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The ten commandments of casino etiquette

The ten commandments of casino etiquette


Stepping foot in a casino for the first time can be an intimidating affair. Not only are casinos overwhelming in an audio-visual sense – with the bright lights and loud noises designed to induce sensory overload – but they can also be overwhelming in terms of the insider information they seem to thrive on. In the world of casinos, etiquette is everything, and a failure to follow these unstated but highly influential social conventions can immediately mark you as an outsider, and for some, an easy target.

With this in mind, the following article will set out the ten commandments of casino etiquette.While some of these are general in nature, the majority are specific to playing in a physical casino. If you are new to the casino space, then you would be well advised to wise up and study them before stepping foot in a casino.

Number 1 – Always pay attention to the dealer

One of the quickest ways to not only make an enemy of the dealer but also potentially put your success in a given game at riskis to fail to pay attention to the dealer. In any game, no matter what the format, the dealer is always the most important person. They dictate when the bets are off, when the game starts, and oversee the smooth running of the game itself. For this reason, it is supremely important to listen carefully to them and follow their lead when it comes to the gameplay.

Number 2 –Handle your chips properly

There’s nothing quite as embarrassing as fumbling with a handful of chips when it comes your turn to place a bet on the table. This will not only hold up the game but will also potentially mark you out as an easy target for more advanced players at the table. To avoid looking like a novice, it is good practice to keep careful watch of your chips on the table. Don’t let them build up in a disorganised pile – take time to put them in order. Doing so will not only make you look like you know what you are doing but will also make the time between rounds go a lot smoother.

Number 3 –Practice good gambling etiquette

Although gambling is often thought of as a solitary sport, there is a surprising amount of camaraderie present at the table. With this in mind, it is good practice to be courteous to the other players at the table and to do everything in your power not to turn them into enemies. This applies to both how you talk and interact with them generally, and to how you bet with or against them in a game. Don’t be too aggressive if you don’t need to be, and never attempt to mess with someone’s game purely for the fun of it. Your fellow players can be a great source of insider information and useful tips, so it is good practice to develop courteous and friendly relationships with your tablemates.

Number 4 – Watch the free drinks

Alcoholic drinks and the casino have always gone hand in hand. However, this is not simply a way for casinos to make money. The reality is that casinos use the availability of alcohol and, in particular, complimentary drinks to keep you playing with the hope that this gives them more time to take your money. These free drinks can, however, be a blessing and a curse, and if you are not careful, can significantly impair your game. If you want to perform at your best, then try to avoid the free drinks, no matter how tempting they are!

Number 5 – Know how to handle defeat

In games of chance such as those found in a casino, it is inevitable that at some point during a game, a hand will not go entirely in your favour. While it is next to impossible not to have some kind of emotional reaction to this, with even the most seasoned veterans feeling frustrated when they lose a hand, it is by no means an excuse to let your emotions get the better of you. No one wants to be that obnoxious player at the table who has lost out, claiming that the game is rigged against them. To avoid this fate, learn how to take a loss in your stride rather than letting it ruin your whole evening.

Number 6 – Know your hand signals

When it comes to a complex game such as blackjack, you can’t get by on knowing the rules or verbal commands alone– you will need to know the hand signals that dealers commonly use in a game. Dealers use these signals as a way of keeping the pace of play progressing quickly, which stops the game stalling between rounds. Although they are relatively simple, not knowing them can potentially leave you looking like a novice at the table, which makes you an easy target for advanced players. These signals might be, for example, tapping the table for a “hit” or waving your hand to indicate that you want to “stick”.

Number 7 – Don’t ask the dealer for advice

Although there is a chance that you will be spending a considerable amount of time in close proximity to them, it is advisable to keep your interactions with the dealer to a minimum. This doesn’t mean that you have to be completely cold towards them – in fact, it is advisable to do precisely the opposite. It does, however, mean that you need to be mindful of your interactions with the dealer, keeping them strictly professional. Although they are professionals and, in most cases, incredibly knowledgeable about the game they are overseeing, you need to remember that they are under strict guidance not to provide customers with betting advice. If you need to clarify some aspect of the rules with them, then this is completely fine. However, this is about as far as your interactions should go.

Number 8 – Tip the dealer

Unless you are in a country where tipping dealers is specifically prohibited, it is expected that you will provide your dealer with a small gratuity when you leave a table or between rounds if you are playing for a particularly long time. It doesn’t need to be a significant amount – $1 per small win and perhaps $5 when you leave the table – but it will go someway towards ensuring that you always get a seat at the table in future.

Number 9 – Watch your bankroll

One of the most important factors when it comes to staying active in a casino game is the status of your bankroll. Although novice players are quick to do a deep dive on advanced techniques and strategies, being able to manage your bankroll will ultimately have a much bigger impact on your longevity at the card table. By keeping an eye on your bankroll, you will be able to effectively formulate a betting strategy and can keep yourself grounded rather than trying to deploy an elaborate but ultimately risky strategy.

Number 10 – Don’t stall between rounds

Out of respect for the dealer and the other players at the table, it is important to do everything you can to ensure a smooth pace of gameplay. Taking too much time between rounds to choose and place your bet, or even making too much small talk, will prevent this – much to the frustration of your fellow players! To ensure that you stay in their goodbooks, be mindful to be efficient in between games and rounds, not letting yourself get distracted in the meantime.

The benefits of going online

As you can see from the above list, there is a significant amount of basic etiquette that you need to consider when you step foot in a casino. Although you might not realise it, failing to abide by these golden rules can quickly work against you. Sneaky players might use this as a cue to lure you over to their table, where you can quickly become an easy target to secure a few quick wins.

While some of the commandments set out are general in nature, most of them are specific to land-based casinos. In fact, one of the best things about online casino gaming is the markedly more approachable experience that it provides users. By going online, you can do away with all the unnecessary etiquette that distracts you from actually playing your game of choice. Instead, you can focus on having fun and, most importantly, winning some cash! If you are growing weary of the never-ending stresses and obligations of physical casinos, then why not sign up for a Bitcasino account today and take your game into the digital age! 

Words: Sean McNulty
Images: Shutterstock


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