9 Chinese New Year Traditions to Up Your Gambling Luck

The Chinese New Year is almost upon us and it is a time when gambling is more popular than ever with those celebrating. Chinese culture does hold a number of traditions when it comes to gambling, so if you want to improve your luck the traditional way, here’s how.

Wear Red Underwear

The phrase ‘lucky pants’ is often used as a throw away gag by individuals that experience an extreme case of fortune.

Red underwear, a new year tradition in China
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In Chinese culture, it’s more than just a saying. The older generations in China genuinely believe that the color red is lucky and so they wear red wherever possible and that includes wearing red underwear.

After all, you can never have too much luck on your side.

Feed the Ghost and You Will Score

In soccer, there is a famous song that revolves around the former Manchester City striker Shaun Goater. The chant claimed that if you ‘feed the goat and he will score!’. The Goat was the player’s nickname. For Chinese gamblers, it is more a case of feeding the ghost than the goat.

Legend has it that behind every casino table there is a baby ghost. Yep, that sounds pretty terrifying when you think about it…

A baby ghost that can potentially provide good luck
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The theory is that if you feed the ghost with sugar then it will win favor with the ghost and bring good luck. On the flip side, if you choose to shun the baby ghost then it will bring you bad luck.

Have fun sleeping thinking about that prospect.

Deng! Deng!

One of the traditions that often brings a smile to the face of onlookers is the use of the term “Deng!” or “Ding!” when Chinese players are at the baccarat tables.

This tradition has been passed across generations and the words must be spoken prior to the playing cards even being opened.

It is similar to smashing a champagne bottle against the side of a ship prior to its maiden voyage. The thinking behind it is that it will bring good luck to all those that use those cards.

Pray to the Gods Before Gambling

Praying to the gods before gambling
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This might not be a ritual that is specific to just the Chinese but it is one that’s very important within their culture.

Chinese gamblers pray to the Gods before a trip to the casino in order to encourage good fortune. Sometimes they may even make an offering as a show of good faith.

We’re not talking about a sacrificial lamb or child here, more like a basket of fruit or a cake.

No Touching

Chinese gamblers playing baccarat
Image Credit: asianews.it

If you have ever gambled at a casino, you know the golden rule – never touch the cards.

In Chinese culture, when gambling at New Year, it is also important to never touch the person gambling.

Just leave them be and keep your hands to yourself, thank you very much.

Don’t Count Money at the Tables

This is probably considered more to do with good manners than anything else but the Chinese believe that counting your money after a win or loss is not the done thing at the tables.

Let’s be honest, if you’re counting how much you’ve won after a lucky hand in front of the player that just lost, you lack class.

Always remember, there is always somebody better off than you but there is also always somebody worse off too.

No Sex Before Gambling

No sex before gambling is a Chinese tradition
Image Credit: rightcasino.com

In the 1976 Oscar-winning movie Rocky, veteran trainer Mickey Goldmill warns the boxer that women weaken legs. This is clearly something that has been transferred to gambling over the Chinese New Year.

It is considered unwise for gamblers to participate in sex a short period of time before gambling. This is likely down to the fact that serious gambling requires stamina, patience, focus, and discipline.

All of those attributes become jeopardized after some bump and grind. It’s understandable, really.

Pace Yourself

The concept of beginner’s luck is that the first bet can return a big win that isn’t necessarily expected or deserved. Over the Chinese New Year, the curse of an early significant win is one Chinese players are very wary of.

It is recommended that gamblers avoid betting big and targeting the huge pay outs too early. After all, winning such a large amount early on can open the players up to equally large losses.

Winning or losing small amounts here and there is more preferable. Save the peak wins for the right time. Not too early.

Don’t Wash the Lucky Hands

Don't wash lucky hands is a famous Chinese gambling tradition
Image Credit: thisconsciouslife.com

One of the less hygienic traditions within Chinese culture over New Year is the attitude towards hand cleaning when gambling.

Chinese gamblers believe that washing hands can have a huge impact on luck. If players are experiencing a bad run of luck then they will wash their hands to try and rinse the bad fortune off their skin.

If Chinese players are on a good run of results then they will not wash their hands for the duration of this lucky spell. No matter how long it lasts… or what they do with their hands.

You might want to wear gloves the next time you touch those casino cards because that is certainly not a superstition restricted to the China.

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