Gamblers from all over the world, of all ages, all levels of experience, all interests, and all kinds of backgrounds can tell you one vital part of their shared experience: losing sucks.
One of the toughest moments for players just getting started in their journey is when they hit their very first losing streak. They’re new to gambling – it shakes them up. Even for veterans it can get in the way of a really positive casino experience. If you play for an extended period of time, it’s simply unavoidable. One day, you’ll be sitting at your favorite game and you’ll find yourself losing some, and possibly losing some more, and in that moment it will seem like the most frustrating thing you’ll ever experience.
At its worst, it can set off all kinds of negative thinking: you’re a failure, everything is doomed, the universe in its entirety is working against you, and on and it goes. The losing streak isn’t ending, it won’t ever end, and you’ll never experience another moment of good luck or happiness again.
Sound familiar? You’re not alone. The thrill of the game can carry you through the entire spectrum of human emotion, leaving you drained, worn out, and feeling like you’ll never get your groove back. While we don’t have any magic spells or try-this-now-and-get-rich-free tactics, we do have some ways to shift you back into gear and renew your energy.
Now, you can go on punching holes in the wall when you’re playing at home or snapping at innocent cocktail waitresses at your favorite brick-and-mortar establishment, or you can take things into your own hands in a positive and productive way. Learn new ways of handling bad luck, and use these tricks to help you get past that streak. Your chances of winning will increase and your enjoyment will skyrocket in no time at all.
DO: Collect lucky charms
Okay, your first impulse might be to scoff the collect lucky charms part and dismiss this as stupid advice. But give us a chance. After all, you’re reading a list about luck – something that there’s no real evidence for. Most people will tell you that they find the concept of luck ridiculous, yet they’ll readily cross their fingers, knock on wood, and chide you for opening a wet umbrella indoors. We’re not promising that anything on this list is a guarantee – these are just our ideas about ways to change things up.
If you’re looking for lucky charms for gambling, there’s a wide variety of knick-knacks that you can shop for. So, what are some good luck charms to take to a casino?
Try animal trinkets featuring the likes of elephants or ladybugs, or something like a four-leaf clover or a lucky bamboo plant. You can also try something a little more personal. For example, if you play poker with friends and you have a lucky set of chips, keep one in your wallet as a comforting presence. Weekly beer and poker nights create a safe, warm environment to play, and having a little reminder in your pocket will be reassuring when you’re seated among unfamiliar faces.
These physical things provide mental reassurance. Something tangible to hold in your hand, keep in your pocket, or wear around your neck. Your object of choice will offer you something concrete when the abstract, intangible concept of luck or positive vibes are nowhere to be found. Find your perfect casino lucky charm to improve your fortunes today. Another thing to try? A lucky charm slot game could do the trick too!
Caveat: This note applies to all of the tips we’ll go over in this article. It’s good to create your own way to find inspiration when your head is out of the game, but you shouldn’t let yourself rely on it entirely. Let your rabbit’s foot soothe you, but don’t put your whole weight on it – it will become an unhealthy crutch. It’s not going to generate some powerful, mysterious force to help you win the game. While you’re expending mental energy in anticipation of a miracle, your opponent will be generating strategies that will snatch the win from you.
DON’T: Count your money at the table
Feel free to display your trinkets proudly for people to see. Why not? It’s a light, playful aspect to add to the fun. You’re enjoying yourself and not afraid to show it, and it loosens you up and changes the atmosphere. But you know what not to show off? Your counting skills. As the saying goes, you should never count your money when you’re sitting at the table. Don’t interrupt your game and everyone else’s enjoyment to calculate what you have.
We are not, by any means whatsoever, advising you to ignore your budget. Creating and sticking to your guidelines are essential. As your starting point, your bankroll is extremely important. Setting limits is important. You want to keep playing for as long as you can, right? For that reason, we strongly advise you to set strict guidelines for how much you can spend on gambling and keep track to make sure that you’re within your bankroll for each day. We’re just advising you not to let it overcome your thinking when you should be focusing on the game. There’s a time and a place.
Definitely do check on your spending from time to time to make sure you’re still on track, but do it between games or playing sessions. Counting your money in the moment will take you out of the game even more than a few losses. The introduction of casino chips at casinos allowed for standardization and prevention of counterfeiting, but another big reason was to give casino goers peace of mind. Those friendly, colorful, neatly stackable chips are the currency at a given casino.
Chips allow players to relax to a certain extent. You’ve exchanged your crisp bills for chips. It’s done, and your chips are there to be spent on your entertainment. Don’t sit there wasting valuable mental energy on how much more you can afford to play or what you could buy with the amount of a certain bet. That’s not what you’re here for. The same goes for playing at home. You’re there to play, so let yourself play.
DO: Embrace superstitious habits
Luck is a fallacy. Either consciously or unconsciously, we often believe that:
Event A occurs and then, a desirable outcome, Event B happens. Therefore, Event A caused Event B.
This is the logic that we apply to a luck-attracting event or action, and it’s considered a mistaken belief based on unsound logic. This might be familiar to you.
Around the time that you get the feeling a bad luck streak is starting, you may start to realize that you’re developing a few OCD tendencies. You’ll get nervous and start to second-guess things. You’ll think to yourself that something “just doesn’t feel right” and start fidgeting restlessly. At home, you might adjust the angle of your computer screen; at a casino, you might start triple and quadruple-checking the cards in your hand just in case they magically change, even though you know perfectly well what you have in your hand.
In other words, you’ll be itching to find that Event A, the right action that will lead to a desired outcome: winning. Since you’re falling into these habits anyway, you might as well be purposeful about it. Think about how you’d like to respond when things are going downhill, and develop your own unique way of dealing with it.
We’ll be the first to admit that there’s no hard science to back this up. But there’s no harm. Plus, even the pros do it. Johnny Chan, a professional poker player who won bracelets from the World Series of Poker ten times, developed the habit of bringing an orange to the poker table. Smoking was still permitted at the time, and he used to sniff the fruit when the cigarette smoke started irritating him. After he won the World Series Main Event in 1988, Chan continued to bring an orange to tournaments, even after smoking was banned.
Award-winning actor Benicio del Toro has developed the habit of always wearing a ring with a wooden core. Why? It’s so that he’s prepared for any situation when he might need to knock on wood.
So it’s a fallacy – whatever. As with any other hobby, you can be effective when you love what you do. You should do whatever you feel like if you feel that it will help you win. These habits can do a lot to soothe you, allow you to recalibrate, and push you to really go for your next big win. Just because there’s no evidence for it doesn’t mean that it’s not beneficial. Embrace whatever will put you at ease because one thing you can be sure of is that your mood definitely affects your performance.
And here’s one more: even the legendary Serena Williams swears by using the same method to tie her shoelaces and bouncing the ball five times before her first serve and two times before her second serve. She even wears the same pair of socks during tournament if she’s on a winning streak. Which brings us to our next point…
DON’T: Wear dirty clothes
We know, we know, we just told you that you should do whatever floats your boat. But this is the one exception to our rule that we’re asking you to make – it’s just gross. You’re not Serena Williams, AKA the greatest female tennis player of all time, going on to win your gazillionth Grand Slam tournament. So please. Wash your socks.
There’s a belief that wearing dirty clothes will keep the bad luck away (or improve your chances by deterring your competitors), and there’s also the belief that you should avoid doing your laundry because it will “wash away” the good luck. Being the one at the table that causes people to wrinkle their noses will NOT help you.
Trust us. It may have seemed like a good idea when you got dressed, maybe you were trying to follow our previous tip, but once you’re losing and feeling the heat (and possibly sweating even more), the way you feel and smell will be serious and unwelcome distractions. Be as fresh and comfortable as possible because that’s what will help you think clearly and analyze the smartest move to make next.
Do your best to keep in mind that there are limitations to how much your habits can help you. This “Don’t” isn’t just our advice about your laundry; it’s about using your better judgment to identify what’s healthy and what’s going overboard. While personal hygiene is where we’re drawing the line, there are plenty of other habits to consider.
You know yourself best, and that means you know what tendencies you might develop. Don’t let yourself get carried away by things that might distract more than help. Instead, keep it simple. Just pick a few things that you think will actually enhance your outlook. One or two little routines might be all you need to turn things around for yourself.
DO: Shift your mentality
This is a tip for those who may favor more of a pragmatic approach. Take matters into your own hands when it comes to generating positivity. Sure, you can use different charms and habits to bring in luck from the world around you, they’re useful, but you also want to think about making internal changes. It’s beneficial to open yourself up and expand your mind. You know yourself best, and you can gradually learn to maintain control over your emotions and reactions. And this applies to any circumstances that are less than ideal, even when they’re not related to gambling.
Do some research and try out power poses, a habit that’s advocated by Harvard psychologist Amy Cuddy. These are shown to increase confidence levels. Recent studies show that standing in a power pose (for example, with your hands on your hips or arms stretched upward) can radically affect how you feel and behave. These positions can lead to a 20% increase in testosterone, the power hormone, and a 25% decrease in your levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. You can imagine that during a stretch of time that feels unlucky, these are some powerful changes to put into action for yourself.
You can get in touch with your spiritual side, too. Pray to Ganesha, the Hindu god of good fortune and remover of obstacles. Seek a more flexible, Zen outlook. Not even remotely religious? That’s okay. Keep an open mind. Send your positive vibes out into the universe. Connect with what’s around you; be mindful and aware. Meditation is the perfect practice when it comes to balancing the rational and emotional, the intellectual and the spiritual. Reset yourself.
These suggestions may seem inconsequential, but don’t dismiss them right away. The best part is that this goes far beyond the world of gambling. Working on this will actually lead to longer lasting, personal changes when it comes to how you view the world and how you conduct yourself in the face of adversity. Think of it this way: it’s not just casino good luck; it’s real world good luck.
DON’T: Follow these guidelines if you feel stupid for doing so
We’ll keep this short and sweet. It’s simple – we told you from the beginning that we weren’t promising any miracles. They just aren’t out there. What we can tell you is that a little bit of positive thinking can go a long way. Even the professionals agree. Our compilation is meant to offer a balance of lighthearted and beneficial tricks to try.
If you’re feeling too skeptical to consider the possible advantages of these solutions, your sour attitude isn’t going to help you implement them. But with that kind of approach, it would be hard to change much of anything. Don’t say we didn’t warn you.
If nothing else sounds appealing, try playing more. Keep at it – the more experience you gain in winning AND in losing, the more capable you’ll be of managing it. If you’re playing online, you have the lucky opportunity to play for free. Take a break and allow yourself a few practice rounds until you feel mentally prepared to go back to playing with real money. If you can get past that stage, your streak of bad luck will be over in no time. Still, we recommend that you try being a bit more flexible so that you can benefit from the other strategies on the list as well.
The bottom line is that there isn’t any one thing that will end a bad luck streak. We may like to think that it can be that simple, but in reality, if you play long enough, you will eventually go through that dreaded streak of bad luck. It should go without saying that you need to make sure your top priority is to analyze and explore your options. This list is meant to enhance, not substitute, your actual playing strategies.
Just remember: you can’t prevent the possibility of losing, but what you can do is prevent that possibility from robbing you of your love of the game.