Lucky and Unlucky Numbers Around the World

by Tim | Feb 15, 2023

Lucky and Unlucky Numbers Around the World

Despite living in an increasingly switched-on world, superstition is still a very significant belief system for many people. Whatever your casino game, such as online slots in the UK, chances are that you’ve got a few little superstitions of your own.

It could be a pair of lucky pants, a rabbit’s foot, a four-leaf clover or anything else in between; there’s nothing wrong with a good ol’ lucky charm. However, one of the most culturally significant superstitions when it comes to luck is actually numbers. A variety of different cultures have beliefs about whether numbers are lucky or unlucky – and quite often, their views actually conflict, as you’ll see below!

In this blog, we’re going to take a look at lucky and unlucky numbers from around the world to help you make your choices the next time it comes up when you play online slots, casino online roulette, online scratch cards or whatever else floats your boat. For instance, have you ever asked yourself why is 13 an unlucky number? Well, let’s find out below if it is in fact unlucky.

The number 3

We’re sure you’ve heard the term “all good things come in threes” (although some Brits believe the opposite: that bad luck comes in threes, too!). Well, the number 3 itself is a particularly lucky one in Sweden. South Koreans also believe it is the luckiest number because to them it symbolises control over ground and heaven – 1 represents the sky, while 2 represents the earth. So adding the two numbers produces 3. Italians, meanwhile, associate it with balance and strength.

On the other hand, many Vietnamese and Japanese people will not take a photo with three people in it, as there is an ancient superstition that the person in the middle of the photo will die.

The number 4

The pronunciation of the number 4 in Chinese sounds very similar to the word for “death”, and that’s why it’s an unlucky number in China. This extends to Japan, South Korea and other Asian countries.

Of course, in some Western countries – not least Ireland – the number 4 is often believed to be lucky because of its association with the four-leaf clover. (They are quite rare, with one four-leaf clover in about every 5,000.) This does beg the question, is number 4 unlucky for you?

The number 7

The number 7 is lucky in most Western countries, and many things are associated with it, such as the Seven Wonders of the World and the fact that Christians believe God took seven days to create the universe. Of course, many online slot games use the number 7 as the lucky number in their reels, too!

In countries with a Chinese influence, 7 is unlucky as it represents the month of July, when people in the country pay respects to relatives who have died.

The number 8

The number 8 is lucky in many religions. Chinese people, in particular, are very fond of this number as they believe that it has an association with the generation of wealth (you’ll see it come up in all sorts of casino games). This is also true in Japan. In fact, Sichuan Airlines paid more than ¥2.33 million (£15,350) to have a phone number consisting of all eights!

The number 9

In Japan, the pronunciation of the number 9 sounds similar to the term for “torture”, so unsurprisingly it’s considered an unlucky number in the country.

In China, however, 9 is considered the emperor’s number and is lucky. It’s also a lucky number in Norwegian folklore.

The number 13

A black cat sits next to a calendar with Friday 13 on it.

The fear, avoidance or extreme superstition of the number 13 is known as “triskaidekaphobia”. It’s considered an unlucky number in many Western countries, and most people know about “Friday the 13th” having particularly unnerving connotations (but we all have to live through them, people, so it’s best to grit your teeth and look both ways when you cross the road on that day).

One of the countries that consider 13 to be lucky is Italy because the number is associated with Saint Anthony, since his feast day falls on 13 June.

The number 17

To Italians, the number 17 is an unlucky one. This is because it’s written XVII in Roman numerals. When you rearrange the letters of this number, they become VIXI, which is a Latin term for “I lived”, which appears on many people’s gravestones.

The number 39

The pronunciation of the number 39 in Afghanistan sounds similar to “morda-gow”, which means “dead cow” in the local language, and thus is considered unlucky.

The number 666

Is 666 an unlucky number? Most people know that 666 is thought to be an unlucky number in countries with Christian populations. It is the number of the antichrist mentioned in the Bible’s Book of Revelations.

On the other hand, the Chinese believe that 666 is a lucky number that brings good fortune, as it means everything will go smoothly. Many Chinese will pay to have 666 in their phone number or on their car’s registration plates.

Try your luck at The Phone Casino

At the end of the day, luck is what you make of it – and at The Phone Casino, we believe that if you don’t try, you’ll never get lucky. When you register at this no-deposit mobile casino, you can enjoy anything from live roulette online and scratch cards to table games, online slots and more. May luck be your lady the next time you want to play! Who knows, even if it’s the most unlucky number in some parts of the world, it may still bring you luck when you spin the reels or play casino table games.

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