11 Casino Etiquette Tips for a Fun Experience at Land-Based and Online Casinos
All land-based and online casinos have official rules for behavior, but they also have implicit casino etiquette you should follow to blend in and have a smooth experience.
Most casino etiquette rules involve being kind, courteous, and considerate of other players and casino staff.
Other casino etiquette prepares you to play various games without holding other players up or committing casino faux pas.
Playing at a casino is a great way to unwind and even earn some cash, but we all have to do our part to make the experience as fun and comfortable as possible. While every land-based casino and online casino has its own explicit rules, everyone should also be aware of general casino etiquette — how you should act when playing a table game or a machine game, what to do to blend in, and how to avoid accidentally being accused of cheating.
1. Be Kind
While this is just a good rule for everyday life, it’s especially important for playing at a casino. Any time you interact with a staff member or another player, you should just be nice and courteous. Try not to take the game personally, and keep your cool if a round just doesn’t go your way.
Being kind is also a casino etiquette rule at an online casino. Many have chat rooms where you can get to know other players. You should always be respectful and kind. When people are rude, use profanity, or become aggressive, an online casino may suspend their account or ban it outright.
2. Don’t Use Your Cell Phone
Whether at the slot machine or a table, you should keep your phone, smart or otherwise, in your pocket or purse. In general, other players and dealers find it rude when people get distracted by their phones, like with texting or browsing social media. If you have to take a text or call, excuse yourself from the table between rounds or hands.
More importantly, you shouldn’t use your smartphone when you’re playing any game at a casino. Casinos are always on the lookout for potential cheaters. There are many ways people have used their phones to cheat at a casino — apps that calculate when to spin a slot or determine what numbers to bet on at roulette, trying to take photos of a dealer’s or other players’ hole cards, videoing how the casino or table operates, and texting with accomplices.
Even if you’re using your phone for non-cheating purposes, it’s proper casino etiquette to keep it tucked away.
Of course, this casino etiquette rule only applies to land-based casinos. When you play at an online casino, you may use your cell phone to write notes about your opponents. Heck, you may even be playing at the casino on your phone.
3. Avoid Getting Intoxicated
It’s fine to have a few drinks while you play slots or sip on a martini at the poker table like 007. But you should watch how much you drink when gambling. Casinos may cut guests off if they’re showing signs of inebriation to avoid players getting into fights, getting angry at dealers and croupiers, or otherwise putting themselves and others in danger.
The second reason to go easy on the alcohol is that you should maintain a fun atmosphere for other players, especially if this is your go-to casino. It’s best to be courteous and level-headed so other regular players may want to play against you in the future.
Lastly, other players may take advantage of your inebriated state and exploit your lowered inhibitions and decision-making abilities. They may adapt their play to outwit you, or worse, challenge you into a corner where you wager your whole bankroll.
Consider avoiding too much alcohol while playing at an online casino, too. You need to stay sharp while playing poker or blackjack, especially if you play multiple games simultaneously.
4. Don’t Put Your Personal Belongings on the Table
Keep your phone, wallet, purse, and other personal belongings off the table or the machine. Most casinos have hooks at the table where you can safely hang a bag in front of you. If you’re playing a machine game, put your personal belongings in your pocket or on your lap. When it comes to drinks at a table or machine, place your drinks in the cupholders or on the rail of the table, not on the felt.
In general, this is to make sure the table is free and clear during play so dealers, other players, and the casino staff can see what you’ve got going on.
5. Always Check the Minimum Bet Amount Before You Start To Play
Be aware how much you’re expected to wager before you take a seat at a table. If you plan to play many hands, you don’t want to sit at a table where you’ll blow your whole bankroll in two or three hands (if you’re lucky). There’s usually a placard or sign near the dealer that tells you the minimum wager amount.
This is also true for video poker and slots. You don’t want to start playing only to realize the minimum bet is way too high for your bankroll and you’ve potentially wasted lucky spins. Many casinos organize their machines by minimum wager, so stick to one section of the casino if you’re gambling on a budget.
At an online casino, minimum bet amounts are usually advertised in the room’s or game’s details before you launch.
6. Brush Up on the Game’s Rules Before You Start To Play
Of course, slots are easy to figure out — all you really do is set your wager, hit a button, and wait for that cash to roll in.
But for table games and video poker, you should have a decent understanding of how the game is played and what the rules are. For tables, you should also know what the hand or verbal signals are to communicate with the dealer.
This makes the whole game that much smoother and more fun for everybody. It also ensures that you’re not betting money on decisions that aren’t strategically sound. Doing so can tell your opponents that you’re not experienced, and they could exploit this. Plus, when you know the rules of table games like poker or baccarat, you’re better able to make wagers with a better chance of winning.
7. Don’t Give Money To Other Players
Casinos don’t allow panhandling or condone patrons borrowing money from other players. It’s not a good look for the casino, and they want to avoid tussles over money. However, it’s your choice if you do want to help out a fellow player. But be warned — the casino may ask you and the other person to leave if you’re caught.
On the flipside, don’t ask other players for money, unless you’re gambling with them. Other players may find it rude or uncomfortable, and again, the casino may ask you to leave.
8. Don’t Ask for Advice or Give Advice to Others
Casino games aren’t team games, so you can’t expect to get advice on what to do from a dealer or another player. You also shouldn’t comment on someone’s strategy during a hand either — no one wants unsolicited advice but especially not while they’re playing.
You may want to wait until the game is over and you’ve both left the table to start talking strategy. But don’t offer advice if they don’t ask for it, and don’t take it personally if another player doesn’t want to share their secrets.
9. Follow the Dress Code
Most casinos in the U.S. don’t have an explicit dress code, and they allow you to wear casual, everyday clothes. But many casinos may have an unofficial dress code, meaning they don’t want players dressing too casually or immodestly, or wearing clothes with offensive imagery or slogans.
Some special player rooms, like high-roller or VIP rooms, may require business casual or formal dress. Casinos on cruise ships, on the other hand, may require a formal dress code on some nights, if not each night.
Always look up a casino’s dress code to make sure you’ll fit in. Call the casino ahead of your visit or research what past guests have said about the attire. In many cases, a casino with a dress code may reject guests or ask them to change their attire, like turning a T-shirt with a busy or offensive design inside out.
10. Tip the Staff
Dealers, cocktail servers, and valets are customer service professionals. Like restaurant servers and bartenders, front-of-house casino staff basically make their living from tips. And they deserve tips, too. So be sure to thank them for their hard work with a good tip.
As a general rule, you should tip your dealer $5 per hour that you play with them. For valets and servers, you might do a flat 15% to 25%, or more if you’re feeling really generous or you won a jackpot.
11. Clean Up After Yourself
If you leave a table or machine before the server comes back to collect your empty drink, take it with you to take back to the bar or to give to another server. Don’t leave drinks, food, or trash at a machine or table as a courtesy to the staff and other players. One of the best reasons to play at an online casino is that you don’t have to worry about many of the casino etiquette rules on this list. Check out our reviews of online casinos in New Jersey to find out which have the best welcome bonuses, the most helpful customer service, and the widest game selection.
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