The Number 13

The Number 13

There are few numbers that are as notorious and have as much effect on the way that we view our luck as the number 13. All of us gamblers play the odds and look for patterns, but even if we are doing so unconsciously, or if we see ourselves as being very superstitious when we see this number and many of us take special care with our bets and our money.


What sets the superstition surrounding the number 13 apart from any other superstition is that it is essentially clinical. Not only are gamblers, architects, soldiers, and heads of state susceptible to the fear of the number, but there is also a recognized clinical fear of it known as Triskaidekaphobia. Aside from being notoriously difficult to pronounce, this phobia is signified by obsessive counting to determine the presence of the number and an irrational desire to have it removed as a variable in any situation.

13 in History

Just a few years ago, a lot of people were worried about the Mayans being right about the world collapsing in on itself in 2012. What you did not know, was that one of the things that motivated some people to believe this prophecy was the fact that it was declared in the 13th Baktun or the 13th cycle of the Mayan calendar.

The historical importance of the number 13 even crossed contentious religious and cultural lines with Babylonians seeing the number in the same way as many of their tribal rivals, as a curse. However, the Christians of the time considered the number to very lucky.  They looked at The Last Supper and saw Jesus Christ’s and his twelve apostles at the table and consider the number thirteen a boon of glad tidings. Still, others saw significance in the fact that Judas Iscariot, the man who betrayed Jesus, was there and that if there had been twelve and not thirteen at the table things might have turned out quite differently. At the time, there was a lot of mysticism surrounding the faith but things changed some years later, and the number fell out of favor.

Friday, October 13th, 1307

This date lives in infamy as the establishment of dozens of conspiracy theories and the total disillusionment of western society with the number 13. On that day, the majority and heart of the Knights Templar were destroyed. As a group of mystics and Christian crusaders, they were arrested by the French King Philip for various crimes, but also for the crime of being richer than him. Because the masses viewed the actions of the King to be largely unjust there was an outcry, and those who protested and were not themselves put to the sword, carried the day and the negativity surrounding the number into the future with an infamous connotation.

The number 13 in the in gambling

The number thirteen’s role in the world of gambling is a problematic one, as most gamblers work to avoid the number whenever possible and certain games omit the number completely. For example, the number is missing from the baccarat table, some think to put the gambler at ease, and some thank it’s to make the dealer feel lucky.

Both comments and pings are currently closed.

Comments are closed.

Powered by WordPress