Gamers vs. Gamblers vs. Sports Fans

Gamers vs. Gamblers vs. Sports Fans

In the realm of high-stakes gaming events, it’s no secret that participants rely on a superstition or two – claiming them as their ‘lucky charms’. Whether you’re a video gamer immersed in a gaming league or tournament, an online gambler hoping for a royal flush, or an avid sports fan watching the playoffs, someone out there is either crossing their fingers or wearing a lucky jersey for a stroke of luck. 

Given the prevalence of superstitions in the gaming, gambling, and sports communities, we couldn’t help but wonder, ‘Who’s the most superstitious?’ To find out, we conducted a nationwide survey and questioned 1,000 video gamers, 1,000 online gamblers, and 1,000 sports fans in America about their superstitious habits. 

Key Findings:

Sports fans rank #1 most superstitious among the three groups. Their top superstition? Sporting a lucky piece of clothing, according to 48.4%

Video gamers’ (32.9%) and gamblers’ (34.4%) top superstition is performing a specific action (like button spamming or screen tapping)

The ultimate superstition among all three is wearing a lucky piece of clothing, as collected by 27.9% of votes 

Who’s putting the ‘super’ in superstitious?

It doesn’t matter if you’re fighting for the Fortnight Champions League title, trying your luck in a poker tournament, or watching your favorite team in the playoffs – superstitions are just a part of the game. But the real question is, who takes the crown as the most superstitious among the three?

#1: Sports Fans – 30.7%

#2: Gamblers – 30.6%

#3: Gamers – 19.2%

Sports fans are truly putting the ‘super’ in superstitious, as they rank #1 according to our nationwide survey. Although they’re not in the field, rink, or court, they play their part with a superstition or three. It’s the least they can do, right?

Following right behind, gamblers come in a close second – with 30.6% declaring themselves superstitious. When there’s a cash prize of $100 or $1,000 at stake, you best believe they’re wearing their lucky red t-shirts and crossing their fingers! 

Finally, video gamers rank last in our superstitious standings (19.2%). However, don’t let the percentage deceive you, as respondents swear by their superstitions – especially when participating in prestigious tournaments such as the Legends World Championship or Call of Duty League.

Leveling up luck: A look into video gamers’ superstitious habits

In their quest to dodge the dreadful ‘game over’ screen, our gaming respondents rely on a set of superstitions to level up, win tournaments, or simply a PvP game with frenemies. 

In the gaming world, the go-to superstition for the gaming community is to perform a specific action, as voted by 32.9%. Whether it’s button spamming during a loading screen or simultaneously mashing buttons like A and B, it’s their way of summoning luck to the digital arena. 

Setting the stage for a successful match involves getting into the right mindset. Ranked second by 21.0% of gamers, listening to a specific song is their secret weapon – whether it be rap, pop, or…jazz? Take Jann Mardenborough, for example, featured in the latest film, “Gran Turismo” – a sport/action-packed movie documenting his rise from winning the Nissan PlayStation GT Academy video game competition to becoming an actual professional race car driver. He reveals in the film that his go-to song for luck is “Songbird” by Kenny G, a smooth jazz piece featuring a soprano saxophone. Gotta getcha head in the game, right? 

Winning the bronze, a unique 11.9% of gamers resort to ‘other’ superstitious habits that weren’t listed in our survey. Some examples include double-saving before exiting a game or even sticking to a specific in-game character. This just goes to show the other creative ways gamers seek their digital luck. 

In fourth, 9.8% of gamers opt to wear a lucky piece of clothing, whether that be a lucky t-shirt or sweater. Rounding off the top five in a two-way tie, 8.4% choose to eat a specific meal and an equal 8.4% rub a lucky item, such as a token, dice, etc.

Honorable mentions: 4.2% avoid a certain food (6th) that they believe brings them unfortunate luck, and 3.5% wear a certain color (7th) for good luck.

Lucky clicks: Online gamblers’ superstitious habits

With a jackpot on the line, our gambling respondents reveal the wild cards of superstitions they’re playing in the world of online gambling. 

Cross my fingers and hope to win! The most popular superstition according to 34.4% of gamblers is performing a specific action. Some believe physically tapping the screen as the reels spin tips the odds in their favor, while others resort to the timeless act of crossing their fingers. For any dice-related games, you can bet they’re blowing on those in-person or virtual dice for a stroke of luck!

The runner-up of gambling superstitions is the act of rubbing a lucky item, as endorsed by 26.6% of respondents. The ranking of this age-old ritual comes as no surprise within the gambling community. While many swear by the power of dice rubbing, others substitute the dice with a cherished token or coin for that luck-boosting power.

Landing in third place in our superstitious rankings is wearing a lucky piece of clothing, according to 14.3% of gamblers. A shining example is Kim Dong-Jae, a pro poker player and contestant from South Korea’s popular intelligence game show, “The Devil’s Plan”. Dong-jae swears by his lucky sweater, a garb that has accompanied him through numerous poker tournaments and game show challenges. Although he didn’t win “The Devil’s Plan”, fans noticed that he wore his sweater for a friend in the finale, resulting in their triumphant win. Dubbed the ‘true MVP of The Devil’s Plan’ on Reddit, his lucky sweater is a testament to this gambling superstition. 

Rounding out the top five, 10.4% listen to a specific song (4th) while 5.8% prefer ‘other’ superstitious methodologies (5th). 

Honorable mentions: 4.5% wear a certain color (6th), 1.9% avoid a certain food (7th) and an equal 1.9% eat a specific meal (also 7th). 

Fanatic rituals: Superstitious traditions among sports fans

Touchdown! Sports fans are pulling out all the stops with their favorite superstitions to get their teams that winning edge. Time to huddle up and dive into their playbook of superstitions.

Sporting their game-winning attire, almost half (48.4%) of sports fans wear their luckiest piece of clothing – making it the #1 superstition in the sporting community. From team jerseys to, believe it or not, lucky underwear, fans are dedicated to superstition. Even professional players like Jason Giambi embrace the ritual, as he famously sported a golden thong to break free from his performance slump. You gotta do what you gotta do, right? 

Sprinting into second place, 25.3% of our sports enthusiasts wear a certain color – whether it’s their team’s colors or their personal lucky color(s). Grabbing the bronze medal, a spirited 11.3% perform a specific action like lucky dances, chants, or even a tap or two on the team mascot’s statue just outside the field or rink. Even Lebron James, himself, performs his own trademark gesture – the iconic powder toss. 

Crossing the finish line in our top five, only 5.0% listen to a specific song, tuning into the ‘I’m feeling lucky’ zone (4th), while 4.1% bring their own playbook of ‘other’ superstitions to the field (5th). 

Honorable mentions: 2.7% eat a specific meal (6th), an equal 2.7% rub a lucky item (also 6th), and 0.5% avoid a certain food (7th). 

The saga of sports fans’ superstitions doesn’t end here, however. We’ve unraveled which major professional sports leagues have the most superstitious fans; and which teams across every league have the most superstitious fan base, overall. Our Most Superstitious Fan Bases Across Major Professional Sports Leagues study breaks down the details of these sports-related rituals, adding that extra layer of intensity to the game-day experience. 

Overall rankings: Most popular superstitions among the three

Uniting the three superstitious communities, the #1 leading ritual embraced by gamers, gamblers, and sports fans alike is donning their lucky piece of clothing – according to 27.9%. Trailing closely behind in second place, 24.2% perform a specific action. Claiming third, 13.1% of our overall respondents choose to sport a specific color as their good luck across the board. 

Conclusion

While each of the three groups has their distinct favorite superstition, the common thread that binds them is their shared superstitious spirit. Whether you’re attending or participating in a high-stakes game or event, let our results serve as an inspiration for adopting a superstition or two.

Methodology

In January 2024, we surveyed a total of 3,000 U.S. residents. We surveyed 1,000 video gamers, 1,000 online gamblers, and 1,000 sports fans about their pre-game rituals and/or superstitions. We asked them a series of questions to discover which participators are the most superstitious. 

The average age of video gamers was 34.3 years old. The representative sample comprised of 61.4% male, 33.7% female, 3.5% non-binary, 1.3% transgender, and 0.1% identified as ‘other’. 

The average age of online gamblers was 40.1 years old. The representative sample comprised of 54.3% male, 44.0% female, 1.1% non-binary, and 0.7% transgender.

The average age of sports fans was 40.4 years old. The representative sample comprised of 66.2% male, 33.0% female, 0.7% non-binary, and 0.4% transgender. 

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Author: Gerald Griffin