It is impossible to lose when playing with borrowed money.
As any member of the Mafia will cheerfully inform.

A novice gambler cannot lose during his first time out.
This piece of advice has doomed many a virgin.

Things that bring good luck to gamblers

Carrying a lucky charm (such as a lock of hair, four-leaf clover, horseshoe, or coin with a hole in it).
Is this luck the naturally-occurring luck field that is produced by the charm, or is this an additional effect besides? Are multiple charms of the same type cumulative? How about different types? On clover, what if it is in excess of four leaves, does it still count for having at least four, and do the extra leaves provide additional effect? Does it matter if the horseshoe is still on the horse? What if all participants carry such charms? I intend to answer these questions by experiment, and will present my findings in a research paper at later date.

Touching your favorite card with your index finger.
However, it is unlucky to point your middle finger at a dealer who is, say, taller than six foot seven. From experience.

A male player having a pretty woman stand behind his chair.
Evidently, parity is not maintained with female gamblers playing before handsome men. Them’s the breaks, girls.

Sitting on a handkerchief.
Especially if it was owned by afore-mentioned pretty woman.

Sitting astride a chair.
I don’t like where this is going. Next topic.

Things that bring bad luck to gamblers

Having a dog in the room.
A painting of dogs playing poker is indicative only of bad taste.

Picking up cards with your left hand.
If this is done because your right hand is holding a martini, your luck will be even worse, though you may not mind.

Lending money to an opponent.
Because, according to the first superstition above, then your opponent will be unable to lose! See what traps lie in wait, encoded in the laws of everyday life! If I were you, I’d take an astrologer everywhere I went.

Playing cards on a polished surface.
Where is the line drawn between superstition and common bloody sense?

Rubbing dice onto the head of a red-headed person.
It is my belief that dandruff loads the dice.

Being dealt the four of clubs (especially in the first hand) …(or) the nine of diamonds.
But hey, the actual getting of these cards is still up to chance. Does it make sense to have a superstition about an act that is itself random? Huh? Huh?

Superstitions excerpted from “The Little Giant Encyclopedia of Superstitions,” now available at severe discount from bargain bookstores nationwide.

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