice that Las Vegas Blvd where all the mega resorts are located is exit 11. The number 11 has always been associated with positive (lucky outcomes). These subtle and subconscious hints have one objective, and that is to get the tourists money.

Up to know we have discussed how the casino uses superstitions to get the players money. Another way to look at superstitions in gambling is how they can benefit the player. Bill Benter developed perhaps the most successful computer software in the world to attack the giant Hong Kong horse racing market. In the 2010 racing season the betting turnover in Hong Kong reached $9.23 billion, on just two racetracks! In the same year all the thoroughbred racetracks in the U.S. took in just over $12 billion. This begs the question how did Benter take advantage of the superstitions of horse race bettors?

The Hong Kong horse racing is a limited field of horses. Only 1000 horse are selected to race. This decreases the analytics that needs to be done. The Benter program takes into account variables such as trainers, jockey’s, track conditions, weather and gate positions. These variables are properly weighted for importance, and the program predicts a winner, with a degree of certainty.

The gambling population of Hong Kong is VERY superstitious. For example, if the purple horse is heavily favored by the population but the computer analysis says the green horse will win, the odds are swayed by the populous betting pools and the green horse becomes a value bet- a bet that has a good percentage of winning with good bet to pay off ratio, the player would bet heavily on the green horse.

The Benter approach does not work every time, but it has worked enough to make Bill Benter one of the most successful horse betters in history. The way this works is several runners and spotters are stationed at the horse tracks to ensure that the up to the minute analysis can be executed at the betting windows.

Superstitions will always be associated with gambling. They are inseparable ideals in the gaming industry. Casinos use it to their advantage to get money from the player. In rare occasions astute players can turn the superstation tables on the Casinos. We have discussed a few ways on how these scenarios for both sides can play out. Visitors who pay attention while walking through a casino, or in casino gaming town, they will notice how the house try’s to exploit players. But if the player is really observant they may discover a way or two on how to exploit the house.