Pick a number, any number – what is it? Is it even or odd? Does it relate to a birthday, an anniversary, or a home address? Is it your favorite number? Most importantly, is it your lucky number?

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For centuries, people have been fascinated with the symbolism of lucky numbers. Numbers might be used primarily for quantitative measurement, but we humans have always been known to give inanimate objects and concepts unique characteristics. For example, did you know that the number 12 is seen to represent completeness, or that the number 3 symbolizes divinity?  These are only a few characteristics of numbers that have been given and developed over thousands of years of human existence. Oftentimes, the same numbers and their meanings were present in religions and philosophies in completely different parts of the world simultaneously, and the idea that numbers have special meanings has been prevalent as far back as the beginning of written history.

What’s in a Number?

We even go so far to say whether we like a number or not – when thinking rationally, what reason could we have to prefer a number? People may have had pleasant experiences relating to a specific number, like weddings or birth dates. But often people claim to like numbers based on their imaginary characteristics – in a comment on a poll concerning favorite numbers, someone once said they preferred the number 7 because it’s “a bit awkward” and “won’t bend to the rules so easily”, characteristics that had obviously been assigned to the number from the person’s mind.

Here at Planet 7 Casino, we know that numbers mean much more than their simple quantitative purpose. We’ve broken down a list of the seven most common lucky numbers throughout world religion, philosophy, and history to show how important and prevalent numbers are in human culture. You never know – one of these guys could be your newest lucky number!

Lucky Number 3

On the count of three. Third time’s the charm. Three’s a crowd. Three strikes and you’re out. Bad luck comes in threes. A genie grants three wishes. There are three musketeers, three stooges, three little pigs. A love triangle. The Triple Crown. Don’t take a third light. Birth, life, death. Past, present, future. Beginning, middle, end.

Seven has long been considered the world’s favorite number. But three comes in at second place and shows up practically everywhere. Religion, architecture, engineering, and art all use the number three extensively in their composition. It’s considered the number of the divine, the number of time, and the number of completeness.

Religious Significance of the Number 3

Perhaps the most well-known example of the number three in religion, Christianity features the Holy Trinity – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. But there are references to the number throughout the Bible. Three wise men gave three gifts to the infant Jesus. Christ resurrected three people during his ministry. Three people were crucified, including Jesus, and he was resurrected after three days.

number 3 religion

But the number three isn’t found in Christianity alone. There are three parts to the Hindu Trimurti – Brahma the Creator, Vishnu the Preserver, and Shiva the Destroyer. The Wiccan religion has the Triple Goddess – the maiden, the mother, and the crone. There are the Three Jewels in Buddhism, the Three Treasures in Taoism, and the Shinto Imperial Regalia consists of the sword, the mirror, and the jewel. Muslims make pilgrimage to three holy sites – Jerusalem, Mecca, and Medina. The Valknut was the Viking symbol of three interlocked triangles. It represented men who were slain in battle and associated with the Norse god Odin, who endured three hardships upon the World Tree in his quest for runes.

3 in Greek Mythology

In Greek mythology, three brothers ruled the known world – Zeus ruled the sky, Poseidon ruled the seas, and Hades ruled the underworld. The three Fates controlled the metaphorical thread of life for every mortal, the three Furies were spirits of vengeance, and the dog Cerberus that guarded the underworld had three heads. The list goes on and on.

The number three also represents time. We divide time into past, present, and future. Stories have a beginning, middle, and end. Man has three stages of life – birth, maturity, and death. Man is made of body, mind, and spirit. Three is considered a lucky number in China because it sounds like the Chinese word for “life,” whereas the number four sounds like “death,” and is therefore considered unlucky. Interesting, since the number four is the world’s fourth favorite number, according to Alex Bello.

The Mathematics of 3

lucky number 3

Mathematically, the number three represents a triangle, considered the first and simplest spatial shape. The triangle is also the most stable shape, and therefore used extensively in architecture and engineering. The dollar bill uses an eye inside a triangle surrounded by rays of light, known as the Eye of Providence, to represent God watching over the human race.

In addition, the number three is prevalent in art forms as well. The rule of thirds in painting, sculpture, and photography shows artists how to compose a visually pleasing piece. Van Gogh demonstrates his knowledge of the rule in perhaps his most famous painting, Starry Night. Da Vinci uses the triangle in The Last Supper, and Michelangelo uses the shape in his Pietà sculpture.

Cultural Significance of the Number 3

The number three appears in writing and film as well. Think about it – it sounds most complete and pleasing when I list not one, not two, but three things when writing a sentence. Trilogies are extremely popular in mainstream culture as well. We love the idea of a story with a lengthy beginning, middle, and an end. Look at trilogies like the original Star Wars, The Lord of the Rings, and even Toy Story. Not only were they all financially successful, they were well received by audiences and critics and continue to endure.

Granted, one of the most successful book and movie series of all time is J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, which isn’t a trilogy. However, I’d like to point out that the series consists of seven books – the world’s favorite number – and eight movies, and the number eight happens to come in at third place on the favorite number list. Coincidence? I think not.

Just like the number seven, people tend to love the number three for strange, often emotional reasons. On Alex Bellos’s website, Bellos includes some of his favorite responses people gave for why the number three is their favorite. One woman said, “I just like it strongly for no particular reason. It’s kind of like my inexplicable affinity for octopuses.” And similar to all numbers, many people tend to attach characteristics to the number three that are completely subjective, like one man who claims that three is “curly, but not pretentious curly like eight.”

Is 3 Your Lucky Number?

So, if you’re wondering where to place your bet in roulette, or how many more spins to have on your favorite slot, or how many paylines you should bet, or what pair to hold in video poker, keep in mind good old lucky number three, rub three pennies together or count your three lucky stars and go for the gold at Planet 7 Casino!

Feeling like lucky number 3 is whispering sweet nothings of good fortune in your ear today but still a fan of lucky number 7? Try your hand at our old fashioned three-wheel classic, progressive jackpot slot Sevens & Stripes and get the best of both worlds. Still not convinced that 3 and 7 do anything for your personal luck? Keep those two eyes on this blog for the rest of our super series on lucky numbers and things and find the number or talisman that’s waiting just for you!

Lucky Number 4

You’ve read about all sorts of numbers that people use to make the most of their luck in a round of roulette or a dice toss in craps. But you don’t have all your info yet. That’s right – what about the lucky number four? Often overlooked because of its sense of stability, which may come off as a little boring, this same reason is what makes four such a lucky number. It represents foundations and wholeness, like the four corners of the world and the four points of a compass. No matter what you do or where you choose to go, four will apply to your journey and to your destination. Just think about the Greek gods Apollo and Helios, who carried the sun across the sky. As the legend goes, the massive golden chariot (the sun) only 4 magical and powerful chariots could drag it across the sky.

Strong Sense of Luck

lucky number 4

One of the reasons we have such a strong sense of luck and prosperity towards the number four is the fact that we often see it in patterns and symbols that form our perceptions of the world around us. That may sound a little lofty, but bear with me. Starting with the number four, think of its shape. Tracing back through the evolution of its glyph, four was originally drawn out as a cross. Eventually the sides were connected for ease of writing, but it is still one of the few numbers that originally had as many lines as the value of the numeral.

We also see four in the world’s makeup that establishes it as a number of wholeness, containing all the stages of a cycle. The earth, for example, has four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. Nature also has four palpable elements. Earth, water, fire, and wind contain all of the natural phenomena that we may encounter on this earth. And four gives us a sense of the completeness of the big picture. Whereas as to triangulate (with three points) means to point to a very specific location, the four points of a compass denoting North, South, East, and West helps us see the map or the overall picture in more general terms.

Count Your Lucky Stars

While it may be a bit removed from the confines of Earth, the Moon is still completely visible to us and often brings us comfort. Humans will try to count their lucky stars and read their fates in the Moon. We look to its four different phases – new moon, first quarter, full moon, last quarter – to tell us if we’re going to fall in love, if we should go swimming in the ocean, or if a big bet we make at the casino will bring us fortune or ruin.

4 in Religious Imagery

In the west, the religious imagery produced by some numbers is enough to sway us one way or another regarding that number’s good or bad qualities. In Judeo-Christian tradition, in one instance, there are a couple groupings of four that show us stability and totality, which helps us believe that the number four is a great choice when making a risky gamble. To start with, the Tetragrammaton (or YHWH) is the four-letter name used in the Hebrew Bible or Old Testament used to describe God.  They think the origin of this name comes from the verb “to exist.” Another biblical use of the number four are the “four gospels.” There are also the four archangels, Gabriel, Michael, Azrael, and Raphael. These references give us the idea that four is all about a solid foundation and anything containing the number is therefore reliant and complete.

Lucky 4 Leaf Clover

So, four is a great source of stability, but what about luck? Well, think about the four-leafed clover – they are unusual, but if you happen to stumble across one you can expect some serious luck to come your way. According to the tale, the good fortune of this sought-out clover comes from the idea that each clover leaf represents a desired aspect in our own lives – hope, faith, love, and luck, which are just about everything you could need before placing a big bet on a casino game.

lucky 4 leaf clover

So, there you have it. If you see patterns of four, it’s bound to bring you good luck and maybe a little somethin’ extra. Not only will the number four mean good fortune for your bankroll, it will also entail some well-needed stability in your winning streak! Try out your new and improved, game-winning number on a luck-based casino game, like roulette or keno. Hit up Planet 7 and play one of the hundreds of games available. You never know what fortune awaits you when you play the number four!

Lucky Number 7

Stop anyone in the street and have them choose an odd number between 1 and 10. More often than not, they’ll choose the number 7.

“Lucky 7” is the world’s favorite number. There are 7 days of the week, 7 colors in the rainbow, 7 notes on a musical scale, 7 seas, and 7 continents.

harry potter lucky number 7

Snow White lived with 7 dwarves, there were 7 brides for 7 brothers, 7 deadly sins, Shakespeare described the 7 ages of man, and Sinbad the Sailor had 7 voyages. Harry Potter, a series that has sold over 450,000,000 copies to date, features the number 7 everywhere. Voldemort wanted 7 horcruxes, Harry’s Quidditch jersey number was 7, and the Weasley family had 7 children – and that’s scratching the surface. And when Ian Fleming was looking for a code for James Bond, he didn’t go for 006 or 008. Only 007 had the right ring.

A question explored extensively over the last few years, polls show that “7” is overwhelmingly the world’s favorite number. Writer and math enthusiast Alex Bellos asked 30,000 people what their favorite numbers were, and an incredible 10 percent of those surveyed chose 7 – from the infinite choice of numbers available – as their lucky number.

What is so special about 7?

And how can something as dry as a number generate such strong emotions?

According to Bellos, humans have been obsessed with the number 7 for as long as we know. If we take a look at the earliest writing featured on Babylonian clay tablets, the number 7 is written all over it. One theory for our connection with the number 7 is that there are 7 planets in the sky in our solar system visible to the naked eye – but Bellos takes that as pure coincidence.

“There’s a much more compelling reason,” Bellos says in a video about the number 7.

“Seven is the only number among those we can count on our hands – that goes from one to ten – that cannot be divided or multiplied within the group.”

What Bellos means – the numbers 1 through 5 can be doubled and get you the numbers 2, 4, 6, 8, and 10; the numbers 6, 8, and 10 can be halved neatly, and 9 can be divided by 3. Therefore, the only number left is 7.

“It’s unique,” says Bellos, “It’s a loner, the outsider, and humans interpret this arithmetical property in cultural ways. Associating seven with a group of things kind of makes them special too.”

Numbers Influence Our Behavior

Bellos goes on to say that we’re always sensitive to mathematical patterns, which in turn influences our behavior, whether or not we’re aware of it and independent of our ability at mathematics.

There are mathematically sensible reasons to venerate 60 and 12. Both divide into halves, quarters, and thirds, making them ideal units of currency and measurement. But the number 7 doesn’t divide nicely. Since it’s a prime number, it cannot be neatly divided by anything other than itself and the number 1. Which makes Bellos’s theory that humans are drawn to the number 7 because it’s a loner plausible. He says that an emotional attachment to numbers – especially 7 – is very common.

Lucky Favorite

“When I give talks about math and ask the audience if they have a favorite number, half stick up their hands,” he says.

lucky number 7

“I suppose we are all a little bit obsessive compulsive. It’s comforting to have a favorite number.”

Favorite numbers are often linked with birthdays, anniversaries, or address numbers, but others project some interesting characteristics onto numbers. One woman stated she voted for the number 7 because “it’s a bit awkward. It can’t be equally divided and won’t bend to the rules so easily!”

Lucky 7

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Lucky Number 8

Have you ever shaken a Magic 8 ball, hoping to get a glimpse into your future and see the promise of your fortune? Well, you’re not the only one. The number eight is symbolic of more than just a plastic ball filled with some purple goo and the number eight pasted on its side. All around the world in numerous cultures, eight is considered a lucky number and a sign of good fortune.

The Harmony of Number 8

Eight represents harmony and continuity. Sure, it’s just a number, but the numeral itself even portrays this. Think of the number eight, then turn it on its side. A sideways eight is an infinity sign, depicting eternalness. If you also consider the structure of the number eight, you can split it down the middle both horizontally and vertically and it creates a mirror image. This gives us the impression that eight is a number that represents stability and reciprocity. It relates a lot to energy and how it comes back to you regardless of whether is positive or negative. In this sense, eight is kind of like a karmic number.

number 8 planet

Eights appear a lot in our universe, and it reminds us of a sense of completeness. In our solar system, there are 8 planets (if you don’t count Pluto, which scientists are still debating). These celestial bodies have been observed by most cultures around the world. So the idea of eight planets lends itself to a universal sense of completeness. Another, more western idea of wholeness comes from the number eight due to musical octaves. You must’ve heard of an A note, B note etc. all the way through the final G note. There are eight full letter notes in music, so if you go eight notes up or down, you will have reached the next octave. A complete octave gives the impression of a whole, because if you go up or down octaves you can start to harmonize, and it sounds melodic and harmonious.

Number 8 across Cultures

Eight is an important and lucky number in many cultures. But depending on what part of the world you visit, meanings can arise from extremely different sources. In the western world, a lot of our belief in the power of eight comes from mythological, historical, and religious significance. Dating back to Noah’s Ark, there were two of every animal so that once the floodwaters subsided, they could procreate. According to the Book of Genesis, Noah brought two of every animal, except for human beings of which he brought eight – himself, his wife, his three sons and their wives.

Holy 8

In another religious reference, eight is not only a lucky number, it’s the number of a miracle. The Jewish holiday, Hanukkah, celebrates one of the religion’s victories. At one point, Jewish warriors were fighting for their freedom to practice Judaism. They became stuck inside a temple with only had a small jar of oil that would light a lamp for a day or two. A miracle happened when the oil continued to burn for eight days and eight nights. That’s why there are eight candles in the menorah, and it’s why Jewish people find eight a number of luck and divine intervention. Another Jewish tradition is that of Brit Milah, or circumcision, which occurs on a boy’s eighth day of living. According to the Jewish custom, the number eight represents prosperity and the perpetual, whether it’s a healthy life or an affair with lady luck!

8 rings viking

Dating back to the time of the Vikings, the Norse chief god, Odin, was very closely associated with the number eight. The story goes that on every ninth day, he received eight gold rings that dropped down from Daupnir, which was the original and magical golden ring. He also rode an eight-legged horse called Sleipnir. This horse was supposed to have magical qualities and could run on land, over water, and fly through the air. It’s no wonder he had eight legs. We can only imagine the balance and strength it requires to gallop in all terrain while bearing the most powerful Viking god.

The Number 8 in the Orient

One of the reasons that eight shows up on worldwide top lucky number lists time and time again is deep-rooted, cultural associations in massive countries like China. In Chinese, the word for eight is a homonym, meaning that when spoken it sounds like the word that means “to generate wealth.” Because of this similarity, the country places a great deal of importance on the number eight. If you remember way back to the Beijing Olympics, the breathtaking opening ceremony began at exactly 8:08:08 on August 8th, 2008.

That’s how you know that this isn’t just an old wives’ tale and that people really do believe in this lucky number’s power. And just look at how incredible that ceremony was – enough to make any person believe in eight’s magical qualities. In Japan, eight is also associated with prosperous conditions, though ironically it has to do with the number’s spelling rather than its pronunciation. The Japanese letter for eight (八) broadens gradually, giving the sense of growth in luck and wealth.

Buddhism places a huge emphasis on the number eight because it represents completeness and repetition, as well as an infinite existence. The Buddha taught about the eightfold path, or “middle way.” This referred to eight aspects of the self that one must continually improve and nourish, which followers must perfect before achieving Nirvana, or the end of their suffering.

8 = Wholeness

Eight is a number of wholeness and mirror images. You can divide horizontally or vertically, divide it by two and then two again. With a sense of completeness, it’s no surprise that it is recognized as a lucky number all over the world. Will it become your new lucky number? You’ll never know until you test it out. Head over to Planet 7 Casino and play a game of roulette. See if the number eight is really as lucky as people think it is!

Lucky Number 9

Lucky numbers can vary based on what culture you’re looking at – a number that acts as a harbinger of great fortune for one culture may be a horrible omen for another. But the number nine is almost universally recognized as a sign of prosperity and balance. It would come as no surprise if, after learning about the number nine, you decided to make it your own good luck charm.

lucky number 9

The lucky number nine often comes across as powerful and stable. In western European mythology, the number three is considered lucky and is heavily associated with religious strength and purity. Three multiplied by itself results in the number nine, which in turn embodies some of the magical qualities of three. It contains the structural stability of both the triangle (because it is made up of threes) and the square, meaning that this number brings comfort and completeness to anything and everything it is applied to.

Some people speculate that it has magical qualities as well. No matter what number you multiply by nine, if you take the result and separate the numerals to create single digits and add them all up, the answer will always come out as a multiple of nine. Take 5 x 9 for example, which equals 45. If you add together 4 + 5 it will come out to 9. Or, 11 x 9, which equals 99. 9 + 9 equals 18, which is a multiple of 9. This works for all multiples of nine. Don’t believe me? Try it out for yourself!

Number 9 in Ancient Times

The history of nine as a lucky number dates all the way back to ancient empires. Greek mythology, Chinese culture, and even the Norse gods revolved around it. With Greek mythology, the number nine can be understood as having a sense of completeness. There were nine muses. Each acted as a source of inspiration for an area of study, such as literature and music. At the beginning of epic poems like The Odyssey and The Iliad, authors would beseech the muses to help inspire their writing.

There was also the common knowledge in Ancient Greece that it would take nine days to fall from Heaven to Earth. It would also take another nine days to fall from Earth to Tartarus, or the Ancient Greek version of hell. Like the nine muses, mythology in Ancient Egypt reveals a worship of the Ennead, or a grouping of nine deities who acted as personifications of the world’s creations. They represented bodies like the Earth, Sun, Night, Chaos, and Order.

Norse Number 9

Norse mythology relied heavily on the number nine. Whereas Christian stories tell of three universes, Earth, heaven and hell, Norse mythology assumes that the universe is split up into nine different worlds. These worlds are tied together by the world tree also known as “Yggdrasil” – how that might be pronounced, your guess is as good as mine.

Even in medieval Christian folklore, the number nine pops up all the time. Way back when chivalry was something many men aspired to, there were nine figures who embodied the chivalric ideal. Known in French as “Les Neuf Preux” and in German as “Neun Gute Helden”, the Nine Worthies are split up into three different groups of three people: three Christians, three Jews, and three pagans. It is no coincidence that there are nine worthies or three groups of threes. That’s because three is a famously religious number and when multiplied by itself, it equals nine.

9 Circles

A few years later during the Renaissance, Dante’s Inferno, a part of the Divine Comedy, specifies nine different circles of hell that Dante has to travel through before he can move on to purgatory and eventually heaven.

chinese dragon

More so than in the western world, nine is one of the luckiest numbers in Chinese culture. People like it so much because the pronunciation is the same as the Chinese word for “everlasting.” By sneaking nines into their lives through clothing and architecture, people hope to guarantee that their legacies will become long lasting. Emperors used to talk about the Chinese empire as “nine continents”. They would often build their palaces based on nine, whether it is the number of rooms (the Forbidden Palace has 9,999 rooms) or the number of plates set into the ground.

Nine was extremely revered and still is all over the world today. In Chinese culture, the number nine is associated heavily with their most highly regarded symbol: the dragon. Dragons embody extreme power and magic. It’s one of the 7 lucky animals that bring good luck. There are nine forms of the dragon. Dragons are described as having nine attributes. And according to legend, the Dragon King had nine children.

It’s clear how universal the lucky number nine has become since the ancient world was at its height. Heck, maybe nine was a source of luck even before that! Do you believe that nine can help you win big at casino games? Log onto Planet 7 and play a game of roulette to test just how lucky nine will be for you. Your win might just be a click away!

Lucky Number 12

Twelve months in a year. There’s twelve inches in a foot. Twelve Western and twelve Chinese zodiac signs. And 12 face cards in a deck. We measure time in cycles of twelve hours, and most juries have twelve people. Twelve Angry Men, Cheaper by the Dozen, Ocean’s Twelve, Twelve Years a Slave, Twelfth Night. Twelve people have walked on the moon. Eat twelve grapes as the clock strikes midnight on New Year’s Eve for a year of good luck. An old saying in England said that if a young maiden wanted to see her future husband she had to pick twelve sage leaves as the clock struck midday on St. Mark’s day. See a recurring theme, here?

A Perfect Number

Whether or not you’ve ever noticed, we’re surrounded by the number twelve. While it isn’t in the top ten of the world’s favorite numbers, it’s a number that’s considered to be perfect. It’s the lowest number with six factors – 1, 2, 3, 4, 6, and 12 – and the highest value monosyllabic number in the English language. In human culture, twelve is found anywhere from religion to sports.

number 12

In the Jewish religion, girls come of age and have their Bat Mitzvah at the age of twelve. The Bible’s New Testament describes the twelve apostles of Jesus. And the Book of Revelation, verse 12:1 states, “And a great portent appeared in heaven, a woman clothed with the sun, the moon under feet, and on her head a crown of twelve stars.” The woman has been interpreted as the people of Israel, the Church itself, or the Virgin Mary. But the crown’s symbolism is generally agreed upon. The twelve stars represent the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who are descended from Jacob’s twelve sons.

And the twelve days of Christmas? It’s not just a lengthy holiday tune. The twelve days are from Christmas Day to Epiphany on January 6, which is a celebration of the arrival of the wise men, the first people outside the Jewish world to see and believe in the infant Jesus Christ.

Other religions that feature the number include Norse and Ancient Greek mythology and Hinduism. In Ancient Greece, there were twelve principal Olympian gods of the pantheon. The most famous Greek hero, Hercules, had to complete twelve labors. In Norse mythology, the All-Father Odin had twelve sons. In Hinduism, the sun god Surya has twelve names, and there are twelve Petals in Anahata, the Heart Chakra.

12 is Everywhere

Point is, the number twelve is everywhere. Twelve is considered sacred because it represents the ancient meaning of perfection. These are the four elements, four corners of the Earth, four cardinal points, which are then multiplied by three, the sacred number of God.

lucky number 12

The flag of the European Union has a circle of twelve stars on a blue background. And the official description says, “Against the blue sky of the western world, the stars represent the people of Europe in a circle, a symbol of unity. Their number shall be invariably set to twelve, the symbol of completeness and perfection.”

Twelve is a number found in other aspects of life as well. In both association football (a.k.a. soccer) and American football, the number 12 represents the fans due to the support they give to the eleven players on the field. Texas A&M University reserves the number 12 jersey for a walk-on player who represents the original “12th Man”. This was a fan who played in a 1922 college American football game when the team’s reserves were low. There are a number of teams around the world that do not allow field players to sport the number 12 on their jersey since it’s reserved for their supporters.

While the number twelve isn’t in the world’s top ten favorite numbers, there’s no doubt that it’s pretty much everywhere you look. And hey, it’s a multiple of three, which is the world’s second-favorite number. This counts for something if you ask me.

Unlucky Number 13

There are few numbers more loaded with superstition than the number thirteen. Thirteen as an “unlucky number” is a very prevalent notion in the modern western world. This is true enough that many hotels and tall buildings – especially ones in Las Vegas – often omit a thirteenth floor. On Friday the thirteenth, people tend to act cautiously as well. But superstition doesn’t stop people from using ladders or owning black cats. So why should it stop you from making thirteen your new lucky number? Some cultures even covet thirteen as representing strength, fortune, and posterity.

If you have ever actively or even subconsciously avoided the number thirteen, then you’re aware of the superstition of thirteen bringing bad luck. But where does this idea come from? Well, it could actually come from a few places – namely ancient history.

13 in History

If you’ve read up on the number twelve, you know that a lot of western society is structured upon the idea that it is considered whole and complete. Think of how the year is split up into twelve months, or the 12 zodiac signs. In Christianity, which has proven its influence over western society time and time again, Jesus has twelve apostles. And this love towards twelve is often why people have such an uneasy relationship with thirteen. Thirteen seems to throw off that even balance. It is a prime number so, unlike twelve, it cannot be divided into threes, another stable number and fan favorite. A lot of negative connotations about the number thirteen come not from what it is, but rather what it isn’t. The number 13 is not easily divisible.

original us flag

Another reason people consider thirteen unlucky is another historical reference to Christianity. Thirteen was once considered good luck, so societies would try to have only 13 members. Sacred meals would aim to invite thirteen guests, which is what potentially led to the number’s downfall. One of the most famous meals with thirteen guests was the notorious Nazarene last supper, attended by Jesus and his twelve apostles. The bad luck that people associate with thirteen comes from the thirteenth guest to arrive – Judas. He was the cause of Jesus’s ruin, and people started to blame the number for the bad luck that led to the crucifixion.

Aztecs and the Number 13

On the other hand, dating as far back as the Aztec society, thirteen was considered a purveyor of good luck. It was the number of time, being the basis for how days were divided. One week, or trecena, was 13 days. One year was 260 days, or 20 trecenas. But the sacred quality of thirteen doesn’t disappear with the Aztecs. A modern example of a society founded on the stable and lucky number thirteen is the United States of America. If you recall from 5th grade history, the United States originally consisted of thirteen colonies. The original flag had 13 stripes and thirteen stars.

13 Stars on a Flag

Though this number has gone up due to acquired states, there are still thirteen stars present on the United States seal, as well as thirteen stripes on the shield, thirteen leaves on the olive branch in one of the eagle’s claws, and thirteen arrows in the other. The icing on the cake is the motto “E pluribus Unum”, which contains thirteen letters. On the seal’s other side is a pyramid, which consists of thirteen steps or levels of stone. Considering that United States has done pretty well for itself, it’s probably safe to say that the excessive use of thirteen hasn’t brought ruin upon the country.

number 13 tarot

People usually lie on either side of the spectrum, either condemning thirteen as a harbinger of destruction or a symbol of stability and success. If you have ever heard of tarot cards, this may explain some of the mixed feelings that come with thirteen. In tarot, each card is numbered as well as having its own image and meaning. In this deck of cards, number thirteen is the card of death.

While this may seem ominous, it is actually a card about new beginnings. So rather than predicting loss and suffering, it is a sign to let go of the past and move on to greener pastures. If you receive the death card in reverse, it acts as a warning about your ways. By not letting go, the card cautions, you will fail to achieve better things in your life. So really, the thirteenth card is lucky and represents transformative change.

The Confusion of 13

Thirteen will always be a confusing number. With a complex history and an even more perplexing presence in modern times, it is up to each individual to decide whether or not they are willing to bet their fortune on the whims of this number. The best way to figure out whether or not you trust the luck of thirteen is by testing it out, perhaps in a game of roulette or keno. Log onto Planet 7 today and start playing. You never know when your lucky numbers will bring you the good fortune you’ve been waiting for!

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Janae Johnson is a staff writer who loves old movies, meeting new people, exploring the great outdoors, and learning with her hands. After graduating from the College of William and Mary, she applied her degree in English to an ever-expanding industry. She has spent years searching for thrills and fulfillment in her work, until she finally found her home at Planet 7.