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Chinese Gambling Superstitions and Taboos

Gambling may not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about China, but games of chance have a long history in the world's most populous country. The lottery, mahjong, and pai gow are but a few of the modern games that can trace their roots back to the early dynastic days of China. 

Like many countriesaround the world, China's relationship with gambling has been a rocky one. Outlawed for much of the lastmillennium, gambling became a force in the Shanghai economy around the middle of the 1800s. Macau legalizedgambling in that time as well, subsequently becoming one of the world's prime destinations for gamingholidays.Chinese gamblers tend to keep their superstitions and taboos close to their hearts.

The associationof superstition and gambling has been widespread throughout the history of wagering, and China is noexception to this universal human need for luck. If you ever feel as though you need a little extra helpat the casino, you may want to keep these superstitions in mind.

Don't Count Your Money Kenny Rogers may have told a generation of movie-goers that there wouldbe time for counting when the dealing was done, but the Chinese passed this advice down through the generationslong beforeThe Gambler.

Wear Red It's not coincidental that so much of the Chinese government's symbols are red in color.While red is the color of communism, it is also regarded by the Chinese as a color of good fortune andcelebration.

No Sex Before Gambling You've probably heard of athletes abstaining from sex before a big contest,but the Chinese believe that abstaining before a session of gambling can be equally beneficial. Thisadvice applies to both men and women.

Know Your Lucky Numbers The Chinese believe in the power of numbers. Superstitions abound innumerology, so remember to incorporate the traditional lucky numbers when choosing lottery picks, findinga hotel room, or deciding where tobet your roulette chips.

Some of the luckiest numbers include 8, 13, 198, and 798.Feed the Baby GhostIt may seem odd to feed sugar to a baby ghost before settling in for a roundof blackjack, but it could bring you good fortune. Ancient Chinese superstition posits the existenceof a baby ghost behind every gambling table, and the ghost may bring you luck if you feed it before youplay.

Don't Win Right Away Adherents to Chinese superstition believe that a winning streak at the beginningof your session could turn sour by the end. While there may be no practical application for this superstition,you can at least keep it in mind when the cards aren't going your way. Perhaps your luck will turn aroundby the end of the night. Especially if you fed that baby ghost.

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