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The Most Common Casino Etiquette
If you enjoy playing poker at the casino, winning at blackjack, or risking a little of your spare change at the roulette table, then you’re in good company. In the last year alone, it’s estimated that 44% of Americans visited the casino, an increase of 8% from 2018. But do they know the proper casino etiquette?
From knowing how to dress, to making sure that your behaviour is appropriate, to the many different games available, maintaining casino etiquette can win you friends as well as money. Make sure you’re on top form for you next visit to a casino with some advice that you may never have heard before.
Starting with five unbreakable rules you can apply to any visit:
How to Appear
Most casinos have their own dress code, so it’s worth putting in some research beforehand to find out what that is. If you’re male then it’s highly likely that smart trousers, a formal shirt and shoes are going to be pre-requisites.
You’ll also want to think about staying off your mobile phone as it is frowned upon when you’re in the middle of a table game or a hand of poker. Security guards will often stop you from taking selfies. Casinos don’t generally like the layout or design of their gaming floor to be shared.
Manage Your Money
Don’t ever risk what you can’t happily afford to lose and don’t borrow money you play with. Whatever you spend at the tables, celebrate any profit with humility and deal with losses maturely – it’s not a good look to take defeat badly.
Respect everyone else’s money whatever their stakes and never jinx someone who is on a hot run of luck.
Casinos are on the whole, great places to be. Everyone’s there to have a good time and the drinks can flow. Make sure that you don’t drink too much and maintain a friendly, courteous presence at every table game you visit.
You should try to make the dealers experience as pleasant as yours and maintain that fun atmosphere. Don’t blame members of casino staff when you lose and never argue with other players.
The Dealer is Always Right
Whenever you’re at a casino, it’s worth remembering that casino staff are there not only to help you, but also protect the integrity of the games that you and others are enjoying.
If you’re told that there are no more bets at the roulette table, make sure that you listen. Make sure that when you approach a table to play, you know the stakes that you’ll be playing at. Remember that the dealer is always right and if you have any queries, take them to the gaming floor manager.
Hold onto Your Chips
Make sure that you keep hold of your chips. And don’t ever touch another player’s chips when they’re at a table. It’s the casino equivalent of invading someone’s personal space. Be clear with your bets, and stack chips neatly. Be aware of the different colours and numeric values of each casino chip. In poker, make sure that you don’t ‘string’ bet, where you put in your chips in a less-than-obvious motion or motions.
If you run out of chips, or want to buy some at the table, lay money on the table and the dealer will change it into chips for you. Never move or remove chips during a roulette spin or deal of blackjack or poker.
All that advice applies to most nights you’ll spend at a casino, but what about specific tips for the most popular games? Let’s take a walk around the gaming floor:
Waving your fingertips over the felt in front of you means to ‘stick’ on your hand. Tapping the table politely requests another card. While there are other motions you can make, it’s never wrong to ask the dealer if you don’t know your options. Above all, be courteous to other blackjack players and wait until it’s definitely your turn. Notice if other players ‘split’ their cards.
Be sure that when you sit down at a slot machine, it’s free. You don’t want to interrupt anyone else’s game. If you leave the machine, make sure that you check about holds. And whether you’re coming back to the machine or not, never leave valuables, casino chips or cash lying around near the machine.
Never act out of turn at the poker table and if you’re ever in doubt, wait for the dealer. They will indicate whose turn it is next by announcing the action. Never throw chips into the pot. Sliding them in front of you, making a forward motion with your chips and removing your hands from them will be deemed as a ‘positive action’.
If there are multiple players in the pot, you can’t discuss what cards you have. You could influence the action of a third or more player in the hand.
Make sure that you only ever throw the craps dice with one hand, not two. If you’re holding the dice, then don’t take them past the edge of the table – it’s a real faux pas.
If you’re not the ‘shooter’ throwing the dice, make sure that you don’t have your hands in the table area. Interfering with the dice could spoil a hot streak and make you the enemy of the table!
If tipping is permitted – and this changes from country to country – then leaving a small tip for dealers is appreciated and encouraged. Don’t show off about it; the action should be a subtle gesture. If you’re playing poker, $5 or $10 when you leave a minimum stakes cash table is polite. In tournaments, 4% of your winnings is seen as a decent amount to tip dealers.
In the end, perhaps one piece of advice covers many of the etiquette faux pas you’ll want to avoid at a casino. Imagine the casino is your house. That all the croupiers, pit dealers and tournament poker directors are your close friends. You’ll take care after your surroundings and the people who keep it running which, after all, they’re doing for you.