Lucky numbers are embedded within the culture and history of Japan and the Japanese people, and when it comes to gambling and numbers, the Japanese are often very superstitious when placing certain wagers on certain games. Unlucky numbers within the Japanese culture are also prominent, and are avoided like the plague when betting. So what are the lucky and unlucky Japanese numbers, and why have they acquired such statuses?

Lucky numbers in Japan

The number seven in Japanese culture is highly revered, and is often featured in pachinko parlours and on lottery and scratch tickets. It has its roots firmly established in the country’s religious traditions and folklore.

For example, there are seven gods of luck in Japanese culture, and they are:

  • Aikoku – the god of wealth and farmers
  • Bishamon – the god of war and warriors
  • Ebisu – the god of fishermen and wealth
  • Fukurokuju – the god of longevity
  • Juroujin – another god of longevity
  • Hotei – the god of happiness
  • Benzaiten – he goddess of music

Japanese Buddhists celebrate a baby’s seventh day alive, and mourn on the seventh day and the seventh week following a person’s death. They also believe in seven reincarnations.

There is a custom/tradition in Japan to eat what is known as seven herb rice porridge (nanakusa gayu), on January the 7th. Also known as the seven herbs of Spring, it is believed these herbs remove evil from the body and prevent illness.

Tanabata (the evening of the seventh) is a holiday in summer which is celebrated on July the 7th (07.07). There are also Kanji characters (Japanese written language) specifically for the seven deadly sins, seven heavenly virtues and seven codes of Bushido.

The number eight is also considered a lucky number within Japanese culture, and this is primary due to its written shape in Kanji (八). Widening at the bottom, this character reminds people of prosperity and growth, and of better things to come in the future.

Subsequently, when gambling, the Japanese place significant importance on the numbers seven and eight, and any numbers which include those digits. For example, straight up wager on the numbers seven and eight are very common bets by the Japanese.

Unlucky numbers in Japanese culture

There are also several unlucky numbers within Japanese culture, and these include the numbers four, nine and 13.
The numbers four and nine are considered unlucky because of how they are pronounced in the Japanese language – four is pronounced as ‘shi’, which is also how the word ‘death’ is said, while nine is pronounced ‘ku’, which is the same pronunciation as the words suffering, agony or torture. The number 13 is also disliked, although this has been imported from Western culture.

The Japanese airline All Nippon Airways has no seats on its passenger planes with the number four, nine or 13.
Many hospitals and hotels in Japan do not feature levels four or nine, nor rooms numbered four or nine. Maternity rooms often do not have the room number 43, because it literarily translates to ‘still birth’.

Certain number plates on motor vehicles are avoided and even restricted, such as those ending with the numbers 42 (which sounds like shini – ‘to death’), 49 (which sounds like shiku – ‘to run over’), 42-19 (which sounds like shini iku – ‘to go and die’) and 42-56 (which sounds like shini-goro – ‘time to die’).

Also, when giving sets of gifts to one another, they will typically be presented in sets of three or five; not four.

When gambling, Japanese people will tend to avoid betting on the numbers four, nine and 13, especially in games such as roulette and sic bo.

Some of our lucky numbers when gambling

The team here at has picked a few lucky numbers of its own which you can use when gambling at an online or land based casino:

  • 28 and 29 – two of our most played numbers in the game of roulette which continue to give us great luck
  • 7 – happens to be a very lucky number in Japanese culture, and we also love it because we are long time fans of James Bond

Lucky numbers can give you that extra push you are looking for when betting, and the feeling you get when they pay off is second to none. Always gamble responsibly, and enjoy your time spent betting at casinos.

By admin

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