Author: Nick Taylor
In a time when technology has reshaped our brains to think like computers, one thing is certain: the spectrum of unexplainable phenomena and circumstances remains unsolved. It is this gap between scientific fact and mystery what can empower humans to either achieve all their dreams or lead a life of struggle and pain.
UFOs, ghosts, religion, pagan rituals, urban legends, lucky charms and rituals, curses, witchcraft, astrology, mysticism, magic, and celestial human powers, to name only a few, form a group of behaviors and beliefs called superstitions. According to some sources, superstition means rejecting change or progress, and it is commonly associated with preserving traditions in rural areas far away from the constant fluctuation of trends and technological inventions that fuel and determine city life. Those rural traditions, also called folklore, initially thought of as simply ‘outdated,’ were eventually labeled ‘superstitious’ from the belief that people in rural areas were more prone to hold religion-like behaviors beyond clerical religion boundaries.
We all have certain superstitious precautions, such as avoiding walking under a ladder, knocking on wood when we gloat over other people’s tragedies to protect ourselves from suffering the same or saying ‘bless you’ to a person who just sneezed. However, rituals like throwing salt over your shoulder, avoiding flying or leaving the house on Friday or Tuesday the 13th, or feeling anxiety if it rains on your wedding day may show a deeper superstitious inclination.
According to Sarah Albert in her article “The Psychology of Superstition”, we are basically pursuing more control or certainty over circumstances by looking for some rule or pattern that would explain why things happen. This is why even if rationally a rabbit’s foot is just a furry dead limb, the false certainty that it will bring us luck is better than no certainty at all, and it will give us leverage over our fears.
Gamblers are well known for their superstitious beliefs and rituals, and although it’s a fact that poker is a game of skill and not of chance, most poker players don’t take any chances when it comes to winning - they go beyond the influence of skill and explore the powers that superstition can exert to turn fate in their favor. Let’s take a look at some famous players’ superstitions.
Phil Hellmuth wears only certain ‘lucky’ colors for playing, and we will never see him wearing a white shirt; Hal Kant will never be seen counting his chips, since he believes it brings bad luck; Sam Farha always plays with a cigarette in his mouth even though he doesn’t smoke; Hans “Tuna” Lund thinks toothpicks are lucky charms; Tom McEvoy will not accept a $50 bill while playing; Berry Johnson will never sit on seat number 6, which he thinks is cursed; Mike Sexton avoids looking at dealers because some of them could bring bad luck and Marsha Waggoner will not play poker if a black cat crosses her path.
Even though the previous rituals may seem ridiculous for any skeptic player, superstition surrounding card games goes far back in history. According to Online Poker Report, cards are associated with fortune telling, and they have been historically regarded as potentially dangerous for the spirit, to the point of being called ‘The Devil’s Picture Book.’ Fishermen and miners honor the ancient superstition that carrying a deck of cards while working means they are welcoming a shipwreck or a mine collapse. However, not only bad things are attributed to cards: since the 17th century, cards have also been thought to be helpful during meditation and praying.
Therefore, as pagan as these beliefs may seem, having faith in one’s rituals can actually help attract the desired outcome but in a completely non-magical way: since the player gets rid of any anxiety or fear when performing supposedly lucky acts, the confidence those rituals provide may eliminate the energetic blockages that keep players from winning. In other words, through superstition, players can attract their own success.
Skeptics cannot deny that emotions play with your head, and once fear takes over a player, insecurity will drive them to doom. Well, that is exactly what this article is about, and superstitions are used as preliminary cures for that unwanted fear.
Thus, before you go back to your old skeptic ways, read the following Online Poker Report recommendations and try for yourself.
Pick up your cards before the dealer is finished dealing to all the other players. By doing this, you prevent other players from seeing your reaction when you see them and take advantage of it.
Don’t pick up your cards with your left hand. The left hand has been associated with evil doing, since it is believed that witches used to point at people with their left hand to condemn them to perpetual suffering.
Avoid playing poker if there is a dog in the room. Dogs are known for being humans’ best friends, but also witches’ most trusted companions, bringing disaster to all their victims. So, just keep your pets away from the poker area and you’ll be fine.
Touch your favorite card before the game starts. This superstition assures you will be most likely to win if you do so. Just make sure Phil Hellmuth doesn’t see you, otherwise he will not stop bickering about superstitious donkeys if you get lucky.
If unlucky in poker, you are definitely lucky in love. This is a loser-made superstition to compensate from not having what it takes to succeed in poker, but it is actually kind of consoling, right?
Superstitious or not, let’s remember human curiosity does not end with childhood, and no one is going to judge you if you want to try leaving your luck in the hands of any of these superstitious rituals. Enjoy the game and good luck to you!
This article was published courtesy of ThisIsTheNuts.com.
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