13 tattoo good or bad luck?

13 Tattoo Ideas : Is This Intriguing Design Good Or Bad Luck?

This page may contain affiliate links. This means we may receive a commission for products we recommend.
Please read our disclaimer for more info.

13 Tattoo Ideas: Is This Intriguing Design Good Or Bad Luck?

The number 13 tattoo has long been a topic of fascination and intrigue in tattoo culture. Often viewed as a symbol of misfortune and bad luck, the number 13 has a mysterious aura that many people find compelling.

While some may see it as an ominous sign, for others, getting a 13 tattoo can represent overcoming adversity or even embracing the unpredictability of life.

Traditionally, the number 13 has been associated with superstitions surrounding death and fear of dying, hence its absence in many hotels and skyscrapers’ floor numbering. Despite this, the 13 tattoo has gained popularity in various forms, and its meaning can vary significantly depending on the wearer’s personal experiences, beliefs, or cultural background.

Some wear the tattoo as a mark of good fortune, believing that it wards off bad luck, while others may choose it as a reminder of a significant event or connection to the number 13 in their lives.

Regardless of its meaning to the individual, the 13 tattoo remains a captivating and thought-provoking design choice.

If you aren’t sure which tattoo is for you check out this post 40 different tattoo styles – Which one is right for you?

Are 13 tattoos good or bad luck?

Tattoos are a form of self-expression and can hold significant meaning for the person who gets them. However, some tattoos are believed to bring bad luck, and the number 13 tattoo is one of them.

Is it lucky or an omen of misfortune? 

In many cultures, the number 13 is considered unlucky. This concept of luck has been around for centuries and is believed to have originated from Norse mythology.

According to the myth, 12 gods were having a dinner party when Loki, the god of mischief, showed up uninvited and caused chaos. This event led to the death of one of the gods, making the number 13 an unlucky number.

The belief that the number 13 is unlucky has led to the creation of many superstitions, including the fear of Friday the 13th. In tattoo culture, the number 13 is often associated with bad luck and is believed to bring misfortune to the person who gets the tattoo.

However, not all 13 tattoos are considered bad luck. In some subcultures, such as the biker community, the number 13 is seen as a symbol of rebellion and is often used in tattoos.

A popular 13 tattoo design is the “13 1/2” tattoo, which represents a biker who has been through a rough patch but has come out stronger on the other side.

Others say that the tattoo 13 1/2 is a symbolic representation of a specific chapter in the Bible’s Book of Revelation. This chapter contains a prophecy about the Apocalypse, and some individuals opt to get this tattoo as a sign of their religious commitment and a reminder that the world, as we know it, will eventually come to an end.

In addition, some people get 13 tattoos simply because they like the number or because it holds a personal meaning for them. For these individuals, the tattoo is not associated with luck, good or bad.

In conclusion, whether or not a 13 tattoo is considered good or bad luck depends on the individual and their beliefs. 

While the superstition surrounding the number 13 has been around for centuries, it is ultimately up to the person who gets the tattoo to decide what it means to them.

As with any tattoo, it is important to carefully consider the design and its potential meanings and any negative connotations before getting inked.

Theres more detail about the history of the number 13 here

Significance of 13 Tattoo

Symbolism and Tradition

The number 13 has been shrouded in mystery, holding various meanings in different cultures and traditions. In some contexts, 13 has been associated with alienation and being an outsider, while in others, it serves as a symbol of loyalty or camaraderie.

Good Luck and Bad Luck

In many cultures, the number 13 has been regarded as either a representation of good luck or bad luck.

For some, 13 is a symbol of luck, while others view it as an ominous representation of misfortune.

Superstitions surrounding the number often dictate people’s behavior, such as avoiding the thirteenth floor in hotels and skyscrapers.

Misfortune and Superstition

The number thirteen is often associated with death and the fear of dying, leading individuals to regard it as a harbinger of bad luck or misfortune.

Due to this, many people choose to avoid using 13 in various settings, whether it be skipping a thirteenth floor or avoiding scheduling important events on the 13th of a month.

Number 13 in Gangs

Gangs have also been known to adopt the number 13 as a symbol, further solidifying the ominous nature of the number in popular culture. Groups like the Mara Salvatrucha (MS-13), a notorious street gang originating from Southern California, and the Norteños from Northern California use the number 13 to represent themselves.

Other gangs, like Chicago-based gangs, use the 13 as a symbol when aligned with the Sureños or Nuestra Familia. 

The number has become an emblem used to signify loyalty and affiliation among these street gangs, making the 13 tattoo hold a powerful meaning within their community.


Design and Colors

lucky 13 dice tattoo

Popular 13 Tattoo Designs

A variety of 13 tattoo designs exist, reflecting different tastes and interpretations. One popular design is the 13 dice tattoo, which features dice with the numbers 1 and 3 shown to create 13.

This design can be placed anywhere on the body, and it symbolizes both luck and unluckiness.

Another popular choice is the diamond 13 tattoo, which is often seen on fingers and represents luck and fortune.

Meaning of Colors

Colors play a significant role in the overall design and meaning of 13 tattoos. 

Depending on individual preferences, artists can use a wide range of colors to enhance the design or give the tattoo personal significance.

For example, black might represent strength, protection, or tradition, while red may signify love, passion, or aggression.

Each color holds different symbolic meanings, and understanding these meanings can help when selecting colors for your 13 tattoo design.

Symbolism in Patterns

The use of patterns in 13 tattoo designs can also incorporate additional meaning and symbolism.

For instance, the 13 1/2 tattoo often represents a specific date, such as December 13th, or a connection to special occasions like birthdays or anniversaries.

Other patterns may convey cultural or personal significance, such as specific symbols or designs that hold meaning to the wearer.

It’s essential to research and understand the symbols and patterns you intend to incorporate into your 13 tattoo design, to ensure you convey the intended meaning.

Unique Design Elements

Many people choose to add unique elements to their 13 tattoos to create a design that reflects their personality or holds personal significance.

For example, someone might include elements like flowers, animals, or other sentimental symbols to their 13 tattoo design.

By combining different design elements and colors, you can create a one-of-a-kind 13 tattoo that accurately represents your individuality and the significance behind the number 13 for you.

Event and Celebrations

Friday the 13th

Friday the 13th is a popular day for tattoo enthusiasts and collectors to get inked. 

Many tattoo studios offer special deals, discounts, and unique tattoo designs to celebrate the day.

For example, there is a tradition of tattooists charging just $13 for certain tattoos on Friday the 13th.

The number 13 is considered a “lucky” symbol in the tattoo world, and designs often incorporate other “lucky” symbols as well. This tradition has a long history, and people look forward to participating every time a Friday the 13th rolls around.

$13 Tattoos

The $13 tattoo is a big thing in the tattoo community.

Many tattoo shops offer select tattoo designs at a $13 price point on Friday the 13th. These flash tattoos are usually small, simple designs that feature the number 13 or other relevant symbols.

The main reason is that many people don’t want to book a tattoo on Friday 13th so the $13 tattoo attracts bookings on what would otherwise be a quiet day.

Some tattoo shops might have a pre-prepared flash sheet with a number of $13 designs to choose from, or allow customers to customize their own 13-inspired design within certain size and complexity limits.

The $13 tattoos are widely popular, often attracting both new and experienced tattoo collectors to take advantage of the great value.

$7 Tip

In addition to the $13 tattoo, it is customary for customers to leave a $7 tip for the tattoo artist. 

This brings the total cost to an auspicious $20, further enhancing the appeal and significance of the Friday the 13th tattoo event.

The $7 tip is a way of showing appreciation for the artist’s hard work and skill, while also keeping the cost relatively low for the customer.

It is important to remember that tattoo artists put a lot of time and effort into their craft, and the $7 tip is a small token of gratitude for their part in commemorating the Friday the 13th tradition.

Tattooing Process

Selecting the Tattoo Studio

When considering a tattoo, the first step is to choose the right studio and artist. This process should involve thorough research into each potential artist’s style, expertise, and safety practices.

You should also inspect the studio’s cleanliness and make sure they have the necessary licenses or certifications to operate.

Ensuring that you trust your artist and that the studio is well-maintained will make the tattooing process smoother and safer for everyone involved.

Get a Tattoo

Once you’ve chosen a studio and artist, the next step in the tattooing process is to create a design and get inked.

First, the artist will transfer your design onto the skin using a stencil or freehand sketch. The tattoo machine, equipped with a needle filled with ink, then pierces the skin’s surface and injects the ink into the dermis layer.

The tattoo artist will work diligently, taking care to regularly clean the area to prevent infection.

While getting a tattoo can come with discomfort or pain, it’s essential to remain calm and trust in your chosen artist.

Aftercare Tips

Following the tattooing process, it is crucial to practice proper aftercare to ensure your new tattoo heals well without complications. The artist will typically cover the fresh tattoo with a bandage or plastic wrap, which should be left in place for at least a few hours.

 Avoid submerging the tattoo in water, swimming, saunas and hot tubs, exposing it to direct sunlight, and picking or scratching the area during healing to minimize the risk of infection.

Keep in mind that the aftercare process is just as important as the tattooing itself, as it ensures the longevity and quality of your tattoo. By following these steps and listening to any additional advice from your artist, you can ensure a smooth recovery and enjoy the beauty of your new ink.

Popular 13 Tattoo Styles

The number 13 has become a popular body modification, with various styles and meanings. Here are some of the most popular 13 tattoo styles and their history:

  1. Traditional 13 Tattoo: The traditional 13 tattoo design features the number 13 with a banner or ribbon wrapped around it. This design is often seen in black and grey ink with a heavy black outline and is a popular choice among bikers and those in the punk rock community. The traditional 13 can be quite a minimalist tattoo and is popular in american culture.
American traditional dagger 13 tattoo
American traditional dagger 13 tattoo
  1. Gothic 13 Tattoo: The gothic 13 tattoo design features the number 13 with ornate, intricate details. This design is often seen in black ink and is popular among those who are drawn to the dark and mysterious.
gothic skull number 13 tattoo
skull number 13 tattoo
  1. Lucky 13 Tattoo: The lucky 13 tattoo design features the number 13 with the word “lucky” written underneath it and maybe horseshoes. This design is often seen in bright colors and is a popular choice among those who want to turn the negative connotation of the number 13 into something positive. 
lucky 13 tattoos
lucky 13 tattoo
  1. 13 Skulls Tattoo:  It is often seen in black and grey ink and is popular among those in the metal and punk rock communities.
  2. 13 Roses Tattoo: This design features 13  and roses arranged in a pattern. It is often seen in bright colors and is a popular choice among those who want to combine any negative connotation of the number 13 with the beauty of roses.
  3. 13 Dice Tattoo: This design features dice and the number 13. It is often seen in black and grey ink and means the luck of life.
Skull cards and gambling 13 tattoo
Skull cards and gambling 13 tattoo

In conclusion, the number 13 can be a powerful symbol of rebellion, luck, or beauty. Whether you choose a traditional 13 tattoo or a more intricate design, it is important to carefully consider the design and its potential meanings before getting inked.

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the symbolism behind a 13 tattoo?

The number 13 has been associated with various meanings throughout history, often considered a symbol of bad luck or rebellion. In tattoo culture, having a 13 tattoo can signify a few different things, such as overcoming adversity and embracing a never-give-up attitude.

It can also represent a symbol of unity for those who affiliate with the number 13, showing solidarity and a sense of belonging.

What are common placements for 13 tattoos?

13 tattoos can be placed in various locations on the body. They are often found on areas that are easily visible, such as the wrist, forearm, collarbone, or behind the ear. 

However, the placement of a 13 tattoo ultimately depends on the wearer’s preference and the size and design of the tattoo.

What is the meaning of a skull with a 13 tattoo?

A skull tattoo with a 13 tattoo typically symbolizes a combination of the classic associations with skulls, such as death and the passing of time, with the defiant and rebellious nature of the number 13.

This tattoo design can represent mortality, courage, and the will to persevere in the face of adversity.

What are some popular 13 tattoo designs?

There is a wide variety of 13 tattoo designs that people choose from. Some popular tattoo examples include the number 13 in classic or script font, often accompanied by other symbols like a horseshoe or skull.

Additionally, incorporating a black cat or four-leaf clover can emphasize the theme of luck.

Many artists also create their unique designs, using the number 13 as a starting point and mixing it with various elements to craft a personally meaningful design for the wearer.

What is the significance of 13 tattooed on the wrist?

The wrist is a highly visible and easily accessible area for tattoos. Having a 13 tattoo on the wrist might indicate a desire to display the number prominently and express the wearer’s association with the symbolism of 13. 

The wrist placement can also serve as a daily reminder of the meaning behind the tattoo, as it’s constantly visible to the wearer.


The number 13 tattoo holds various meanings for different individuals and cultures.

In some societies, it is often associated with bad luck and misfortune, while in others, it represents resilience and strength against adversities. 

For some, the 13 tattoo is believed to be an antidote to bad luck or a signifier of an outsider status.

One of its intriguing interpretations involves the 13th letter of the alphabet, M, which is sometimes linked to certain gangs, hence associating the tattoo with membership in such groups.

The motive behind getting a 13 tattoo may vary based on an individual’s personal beliefs, religious affiliations, and cultural background. 

While superstitions about bad luck or fear of death continue to influence perceptions of the number 13, it can also be viewed as an emblem of courage by confronting and defying these ominous associations.

In conclusion, it is essential to understand the myriad of meanings and cultural contexts surrounding the 13 tattoo.

It can serve as a symbol of resistance, an expression of personal belief, a protective charm against bad luck, or even a representation of one’s commitment to a specific group or cause.

Its a great tattoo for all stages of life.

Ultimately, the interpretation of the 13 tattoo lies in the eye of the beholder and serves as a powerful reminder of the deeply personal significance tattoos can hold.

More information that may help you

Can you tattoo over self harm scars? Yes. Heres how.

Is it rude to design your own tattoos?

More Number 13 Tattoo Inspiration

Number 13 neck tattoo

back of neck 13 tattoo
back of neck 13 tattoo

Number 13 finger tattoo

number 13 finger tattoo
number 13 finger tattoo

Fairground script traditional 13 tattoo

dice cards and skull lucky 13 tattoo

calligraphy number 13 script tattoo

number 13 with foliage

script 13 tattoo

Find Me
Latest posts by Helen Aldous (see all)

Similar Posts