Global casinos generate nearly $160 billion in revenue every year, and about 46% of adults gamble in casinos. Trying your luck in a casino can be fun, but there is certain etiquette to follow, whether you’re new to the casino scene or a seasoned gambler. Here are some tips to help you.
Practice Everyday Rules of Etiquette
Get back to basics and practice good manners at the gambling table. Remember to respect others, whether guests or casino employees, and stay composed whether you hit a payday or are starting to lose. But composure doesn’t mean sacrificing fun. Casinos are generally casual and welcome just about anyone of legal age.
Before heading off to the casino, check the dress code. Some will be indifferent about what patrons wear, while others impose restrictions, like the Horseshoe Cleveland Casino, which recently banned saggy pants.
Next, get familiar with standing rules of the establishment. Casinos often have rules against running, and restrict smoking to designated areas.
Other rules aren’t necessarily formal, but still impose a certain code of conduct. Refrain from yelling, profanity, and acting aggressively after a few drinks or a round at the gambling table.
Beginners are eager to start gambling and squeeze in at a table, which can cause an issue during peak hours. Managers and employees always know what’s going on in their casinos, and will definitely notice patrons arguing over their turn at the next slot machine instead of extending patience.
You should also be respectful when sitting at a table while the game is in progress. Wait until the game ends before trying to buy in.
Learn the Game First
Many new players don’t take the time to understand the rules of the game before sitting down at a table. Instead, they expect the dealer and other players to be charitable and answer their long list of questions. While some seasoned players may be happy to share advice, most are there to play a serious hand. They would rather focus on their game than take the time to give new players a crash course.
Many players are also confused by the hand signals of gambling. These cues are required for some games such as blackjack. Find out what they mean in advance. Don’t try to make verbal requests instead of playing by the unwritten rules of the game.
Show your courtesy to the dealer and other players by knowing the rules and making prompt, committed decisions. Walter Thomason, author of Blackjack for the Clueless, encourages new players to take a little longer with their hand signals if they are overwhelmed by the pace of the game. But there’s a difference between being deliberate and procrastinating.
Tip the Dealer Fairly
Should you always tip the dealer? What is a fair amount to leave on the table? This isn’t a question that can be answered simply or with a dollar amount attached.
Whether you tip or not – and how much – may depend on the country you’re playing in. In the United States, it’s considered rude not to leave a tip. In most other countries, tipping is discouraged or even considered offensive. Make sure you understand the cultural views on tipping in general before visiting a casino, and ask someone who has visited before.
If you’re visiting a casino where tipping is expected, use your own judgment about what’s appropriate. It’s perfectly acceptable to leave a few dollars after each hand, but feel free to give a larger tip if the dealer is particularly friendly and helpful.
The Wizard of Odds employs a simple rule of thumb for tipping. He recommends basing two-thirds of your tip on how friendly and helpful the dealer is, and the other third on how much you are winning or losing. Even if you’re losing, offer a tip if the dealer has been working to make the experience fun.
Mark Pilarski, a gaming journalist and seasoned player, offers a different approach. He recommends tipping once every dozen hands. He also feels a 10% tip on winnings is appropriate.
Don’t Expect Sympathy
You’ve probably heard the saying “The house always wins.” As a new casino patron learning the game, you’re likely to lose money at the start. It takes time to understand the rules, come up with a strategy, and start seeing the rewards.
Ryan Craggs, a contributor at Thrillist.com, wrote that he once saw a guy with a limited income lose $10,000 over the span of just a few hours. The guy told everyone at the table, “My pacemaker can’t take this.” Whether true or not, these types of negative statements are a real turnoff to others.
Spending your income to your detriment, or asking for sympathy from others, is the last thing the dealer and other players want to see. Before going to any table or slot machine, decide how much you can afford to lose, and be gracious whether you win or lose.
Be Courteous While Smoking
Some casinos allow customers to smoke inside. Others ban it, either out of respect for their customers or because regulations prohibit it. But even if you’re in a casino that allows smoking, stay respectful of other players that don’t want to be around it.
Drinking responsibly is good life advice in general. However, it’s particularly important when you’re at a casino.
You end up orchestrating a number of problems when you’re not careful while drinking. It’s easy to send your drink sailing across the table out of carelessness and lowered inhibitions. This may seem like no big deal, but it’s a serious inconvenience for the casino and other players. Your spilled drink ends up shutting the entire table down while someone cleans it up.
Drinking excessively can also cause you to act belligerent, impulsive, and indecisive. If you have difficulty functioning when drinking, then it’s probably best to avoid alcohol altogether at the casino and celebrate your winnings when you get home, instead.
Learn Your Manners and Have Fun
Casinos are amazing places to enjoy yourself and potentially win big. Just remember that everyone else is there to have a good time, too, and they want to be in good company.
Do you have any other rules of etiquette casino patrons should follow? Please share your comments below: