Visiting a casino for the first time can be a daunting experience. It’s a place full of life but with an undercurrent of serious gameplay, thus requiring an approach that is slightly at odds with the nightlife and glamour that usually surrounds it.
But much of the intimidation for any beginner comes from the unknown and the belief that the games are more complicated than they actually are. However, everyone has to start somewhere, so read on for some helpful advice into the do's and dont's of a real life casino.
First of all, don’t be afraid to ask if you don’t understand certain aspects of a game. The casino staff and dealers are there to help and will have explained the rules to dozens of players on countless occasions. It’s silly to cost yourself money simply because you’re too embarrassed to ask a few short questions.
While it is certainly no problem to ask, it's is always handy to do a little research before you arrive at the casino in order to acquaint yourself with the basic rules of common games. The web is full of simple guides to casino table games, and you can easily learn the basics of Blackjack and Roulette in a short space of time. If you're really committed, you could even start to investigate beginner strategies, helping you to maximise your potential returns.
One of the main things to remember when you visit a casino is to always take some form of identification. The majority of land casinos in the UK require you to sign up as a member before you can enter, and you'll need a driver's licence or passport to complete the process.
Next up, be sure to carry some spare change around with you to avoid any potential embarrassment at the table. One of the perks of gambling at a real casino is the free drinks offered by roaming waitresses, and while there is no obligation to pay for your drink, tipping is customary to the point of it being mandatory. A pound or two per drink is more than enough.
Speaking of drinks, be careful not to let the lure of free alcohol go to your head. There's nothing wrong with enjoying the odd beer, but drinking too much is a quick and easy way to see yourself ejected from the casino without your winnings.
Whenever money is involved, it’s always necessary to watch your back. An old casino trick is to keep your high value chips at the bottom of your stack, as that way a successful thief will only get away with a few low value chips from the top of your pile, leaving the real money safe and secure.
You should also be sure that you are aware of the casino’s policy on picture taking and mobile phones. Both can be deemed cheating in certain areas, especially at a table, with excessive use of either a certain eyebrow-raiser.
At peak times in a casino it can get very crowded, so don’t hog a seat at a table if you’re just watching. Equally, don’t worry about saving a seat if you need a bathroom break. This is perfectly fine, just tell the dealer you’ll be back soon and tip the back of your chair on the table, signalling the seat is taken.
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