Playing with $50 Bills

Some of the things we find most innocuous at the betting table can have an effect on the way we play and how our luck is going. One of them is the old superstition concerning playing with $50 bills. This taboo against the $50 bills has become something of a hallmark of the gambling world with even the most seasoned professional poker players seeing the fifty as a harbinger of lost cash. However, there are a lot of substantive reasons why people hold this specific superstition. The fifty is a bill that seemingly is not built for gambling if you are a person who places luck on the same level as skill.

The Legend of Bugsy Siegel

Few names are as synonymous with casinos or gambling than Bugsy Siegel. Known as the man who built Las Vegas, Siegel was a gentlemen Mafioso, a talented gambler and a man with a vision, a vision that got him killed. Bugsy built the city with the mobs help but most importantly the mobs money. This was a costly mistake that led to the loss of a lot of money in the beginning and it didn’t help matters that there was a chance that he was funneling money into his own  private account for himself and his lady friend. When the mob found out they “took care of” Bugsy and his body was found in the desert with several $50 bills in his pocket. This infamous murder caused the bill to fall out of favor.

$5s and $50s

There is a rumor that helped to propagate the phobia surrounding the fifty concerning its resemblance for a time to the five dollar bill. Casinos at the time thought that similarity between the bills would cause mistakes in the counts and that it would be best to just omit the bill. The players saw this trend and attributed bad luck to the number, much in the same way that people attributed the omission of the 13th floor or room to superstition. To further this thought virus it’s rumored that when people brought in their own fifties to exchange for chips they were quickly spirited out of circulation for the same reason. Today even the automated counting machines in many casinos try not to use them.

Counterfeit $50s

Another more logical reason for the stigma surrounding the fifty at gambling tables hast to do with the way bills were made back in the 80’s.  There was at the time a bit of a spike in the number of counterfeit bills that were available during this in the US. This was due primarily to the uptick in drugs which let to laundering and which led to counterfeiting.  The preferred bills for many counterfeiters were the fifty dollar bills as their design was very easy for counterfeiters to work with. Consequently, casino bosses pulled a large number of bills and as before the rumor of them just being bad luck chugged right along.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress