I suppose when you consider that punters are the kind of people who love the thrill of taking a chance and, sometimes, seeing that gamble pay off, it is perhaps unsurprising that so many punters have many different superstitions when it comes to wagering on anything, including Virtual Sports.
In the days before the digital age, when most betting was completed at a race course or in a betting shop, there were any number of superstitious activities that you could witness. These ranged from simply using the same bookmaker on the course to make your bet (in the belief that when you made a bet with them, you were more likely to win than with another bookmaker).
In betting shops you could also witness plenty of other similar beliefs. There are punters who will only fill in their coupon using a certain type of pencil or pen, or who will only fill in their coupon in a certain place in the shop. Others will only back certain selections in races, or will only pick selections of certain odds.
One friend I know had a superstition that if he saw a horse in a race that he was interested in that had some kind of royal connection (for example had a name that included King, Queen, Prince or Princess) then he would back that horse regardless of what the odds and form suggested.
Yet as unusual or just downright crazy as some of these beliefs seem to be, they are just the ones that occur when you are actually betting at the racecourse or in the betting shop. There are other superstitions people have that they follow before they even get to the course or shop, such as wearing their ‘lucky’ piece of clothing, getting dressed in a specific order, or even following the ‘lucky’ route to the venue, rather than taking a more direct route.
Superstitions like these are odd too, as sometimes when a punter does not win, they can put it down to more supernatural forces. I had one friend who told me that his ‘certainty’ bet to win a race didn’t win because he had accidentally walked under a ladder on the way to the bookmakers and this had clearly jinxed the horse. It sounds crazy, it is crazy, but his belief in this was total.
These little foibles follow us through all aspects of our life, not just when betting, but what is interesting is that the transformation of the betting industry from being based in the real world, high street and at racecourses etc, into the digital online industry that sits parallel alongside today, has also seen a change in the superstitions we follow.
Our betting habits may have changed over the years, but our belief in superstitions has not. The digital realm may offer us more types of bet and opportunities to bet than ever before, but our belief that supernatural forces can work in our favour, or to our detriment when placing a bet, remains unshakable for many.
This is true for all forms of online betting, including Virtual Sports and outlined below are just some of the superstitions that people still follow to this day when betting online.
Astrology – Believe it or not, there are still plenty of people who will consult the pages of their chosen newspaper to see what some ‘mystic’ has to say about their life and what will happen in the next 24 hours. It doesn’t matter that the statements are entirely vague, meaningless and are only given clarity by the reader reading into them things from their life. There are some punters who will decide not to back a bet if their horoscope says that they are not going to have the best of luck.
Lucky Numbers – When betting on Virtual Horseracing or Virtual Motor racing, each of the competitors in the race are all given a number as well as a name. There are many people who believe that they have a ‘lucky’ number and they will tend to back that number to win the race regardless of what the odds suggest. In truth, this is not a bad way to bet on Virtual Sports as the law of averages says that if you back number 2 to win out of 12 drivers in Virtual Motor Racing each time, then roughly one in 12 races, you should see a winner. Of course, reality does not pan out like that and you may not see a winner for 20, 30 or even more races. However, you may also see two or even three winners in a short space of time, which then gives you added belief that the magic number is working for you.
Lucky Names – There are punters who either instead of or in addition to the issue of Lucky Numbers, will also have a lucky word or name or similar that they keep an eye out for. I have already mentioned my friend who backed horses that had Royal connections in their name. Other punters will back selections, even in Virtual Sports, that have names the same as their loved ones, or that have some connection to something meaningful in their life. This belief can be increased when they team up a Lucky Name with a Lucky Number to the point that the person betting may feel it is destiny that this selection will win for them, rather than it being down to pure random chance.
Lucky Bets – If it is not the number of the Virtual selection, or the name of the Virtual competitor that can be lucky then it can be the type of bet you make. Some people will place one type of bet feeling that it offers them more chance of success than others. That can be a win bet, or an each way bet or similar, or a specific bet on Virtual Football (such as backing the correct score).
The Truly Mind Blowing Superstitions – There are people that do take superstitions to the extreme. I have heard stories, apocryphal or not, of gamblers sitting at their computer or on mobile who will only bet when they have had a sip of tea, to the point of them electing not to bet if they do not have a cup of tea to hand. Others will only bet at certain times of the day, or will only place bets using one site, even if the odds on that site are not the best.
So whether it is kissing the dice when playing Craps in Las Vegas, to supping your cuppa before you place your latest Virtual Sports bet, superstition in betting is here to stay and that is true both in the real world and the digital, in both new technology and old.