Live Pokies Etiquette - What Not To Do On A Casino Floor
The arrival of online pokies in New Zealand has expanded the appeal of real-life pokie gaming, making it more social, intricate and exciting. And some visitors to land-based casinos may not be aware of good pokies etiquette.
The offline casino environment has certain rules and traditions that keep things ordered and friendly. By obeying sensible casino etiquette, every pokie player can have a more enjoyable experience during the night.
Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned pro, follow the etiquette of pokie play. So, leave the selfie stick at home before heading to the casino floor, dress properly and don’t order too many cocktails. Other than that, enjoy yourself and hit the jackpot!
Avoid Distractions and Concentrate on the Pokie Play
Casinos can be loud and distracting places. And when you want to focus on your pokie play, it’s easy to lose concentration.
New pokies players in a land-based casino might be forgiven for thinking that they're easy to play. However, most video pokies require careful thought, and pokies tournaments are among the most fiercely contested casino competitions.
Therefore, interrupting play is generally frowned upon. It’s good etiquette for pokie players to avoid asking questions or giving unwanted advice when playing pokies.
And if you arrive in a large social group, keep your celebrations quiet. When playing pokies online at home you can make all the noise you like, but remember when playing real-life slots that there are other gamblers at machines other than your friends, so be respectful.
Gaming pauses may present the opportunity for strategic chat and pleasantries but, like all casino games, you should choose your moment carefully.
And leave the cellphone in your pocket. Not all of your fellow players want you to film their big wins and put them up on social media.
Be Courteous When Reserving Pokies
Many casinos let you reserve pokies if you want to take a quick bathroom break. Simply ask for a Reserve sign from the manager or attendant and rest it on the machine while you leave the floor.
It’s always good pokie etiquette to use the Reserve signs responsibly. Understandably, if you’ve sunk a lot of coins into one machine, you have the right to take a short break and return to the same game. That’s particularly true if the video pokie is rewarding you with a lot of bonuses or jackpots.
One of the main things to look out for when choosing a pokie to play is any sign that a machine has been reserved by another player. Look for a dedicated “Reserve” sign, or a player’s card still in the machine. Some players leave coats or stools resting on the slot to indicate they’re still playing.
Alternatively, you can ask a player in the seat next to you to mind the machine while you leave. They may not always help out, but it’s worth asking.
Always be courteous to fellow players when you take a break. Only reserve your seat for 10 minutes at a time. And if someone takes your seat while you’re gone, use good manners and avoid arguments on the casino floor.
Don’t Lurk Around Your Favourite Pokies
Hovering around other players in the slot machine area is one of the worst pieces of casino etiquette.
Lurking is frowned upon, whether you're waiting for a favoured machine, or hoping to spend the winnings of the previous player.
It is generally considered rude to wait right next to a player, or in their peripheral vision. If you do want to wait until a machine is free, respect the player's personal space and play on a different game until they finish.
Alternatively, at a convenient break in play, ask if they'd kindly let you know when they're finished.
Some lurkers like to wait around machines that haven’t paid out in a while. The gambler’s fallacy is that a machine is “due” to pay a large jackpot if it has gone unclaimed for a long time.
Unfortunately, in modern pokies every spin is totally independent from the last, whether you're playing in a real-life casino or visiting new pokie sites online. Theoretically, a pokie jackpot could fall five spins in a row.
Remember That if You Sit, You Play
It’s frustrating to wait for pokies to become free. However, it's even worse to wait for somebody to vacate the seat at a machine they're not even playing.
The stools are placed beside pokies for player use only. If you're in a casino and looking for somewhere to rest, you'll have to find somewhere else.
The “Reserve” sign is the bane of many casual pokies players. Don’t be afraid to take issue with a gambler who is trying to play more than pokie at once, or who’s waiting for a jackpot to drop.
Playing Multiple Pokies
A hotly debated area of live pokies etiquette is the right to play multiple machines at once.
The rule of thumb is that if a casino is quiet, it's OK to play several neighboring machines at the same time. However, if a player is waiting, or the floor becomes more crowded, it's good manners to restrict yourself to a single machine.
Some casinos are now introducing multiplayer slots terminals which allow more than one player to try a slot at once. When one player wins, everyone wins. This makes the whole slot machine experience more inclusive overall.
Don’t Hog Pokies
The final sin of live casino pokies etiquette is hogging a machine. Since there are so many no-nos about interrupting a game, there's a good chance that you haven't noticed somebody else aching for a chance at that jackpot. Don't deny fellow gamblers the opportunity for too long.
And if you visit a casino in a large group, you may find yourself fighting for chairs. It’s poor casino etiquette at pokies to sit at one machine while a friend plays on another. By all means, rail your friends and cheer them on, but make space for another player who wants to play.
And discourage anyone who attempts to reserve a machine for lengthy bar or meal breaks. It's just plain selfish. For long stints getting to know games, try playing at home on with some Free Spins.
Watch Your Drinking Around Pokies
Alcohol and casinos go together like James Bond and baccarat. And a few drinks can help you to relax and get in the casino mood.
Most large casinos will usually offer free drinks to pokies players. But don’t take advantage of the comps and get drunk. By getting drunk you may lose control of your gambling session or take out your losses on other players.
Appropriate pokies etiquette is about staying in control. Know when to walk away and leave that free cocktail alone.
Remember not to abuse the free drinks policy as well. Waitresses can easily spot gamblers who are sitting at machines without playing just to get a comped drink or two.
Tipping and Respecting Casino Staff
Many casino staff rely on tips from gamblers to supplement their income. Therefore, it’s great casino pokies etiquette to tip the waitresses when they bring you free drinks. Even though pokies players earn comped drinks a lot of the time, it’s always good to drop a chip onto the waitress’s tray.
And if you win a large pokies jackpot, remember to leave a tip at the casino cage. All tips will be fairly distributed among floor staff, so make sure you put your hand in your pocket.
Good pokies etiquette is also about treating the staff with respect. Whether you’re talking to a casino manager, pokie attendant waitress or cloakroom attendant, always be courteous. Never take your losing streaks out on a member of staff or other players.
Be Tidy and Mind the Casino Dress Code
It’s important to practice good casino pokies etiquette by dressing appropriately. Casinos are public places, after all, and no-one wants to sit next to a player who’s topless.
Even in Las Vegas, where the temperature may be 100 outside, dress properly before you enter the casino. You don’t need to wear a jacket or dress, but you should wear appropriate clothes when playing machines. Don’t forget the shoes, either: most casinos will kick you out if you don’t have footwear.
Many casinos won’t advertise a dress code, so assume it’s OK to turn up in casual clothes. But high roller rooms and some more upmarket casinos will require a shirt and pants.
Also remember to be tidy when you play in the casino. It’s good pokies etiquette to take your beverages away with you when you’re finished playing. Similarly, if the casino allows food, don’t leave empty takeout boxes strewn around the slot. Leave the machine how you would like to find it.
Be Mindful of Rubbernecking
Rubbernecking is a term used to describe a casino cheat who’s manipulated pokies. The perpetrator will sit at a machine, frantically looking from side to side trying to look for security staff. Hence, the phrase “rubber neck.”
Rubberneckers will be paying little attention to the video pokie, which is highly unusual for a regular gambler. Honest players employ a fair slots strategy and are always totally fixed on the game and won’t be distracted by anything else.
Security staff will always be on the lookout for suspicious behavior at the pokies. Even completely honest players who are looking shifty may attract the attention of casino staff.
So, how can casino cheats manipulate the machines? Over the years, cheats have used everything from shaved coins and rigged source codes to fake coins and magnets. You can read up on more modern cases of pokie machine cheating here.
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