If you have never been to a casino, you may be concerned about expectations of behavior. No one wants to embarrass themselves by violating a “rule” that others know and they don’t. The basics are similar to etiquette anywhere you go.
Be respectful of others, pay attention, and keep yourself under control.Beyond that, here are a few tips to ensure you understand casino etiquette so you will fit in seamlessly with the casino regulars.
Casino Etiquette Rule #1—Know the Game
Probably the first and most important rule of casino etiquette is to know the game before you sit down to play. It isn’t the responsibility of the dealer or other players to teach you how to play.
Study the rules before you go, and watch people play before you sit down.
Some casinos offer free daily classes on their most popular games, like craps and blackjack. If you’re new to this world, these classes are a great place to start.
Casino Etiquette Rule #2—Know the Betting Limits
Every table has a minimum and maximum bet allowed. This will be posted on a placard at each table. You should read this and determine if it fits your betting strategy before you sit down to play.
Casino Etiquette Rule #3—Join and Leave Games Appropriately
You should only join a game when there is room at the table. If there isn’t, wait your turn patiently without hovering over or bothering the other players.
When you do buy in, wait until the hand, dice throw, or wheel spin is finished. Similarly, you don’t leave a game until the play is finished.
Above all, don’t leave your chips at a table to “hold your spot.” If you have to use the restroom, cash out first.
Casino Etiquette Rule #4—Handle Your Money, Chips, and Cards Appropriately
Once you take a seat at the table, you buy into the game by purchasing chips. The proper way to purchase chips is to place your money on the table in front of you rather than hand it to the dealer. The croupier will take the money, count it, and provide you with chips.
Make sure you count your buy-in money before you sit down. Counting your money after you’ve sat down and joined the game slows the game for everyone and marks you as a rookie.
You are allowed to count your chips when the croupier gives them to you, but don’t sit at the table and play around with your chips. When you put a bet on the table, keep your hands off those chips when play begins. Above all, never touch another person’s chips.
If you’re in a card game, you should know the rules for handling cards. If cards are dealt face-up, you don’t touch them. If cards are dealt face-down, you should handle them with one hand rather than two.
Casino Etiquette Rule #5—Follow the Instructions of the Dealer
The dealer is responsible for the game play. As such, they will give a few instructions to the players, such as opening and closing betting rounds. Pay attention and follow the dealer’s instructions.
Casino Etiquette Rule #6—Do Not Interfere with Other Players
Gambling can be very social, particularly at the craps table. You can have pleasant conversations and a genuinely good time with other players. But some folks are more serious about playing the game and don’t want to be distracted.
It’s common sense, but don’t bother the other players. They don’t need your advice or criticism about how they’re playing and may not welcome unnecessary chit chat. They don’t need to know about your life or your job. If they want to talk, fine. If not, leave them alone.
Casino Etiquette Rule #7—Tip Casino Workers
Though not required, it is expected that you will tip hostesses, dealers, and valets, just as you would tip a waiter or valet in a restaurant.
There is no correct amount, but $1 is often considered an acceptable tip for a dealer. If you’ve won big at the table, $5 or more is appropriate.
Tip the hostess $1 for every drink. Valets should receive about $2.
Casino Etiquette Rule #8—No Electronics
If you’re like most of us, you can’t live for 10 minutes without your phone, social media, or selfie camera. In a casino, you’ll have to.
Smartphones and other devices not only bother other players, they interfere with the dealer and the game play. A fast-food cashier will live with you blabbing on a phone while ordering hamburgers, but a casino dealer will not tolerate it – and should not have to.
Most importantly, casinos will come after you if they see you snapping too many pictures. They’ll take your phone or simply boot you from the premises.
So leave your cell phone and camera in your room. Have fun instead.
Casino Etiquette Rule #9—No Outbursts
This rule of etiquette and propriety is not specific to casinos. It applies to your job, your home, the bank, the grocery store, pretty much everywhere but in your car.
Casinos, however, are unique in this regard. Luck being what it is, you can expect to lose money at the table. But getting angry yourself, the dealer, or fellow players won’t change the mathematics of probability. Unruly behavior is a sure way to get you kicked out.
To keep your cool, always remember this:
Expect to lose, but enjoy the win. You’re there to have fun, not work for a paycheck.