Chinese Lucky Numbers (Deciphering Their Meaning)

Updated January 7, 2022
Chinese lunar zodiac

Chinese lucky numbers are based on a principle known as homophony, which means having the same sound but with different meanings. If a number's pronunciation and that of another word that carries a positive connotation sound alike, it's considered a fortunate or lucky number.

Chinese Luckiest Numbers

Chinese numerology regards numbers 6, 8, and 9 as the luckiest numbers, and all of their homophones have auspicious meanings.

Lucky Number 8

The number 8 has long been regarded as the luckiest number in Chinese culture. It's pronounced "ba" in Chinese, which is similar to the "fa." Fa means to make a fortune. The number 8 contains meanings of prosperity, success, and high social status. People and businesses will pay more money for an address, phone number, or license plate that contains the number 8. They favor the 8th floor of a building. A vehicle with the number 8 eight in its identification number can be sold for a substantial sum of money. It's not a coincidence that when China hosted the 2008 Olympic Games, they set the starting date at 8/8/08 and the starting time at precisely 8:08:08 pm, local Beijing time!

Chinese lucky number 8

Lucky Number 6

Number 6, pronounced as "liù," also sounds like the Chinese word that means "flowing, smooth, or frictionless." The number 6 is considered lucky, especially where it occurs in multiples. A Chinese saying goes, "double 6, great future." Young Chinese widely use "666" to express admiration for people or things.

Chinese lucky number 6

Lucky Number 9

The number 9 is considered especially propitious. The number 9, "jiu," is pronounced like the word that means "eternality, everlasting, and longevity." Couples are glad to receive wedding gifts containing the number 9. This could be a bouquet of 99 roses, which carry best wishes for everlasting love and a long-lasting happy life together. In feng shui, the number 9 is highest on the number scale and represents the "ultimate masculinity." It's used to symbolize the supreme sovereignty of the emperor. The number 9, or some multiples of 9, were often used in imperial house designs, like the 9,999 rooms inside the Forbidden City.

Chinese lucky number 9

Lucky Number 2

The number 2 is the number of the union of yin and yang energies. When these two opposite energies are balanced, harmony is achieved. The number 2 means a union that creates harmony or luck in love. The Chinese decorate for a wedding by pairing objects such as decorations, candles, pillows, rings, gifts, and other items. This pairing signifies good luck.

Chinese lucky number 2

Lucky Number Combinations

The Chinese people often use lucky number combinations to express their wishes or emotions.

  • When numbers 6 and 8 are combined, it brings together the good luck of both numbers with hopes of great success.
  • Cash quantities of 666 and 888 are often given by elders to the younger generation during Chinese New Year in hopes they will have a smooth and successful life.
  • 168 pronounces "li liu ba" sounds like "yi lu fa," which means "making a fortune all the way."
  • 520 pronounced "wu er ling" sounds like "wo ai ni," which means "I love you."
  • 1314 pronounced "yi san yi si" sounds like "yi sheng yi shi," which means "throughout one's life."
  • Combining 520 with 1314 (5201314) means "I love you forever."

Chinese Zodiac Lucky Numbers

There are 12 animal signs in the Chinese zodiac, and each of the animal signs has its own lucky number.

Zodiac Animals


Lucky Numbers


...1984, 1996, 2008, 2020...

2, 3


...1973, 1985, 1997, 2009...

1, 9


...1974, 1986, 1998, 2010...

1, 2, 3


...1975, 1987, 1999, 2011...

3, 7


...1976, 1988, 2000, 2012...

1, 6, 7


...1977, 1989, 2001, 2013...

1, 6


...1978, 1990, 2002, 2014...

2, 3, 7


...1979, 1991, 2003, 2015...

3, 4, 9


...1980, 1992, 2004, 2016...

4, 6


...1981, 1993, 2005, 2017...

5, 7, 8


...1982, 1994, 2006, 2018...

3, 4, 9


...1983, 1995, 2007, 2019...

2, 5, 8

What Is Luck?

When thinking of lucky Chinese numbers, it might be good to consider the Chinese parable of the farmer and his son. The moral of this story is that nothing that happens in your life, in and of itself, can be judged as lucky or unlucky, and only time can tell the whole story. Still, it can't hurt to give luck a nudge by using Chinese lucky numbers.

Chinese Lucky Numbers (Deciphering Their Meaning)