Before you set foot in a casino, make sure you read up on the terms and strategies of casino games at Casinopedia.org to give yourself the best chance of winning. The joys of the casino should be about having fun, top entertainment, the buzz of the room and of course, the chance of skipping to the cashier’s cage to turn that mountain of chips to cold, hard currency.
But as the philosopher Sartre once said, ‘Hell is other people’ and there’s nothing that can turn the casino experience sour more quickly that putting up with some loutish or generally anti-social behaviour from fellow players.
Fortunately, casinos have cameras rigged up everywhere and can spot bad behaviour within seconds.
Here’s a few things players can do to stop themselves falling foul of the rules and etiquette of the house.
1. Sorry Instagram fans, take your selfies elsewhere.
One surefire way to elicit groans, and even the attentions of casino management or security, is by whipping out the phone at the gaming tables to celebrate a big win.
The player may be happy, but others might be in the midst of a cold streak, and less than pleased to have someone gloating about their fortune for all the world to see on social media.
In fact, any sort of filming or picture-taking in the casino is often heavily frowned upon, and frequent use of that smartphone could lead to a tap on the shoulder from the staff, particularly if it is bothering the other players.
2. Ignore the dealer at your peril.
When the dealer says ‘No more bets’ and the roulette wheel is spinning, that really means, ‘No more bets’.
And what it certainly doesn’t mean is an invitation to throw some chips down in a cheeky, last-minute wager.
That’s a surefire way to get into conflict with not just the dealer, but the house as well. And in that scenario, there’s only one winner.
3. What do you mean you don’t tip?
A big win at the blackjack, craps, or roulette table and there’s fist-pumps and high fives all round.
That celebratory mood should of course, include the dealer in the form of a tip – and sometimes a very generous one indeed.
As to exactly how much is up to the player. An absolute minimum should probably be 5%, but aiming for 10% is probably more in line with Vegas tradition.
It may also bring a bit of extra Karma for that next hand or wager.
4. Dress codes
Most casinos these days are pretty relaxed when it comes to what you wear. Whilst it’s probably not advisable to stroll in, in your tracksuit or moth-eaten t-shirt, as long as you are generally presentable you shouldn’t have much of a bother.
But some casinos do like to keep things that little bit sharper and neater, so a little pre-check on the website, or via a phone call, wouldn’t go amiss.
Clearly, it can work the other way, where turning up looking like James Bond, or indeed like a Bond girl in a cocktail dress, can seem a little over-the-top if people are just chilling out in casual clothes.
5. Put the phone on silent
Smartphones – so often the bane of any social gathering – rear their head once more in this little bit of advice.
It is unbelievable the amount of people who think it’s ok to take a call at the blackjack table while the dealer is desperately trying to get their attention in order for them to decide whether to ‘hit’ or ‘stand’.
Needless to say this sort of behaviour will not ingratiate the player with their fellow gambler, nor the house staff, who may well have to have a quiet word.
If you need to take a call, that’s what the foyer, or better still, outside, is for.
6. Hedge your bets when it comes to alcohol
Casinos give players free drinks – that’s one of the great joys of playing.
How many they take advantage of is more or less up to them, and of course, how much they’re spending at the tables, but it pays to know your limits.
Firstly, bankrolls can end up being burned through pretty quick when players are on the wrong side of inebriation.
But in terms of etiquette, a happily merry customer can soon turn in to an overly aggressive, insulting or anti-social player.
A bit of banter with fellow players is part of the fun, but letting that cross over into arguments, jibes and other unpleasantness can see the offending customer shown to the exit door pretty quickly.
So there you have it – six ways to stay on the right side of casino etiquette – and much of it amounting to basic common decency.