A Gambler and Their Lucky Charms

Mar 17, 2011 by

Do you believe in luck?

Through the years I have had many experiences with gamblers about the things that made them lucky. In fact, I have plenty of superstitions myself. In the spirit of St. Patrick’s Day I thought I would share some of the lucky traditions with you. Who knows, maybe some luck will rub off on you!

I can remember the first time I saw a lady with her little lucky troll (remember the ones with the crazy hair?) on top of her slot machine. I laughed and thought that she was nuts. As time went on and I gambled more it didn’t seem so out of the ordinary to me. I figured you could probably use all the help you could get!

One of my favorite stories was using the car’s odometer. When she was driving around, and especially when she had pulled into the casino parking lot, if the odometer had numbers that would make a good poker hand (i.e. 56,789) she thought she would do well at the casino. Every now and then I would see a lucky rabbit’s foot or a lucky stuffed animal on a slot machine. I watch people rub the screens of the machines or pat the machines to give them encouragement. I’ve seen people pound the buttons on video poker to show it who is boss. I’ve heard a lady telling me that there was no such thing as luck and that the people upstairs (mob) were controlling the payouts of the machines by tightening them up when she was around.

When I was going through the outpatient program at the Reno Problem Gambling Center one of my fellow group members gifted me with her lucky little Buddha.¬†She told me that he went with her whenever she gambled. Buddha was at the casino a lot! She wanted me to carry him with me to remember her. While I don’t use Buddha as a lucky gambling charm, I do like to hold him as I’m writing my blog articles. It’s a reminder to be thankful for where I’ve been and that I am dedicated to holding out my hand for others. Paying it forward, if you will.

Have you heard of any lucky superstitions you’d like to share? I’d love to hear your experiences!

I wish you all the luck in the world!


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  1. Frank T

    You know I am fascinated by the psychology that goes into the mindset of the behaviors set going onto the betting floor. As someone in recovery coming to recognize the ethos around ideas like luck,tradition and fate and the correlation to control and responsibility the outreached hand is very welcome. I often wonder when I read a article like and the following
    and reflect on my own experience how I might have manipulated the idea that my addiction was pathological based and scapegoated it as another cause.

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts and linking to that article as well. Your comment is incredibly well written. I can only imagine that one of the things you would say to yourself after gambling is that you are smart enough to know better…I hope you find peace with that, if it’s a true guess.

      I feel like my gambling was a definitely a progression of my video game experiences as a child. I would sit for hours playing video games…completely in the zone and out of touch with my surroundings. In fact, I used to win contests at Ms. PacMan because I was better than people around me. The video game aspect of the gambling probably subconsciously brings up the idea of being good at something as a kid.

      Truly, life in general is a mindset. The beauty of it is that we have the ability to choose whether or not we actually see what’s happening during the behaviors we engage in. When I was at the peak of my compulsive gambling I didn’t care…about much of anything, really.

      I wish you well on your journey…I’d be honored if you keep in touch along the way.

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