I've always found superstition to be fascinating. Small little rituals or patterns people use to reinforce a particular belief or influence an outcome.
I first ran into superstitions when playing sports. Athletes might have very specific pregame rituals, "lucky" objects, etc. I, for example, have a ton of little things I do before and during every game. I put my gear on left side first (left skate, right skate, left pad, right pad, trapper, blocker, etc), and remove it in the same manner. Some goalies will tap the goal posts and crossbar in a particular pattern or manner before each period. I respond to a referee's 'ready' signal with the same little stick salute every period. After I tore up my knee in September of this year, I racked my brain for any little detail or procedure I might have forgotten that led to the injury.
Some of my rituals fade in and out. I'll wear the same Under Armor (washed between games) until we lose a game, and then I rotate to another set. For a while, I was winning and playing well whenever I stopped at a particular convenience store and bought a 20 ounce lemon-lime Gatorade and a regular Snickers bar (not almond, double chocolate, or king-size).
Such small displays extend into my wargaming. On the Friday night before a tournament, I drag out my gallon Ziploc bag filled with dice. I spill them out onto the floor or countertop, and sort them by color and set. I roll all of the dice of a given type at once, and pick out any sixes. Those go into a smaller bag that goes to the event with me. I never use the same dice as I used in the last tourney, except my large, white scatter die and my GW dice block.
There is absolutely no actual correlation between this ritual and my dice performance at the table, but I still do this each and every pre-tournament Friday.
I've met other players with more direct, at-the-table superstitions. Some players refer to use the word "missile" at the table, and use "rocket" or "frag and krak" instead. They claim saying the word "miss" before a roll causes the shot to...miss. I personally cannot begin a game until my army is ranked up neatly on my tray or display board. One does not go into battle with his troops in disarray!
How do you feel about game rituals and superstitions? Do you have any of your own, or are they simply a sign of a mental illness like OCD?