Weird things people do for luck at cards (& what luck really means)

Luck is a concept that some people seem to believe in, and other people manage to ignore.

The idea of luck has been with us for centuries.

When you’re lucky, you believe that you can perform an action (or sometimes carry an object) which entitles you to better odds in probability than those around you.

When you’re unlucky, you might have fantasies of bad days, bad hair, or bad bridge play happening because you didn’t do that specific thing (or carried that specific object).

Do you feel lucky, punk?

Or minus the movie quote, do you believe in luck, dear bridge player?

Luck is so integral to the card playing of many people that they still catch themselves doing that little thing they might do for luck right before a game – often even if they claim they aren’t the least bit superstitious.

Here are some weird things people do for luck at cards.

Lucky charms

Lucky charms refer to objects that people believe carry traits with increase their luck – or sometimes, decrease the luck of their opponents. 

The classic “lucky rabbit’s foot’ is a common example of an object mistakenly thought to have an effect on the odds, especially at gambling.

A charm might be almost any other object, and does not necessarily carry a religious or sentimental meaning, but also can.

Charms are also a common object for sale. Mystics, gurus, and store owners have been selling “lucky” items, mojos, spells, potions, or charms for decades.

Often, if you want to get lucky, you’ll have to pay for it first.

Lucky underwear

Lucky underwear is a surprisingly common “lucky object” relied on by more worldwide gamblers than I might prefer to imagine.

The worst of this type of lucky charm might be the fact that no other players at the table can tell (and the idea that they could have been hanging onto their lucky underwear for the past thirty years…).

What makes underwear lucky?

It usually has something to do with the colour.

For example, red is considered the colour of luck to some. To others, it might be green (the colour of prosperity), or gold (well, the colour of gold).

The next time you’re about to play bridge, remember to wonder if your opponents are wearing their lucky underwear today. It’s a quick way to get over stage fright at the table.

Lucky heirlooms or antiques

An object might be considered to be “lucky” when it has belonged to someone else, or has special memories attached to it. Some objects are considered “lucky” due to a rich history, or just a feeling someone gets when they see it.

Lucky heirloom objects are common, and so are supposed lucky antiques.

Do you have any objects that just feel luckier than others, or ones that have been passed on?

Take them to your next bridge game.

If you play better, maybe it’s luck – or it might just be the added confidence boost.

What’s luck got to do with it?

I’ve never thought that lucky “anything” will swing probability to one direction or the other.

But what if luck is a matter of mindset?

When we feel luckier, we project (or play) with more confidence. When this happens, the existence of actual luck is irrelevant.

Now play some bridge!