Should I Play Poker on Friday The 13th?

Written by:
Nagesh Rath
Published on:

Today is Friday The 13th and it is a day that a lot of us superstitious gamblers stay home and away from the poker rooms and slot machines.  Fortunately, there is not a whole lot to bet on in sports today either.  We asked ourselves, does Friday The 13th really affect casino business?


Friday Good, 13th Bad for Casinos No Matter Which Day of the Week

First off, one must consider that Fridays tend to see an uptick in business.  A typical Friday The 13th in theory should see casinos still make more money than the previous day, and most certainly better than Monday and Tuesday revenues.

Mel Nicholson, who refers to himself as a "poker demigod" on Quora makes some valuable points as well.

"Payday patterns also have an influence on poker rooms, so the people who get paid on the first and 15th are a little less likely to have gambling money to spare on the 13th. This isn't nearly as strong as the day-of-week influence, but is readily apparent."

The Superstition Aspect

If you have a particularly bad run at the casino, that establishment would consider Friday The 13th to be a lucky day for them. In other words, it's not all about you.


Then again, it might not matter much to the casino.  They are already losing money if the below stat applies to gamblers.

According to the Stress Management Center and Phobia Institute in Asheville, North Carolina (yes, there is such a place), 17 to 21 million people stay home on Friday The 13th.  That's an $800 to $900 million loss in business across the board.

"No data exists, and will never exist, to confirm that the number 13 is an unlucky number," said Igor Radun of the Human Factors and Safety Behavior Group at the University of Helsinki's Institute of Behavioural Sciences in Finland. "There is no reason to believe that any number would be lucky or unlucky." 

Remy Melina of LiveScience notes there is evidence to suggest otherwise:

A 1993 study published in the British Medical Journal indicates otherwise. Researchers analyzed the traffic flow and number of injuries from car accidents on the southern section of London's M25 motorway during the five months that the 13th fell on a Friday between 1990 and 1992.

They compared these numbers to data collected on Friday the 6th of the same months, and found that although there are consistently fewer vehicles on the road during the 13th — possibly as a result of superstitious people choosing not to drive that day, the researchers proposed — "the risk of hospital admission as a result of a transport accident may be increased by as much as 52 percent" on the 13th.


Just Stay Home And Gamble

With the advent of Internet gambling, one can simply stay home and play online poker.  Why take the risk?  It's also much easier to simply shut down once the losses start hitting.  A spout of bad luck at the casino could make one feel more inclined to stick around and keep playing until the clock strikes 12:00 am Saturday The 14th.

Here in South Florida, Covid concerns and a looming tropical depression just add to the Friday The 13th fears.


It's Good to Play Online Poker on Friday The 13th....From Home

Now that we have established your odds of ending up decapitated in an automobile accident heading to the casino are greater on Friday The 13th than any other day of the year, staying home and playing online poker seems like the best option.

For some, like singer Taylor Swift, the number 13 has brought great fortune.

"I was born on the 13th. I turned 13 on Friday the 13th. My first album went gold in 13 weeks. My first No. 1 one song had a 13-second intro," she told MTV in 2009. "Every time I've won an award I've been seated in either the 13th seat, the 13th row, the 13th section or row M, which is the 13th letter. Basically, whenever a 13 comes up in my life, it's a good thing."

Our friends at Americas Cardroom agree.

"Friday the 13th isn't bad luck for everyone... especially if you're the one slashing the tables."

ACR's own players supported the Taylor Swift concept of Friday The 13th, posting personal stories of good luck at the tables via Twitter.

Doge to $200 writes:

"Down to less than 1 BB after losing AA<KK on the bubble. All in next hand, triple up. Double up. Double double up. Next thing you know its final table and I take it down."

Black Stallion posted:

"Went all in with pocket kings and the whole table called and I won!"

- Jagajeet Chiba, Gambling911.com

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