If you’ve only ever played casino games online, then the sophisticated world of a real casino could come as something of a culture shock. Even if you rule the roulette table on your laptop on your lunch break, stepping into the real deal is a completely different experience, and you need to not only know the rules of casino games, but also the rules of the casino.
There is a fascinating history to casinos, and casino etiquette has been developed over many years to make sure everyone knows how to behave correctly. Here’s our top ten list of casino do’s and don'ts worth remembering.
Dress for the occasion – it’s all well and good to play poker in your pajamas at home, but most casinos in the UK and Europe will have a dress code, including jacket and tie. Think Ocean’s Eleven and go in style. Things can be a bit more relaxed in America, but it’s still worth checking in advance.
Turn your phone off – apart from distracting other players with your crazy ring tones, getting your phone out at a casino table can also be seen as cheating, and could land you in trouble with security. Turn it to silent, or better still, leave it at home.
Take a seat – only take a seat at a table if you intend to play the game, otherwise you are blocking the way for someone else. Always ask before joining a game, as some players can be superstitious about changes in personnel midway through a winning streak.
Know the rules – make sure you understand the game before you start. You can stand and watch for a while to get the idea, or many casinos will have learner tables. The same goes for bets; casino tables will show the minimum and maximum bets clearly, so check before you join the game. Asking not only makes you look amateur, it is an unnecessary distraction for the dealer or croupier.
Changing chips – you can change your money for chips at the cashier or at the table, but never hand money directly to a dealer. Place it on the table and they will change it for you. Poker chip colours may denote their value or the player who played them. If you play at a roulette table that has colored chips for each player, remember to change back to generic chips before you leave the game.
Don’t ask for advice – don’t ask the dealer, or your fellow players, for advice. No one else wants to take responsibility for your money. Don’t offer advice either. No one likes a smart Alec, so let everyone else play their game their way
Don’t touch your bets – once you have placed your bet, don’t touch your chips, or any cards shown face up, once the game begins. The dealer or croupier’s word is law, so listen carefully to their instructions.
Don’t barge in – it’s fun to see the roulette ball spin or the dice fly, but it isn’t essential. Your chips will be safe, and your bet will be valid, whether you scrum your way to the front or not.
Don’t be a sore loser – losing is never fun, but don’t go blaming the dealer or criticizing your fellow players’ tactics. Move on, or move away to mutter to yourself in private without spoiling everyone else’s night. You should also respect the game and never show your losing hand to the other players in case it gives one an advantage.
Go easy on the freebies – many casinos will offer free drinks and snacks to encourage customers to stay and play. But just because it’s free doesn’t mean you have to go overboard. A drunk player will make everyone else uncomfortable and will quickly be shown the door. Also, don’t forget to tip your waiter/waitress, even if the drink itself is free.