An Overview of Casino Etiquette
Many casinos value tradition and come with their own set of rules and guidelines. Part of the fun with casino life is learning the ropes and finding out what makes them tick. In this guide, we’ll walk you through the kind of behaviour that is expected of you on the wonderful casino floor!
1. Don't Drink Too Much
Casinos are more about playing than partying. It’s difficult to strategize and win if you’re loaded on booze, and it, kind of defeats the purpose. You can go to a pub anytime and a casino is not a pub. A few drinks is fine and a classy cocktail or two can enhance your experience, but heavy drinking is counter-productive. Most reputable establishments prefer customers to stay sober enough to handle the rollercoaster ride of wins and losses. Serious gamblers also go to casinos and they wouldn’t even think of drinking.
2. Know the Rules
Every player remembers their first time in a casino and should be correspondingly sympathetic towards novices – but a little knowledge goes a long way. While slots are fairly self-explanatory, it's best to avoid the Craps table unless you're confident that you understand the rules of the game. If you want to hone your skills before joining a real game, many casinos offer free lessons in the day time. Alternatively, you'll find plenty of online resources offering step-by-step coaching through the more complex games. By the time you sit at the table, you should be prepared to play. It is polite etiquette to at least have a firm grasp on the basics. Also, be observant-look at the table stakes before sitting down. You don’t want to bet £5 but sit at a table that has a minimum £50 bet.
3. Don't Ask the Dealer for Advice
Yes, they work there and yes, they are professionals, but no dealer in the world wants to take responsibility for a player's luck. Consider your request from their perspective: it may sound harmless enough to ask what their recommendation would be with your hand, but if you follow their tip and lose, the dealer has no way to predict whether you'll take it calmly or become belligerent. They will be helpful and polite but don’t put them in an awkward position.
Use your discretion to establish the exact amount, but always tip your dealers, waiting staff and parking attendant. Most of the casino staff will rely on tips to bolster their earnings. Be courteous and professional with all the staff and do be generous if you're winning. Even if you're losing, it's not your dealer's fault. If they've made an effort to bolster your mood and improve your experience, the best way to thank them is with a reasonable tip. It is common practice, don’t overthink it, just do it.
5. Put the Tech Away
In a world in which smartphones rarely leave their owners' hands, casinos play by more old-fashioned rules. It's considered extremely disrespectful to be glued to your phones when at the table. It’s just bad form and if you are more interested in your phone then why are you in a casino anyway? For concentration, good manners and a better chance of winning, put the phone on silent and leave it in your pocket.
6. Learn the Hand Signals
To avoid feeling bamboozled, learn the basic hand signals a dealer will make at a table. In Blackjack, these signals are relatively simple but vary depending on whether the cards have been dealt face up or face down. When the cards are face-up, you tap the table for 'hit' and wave your hand over the table for 'stick'. For 'double', place your matching bet next to your original bet and hold up one finger; for 'split' use the same action with two fingers. If the cards are face down, use your cards to scrape the table for 'hit' and slide your cards underneath your bet (with one hand) for 'stick'. Laying your cards face up on the table and placing an additional bet next to your original one indicates 'double'; placing the bet next to one of the cards instead indicates 'split'.
7. Don’t Touch Another Player’s Chips
A good rule of thumb is to keep your hands to yourself! Touching chips is generally a no-no. You can pick up your chips when the dealer signals it is ok to do so. Your chips are often in a specific colour in Roulette, so you should remember this, but you should never touch another player’s chips. Place your chips down in a neat pile when placing a bet. Never throw them if you can’t reach a spot, just ask the dealer to place them for you. And don’t touch your chips once you place them on the table, at this point your decision is made and there is no turning back.
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