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Card Games: 20 Superstitions / Myths / Legends About Playing Cards

Last Updated on January 7, 2024 by Gamesver Team and JC Franco

playing cards fall on a black table

Card games have always been one of the most popular go tos for entertainment. Of course, the number one reason for this is that playing a game of cards is a whole lot of fun. 

Playing cards are excellent for both young and old, and you will find that they are appropriate whether hanging out with friends or family. You could be having the worst day ever, but a deck of cards and some friends is all you will need to lighten up your day. Cards are also a great way to keep the kids occupied when you have a long list of things to do. 

Card games are as old as history itself, and since people have been playing them for a long, they are shrouded in opinions, superstitions, myths, and legends. Some of them are totally unbelievable; others sound hilarious, but hey, you never know which ones have more truth to them than myth!

Is your interest piqued by some of the most commonly believed myths and legends surrounding card games? Then, read on.

20 things people have believed about card games for many years:

1. You shouldn’t play cards after midnight.

Playing card games after midnight, especially at 3 am, is considered bad luck. Some legends say that playing cards at 3 am could leave you open to demons! Spooky right?

2. The kings on the cards are depictions of real kings.

There was a time when the French and the English would assign different characters to the card games. This is why it is believed that the kings in card games represent the kings of the past. This sounds like a believable one!

3. Striking a needle into fabric worn by a particular person would help them win at cards.

In old fables and tales, it is believed that striking a pin or a needle into the fabric (clothing) of the person you wish would win the card game would cause them to win. It could only work if the person didn’t see you sticking the needle into their clothing. 

4. Never drop the cards or sing in a game.

Do you make a habit of dropping cards in a card game? You probably don’t want to do that because it’s known to bring bad luck. Singing, whistling, and dancing are also known as bad luck in a card game. 

5. It’s bad luck to play cards with a cross-eyed person.

According to an old belief, a cross-eyed person can see a person’s cards close to them. This is why playing cards with cross-eyed people is said to bring bad luck!

6. Playing cards with your left hand is a bad omen.

Playing with your left hand is considered to be a bad omen, according to card-playing legend. Left-handedness, according to many legends, is associated with sinister behaviors.

7. Don’t buy yourself a deck; let others do it for you.

According to an Asian superstition, it’s always best to let others buy a deck of cards for you instead of buying them yourself. Card decks bought by other people bring good luck and victory.

8. All black suit hand means someone is going to die.

According to old beliefs, if you get a hand of just black cards in a card game, it means something terrible will happen, or worse, somebody is going to die. 

9. A child’s future can be determined with the help of a card deck.

If you place a bible, money, and a deck of cards in front of a child and ask them to select one of the options, it said you could pretty much find out what type of person the child will be in the future based on what they choose. This is an old belief – or is it an old wive’s tale? You decide!

10. Cards were used as secret messengers in WWII.

Metal Helmets Of United States Army Infantry Soldier At World War II

One of the famous legends about card games is that American prisoners of war used them to send secret maps. The maps would be hidden inside the center of the cards, allowing them to be transported discreetly and safely. 

11. Card playing on Friday before six is a big NO!

A typical old superstition says that playing cards on Friday before 6 pm is considered to be a bad omen. Waiting until after 6 pm was the norm. 

12. Never sit cross-legged when playing a game of cards.

You never want to sit cross-legged while playing a card game. Old-fashioned rumors say that playing cards with crossed legs could ruin your chances of winning. 

13. Never burn your cards, never!

There’s an old myth that says burning an old deck of cards brings bad luck!

14. Walking three times around the table can bring good luck.

Rumor has it that if you see yourself hurtling towards losing a game of cards, get up off your seat and walk around the table three times. Your luck is said to have changed by then (or perhaps you just get a good look at everyone else’s cards).

15. Card game persuasion is considered to be very lucky.

A card game where somebody has persuaded you to play with them is considered to be the luckiest game of all. We’re not too sure if this one’s true, but it’s easy enough to try out!

16. Sitting beside a card player brings them good luck.

Legend has it that simply sitting next to your loved one while they play cards can bring good luck!

17. 52 is a lucky number.

52 is considered a lucky number in cards according to Asian tradition. Most other cultures just believe that there are 52 cards in the deck to represent (or symbolize) 52 weeks in a year. 

18. Players of the Ander Bahar card game have a 50% chance of winning. 

The famous Stone Chariot monument at Hampi India

Ander Bahar, a card game that originated in India, has a win-win chance of 50% – that’s what they say!

19. You need mathematics skills to play Blackjack. 

People believed that Blackjack required considerable mathematical skills, but that’s not true! To be able to play the game, you simply have to learn the rules and practice!

20. Playing cards will make you antisocial.

Most people will tell you that playing cards make people too focused. Others find it highly stimulating and engaging when played in a group. Is this one true? You decide!

Last Word

Now that you’re up to date with some of the top myths and legends believed about card games, which ones do you think are true?

JC Franco

JC Franco serves as a New York-based editor for Gamesver. His interest for board games centers around chess, a pursuit he began in elementary school at the age of 9. Holding a Bachelor’s degree in Business from Mercyhurst University, JC brings a blend of business acumen and creative insight to his role. Beyond his editorial endeavors, he is a certified USPTA professional, imparting his knowledge in tennis to enthusiasts across the New York City Metropolitan area.