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Casino Etiquette – How to Behave at a Casino

I don't know about you but when I hear the word "etiquette" I often picture Jane Austen times and all the intricate rules of how to behave in society, at home, and even when you're all by yourself. When we're talking casino etiquette, however, it's not that complicated, so don't be scared away by the mere wording. We'll simply list a few important things to remember – what to do and what not to do – starting with general tips, moving on to specific games etiquette and wrapping things up with a paragraph on the live casino.
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General Casino Rules

General Casino RulesHypothetically, you could enter a casino for the first time, all by yourself, and behave in such a way that no one notices you’re a newbie. Yet, it is highly unlikely. Admittedly, brick and mortar casinos are a bit daunting the first couple of visits. Besides, there are some unwritten rules on how to behave and when someone breaks them, they look as if they don’t belong. To make things easier on yourself, have a look at the following points:

  • Be polite. You’re there to have fun and, if you aren’t succeeding, you shouldn’t take it out on the casino staff or the other players.
  • Don’t give money to the dealer. Instead, put it on the table. He’ll take it and hand you the respective number of chips.
  • You’d like a drink? There’s no need to go to the bar. Signal the host or hostess and they’ll bring you drinks, some of which will be on the house. Make sure you tip your waiter or waitress and they’ll keep coming back. But don’t put the drinks on the table.
  • Don’t use your phone at the table. If you need to talk or text, step away from the table.
  • Don’t take too much time making a decision. Respect the other players at the table and of the dealer.
  • Don’t touch your chips once you place them on the table. There’s no changing your mind at the last minute – that’s cheating.
  • Don’t sit at a table if you aren’t going to bet. If you’d like to watch a friend play, stand behind them. Seats are for players only.
  • Tipping is not mandatory, though it would be appreciated. How much you’re going to tip is subjective – you can tip as little or as much as you wish but there are certain norms, so it would be wise to pay attention to what’s going on at your table. For example, at US poker tournaments a standard tip is 3%.

Roulette

The Etiquette of RouletteRoulette is easy to play and it’s probably the next thing after slot machines a newbie should try when it comes to simplicity. Yet, even if you just want to place a single wager on a straight number, you might hit a wall if you aren’t aware of some basic rules. Imagine you choose a busy table with a crowd of experienced players and there you are not sure what you are doing at all. Here are our tips for when you approach the roulette table:

  • Ask for roulette chips on joining the table – these are special chips that are not coloured according to their value. The colour is used simply to differentiate between the chips of different players.
  • Put your chips down in a neat pile when placing a stake. Don’t throw them! If you can’t reach the spot, ask the dealer to place them for you.
  • Cash in your chips before leaving the table. You can’t use roulette chips elsewhere in the casino.

Blackjack

The Etiquette of BlackjackEverybody loves blackjack – it’s the world’s favourite casino game. Besides, thanks to the many movies and movie scenes we’ve seen, many people think they know how to play it, what to do, and what not to do. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case and sometimes movies portray things deliberately (or not) wrong. We aren’t going to go into detail about it but here are just a few pointers when you’re looking for a game of 21:

  • Ask if you may join the table. That’s common courtesy. It might not matter to you but a new player joining the table may prove a turning point in the otherwise rewarding game of the other players at the table.
  • Learn the correct hand gestures to signal the dealer if you want another card or if you’d like to pass. A misunderstanding might lead to a losing hand for you and, if that happens, it would be your own fault.
  • Touch your cards only when appropriate. At many casinos, you aren’t allowed to touch the cards, while in others you may touch certain cards in certain situations. For example, when choosing to double down, you may be allowed to split the cards yourself or you may have to simply place two separate bets and thus let the dealer know your intentions.

Craps

The Etiquette of CrapsCraps is especially popular with parties. One of the reasons for that is the fact that, unlike other games, it encourages socialising and allows for a lot of interaction. If in other games you aren’t allowed to touch anything on the table and are required to keep your opinion to yourself, here players get to be a shooter – and sometimes if you help someone win big while throwing the dice, they might even give you a tip – and, also, they get to encourage one another by cheering and commiserating respectively.

  • Decide how much you want to buy in for beforehand and don’t waste the time of everyone at that table.
  • Make your bet while the dice are in the middle, not when they’re in the hand of the shooter because that’s a late bet.
  • Don’t stick your hands out while the dice are in the air because if the dice hit your hands, that would count as a bad throw.

Poker

The Etiquette of PokerPoker is a straightforward game, which is played best when people show no emotions, hence the poker-inspired idiom poker face. But while bluffing is an important part of this card game, it is namely at the poker table that some people choose to make a scene – discuss their hand, make assumptions as to other players’ hands, give unwanted advice, etc. You’ve got a good hand or you’ve just snatched the pot and you want to gloat? Not very classy. But there’s more. Let’s have a look.

  • Don’t splash the pot, i.e. don’t throw your chips into the pot when you bet, call or raise, because it confuses the other players and the dealer. Rather, put your chips in a neat stack in front of you.
  • Don’t discuss a hand or react to it while the game is still on and don’t reveal your hand even after you’re out. That may even be considered a fraud.
  • Don’t take your time once your hand has been called. That’s called a slow roll and is an example of unsportsmanlike behaviour. Whether you are sure you have the winning hand or not, just table it.

The Live Casino

Now, compared to traditional land-based casinos, the live casino is fairly free of rules. After all, you’re at home, fully anonymous to other players and the dealers, though the casino has a record of who you are and your bank details, so don’t forget that. Besides, at online casinos, you can get amazing bonuses. For your convenience, most of the rules of good behavior we have mentioned are not applicable. For example, you couldn’t touch the cards even if you wanted to. What’s more, you can’t splash the pot at poker or place your chips in the wrong place at roulette. Moreover, you cannot be either too early or too late to place a wager, simply because those would not be accepted by the system. Also, you can react to your hand and be as loud as you like – but that’s only in your own home.

The Etiquette of the Live CasinoHowever, don’t transfer those emotions to the chat window, which is made available by most live platform providers. Though you’re anonymous, remember your good manners and don’t take advantage of the fact that the dealer is there at work and they have to read whatever stupid thing you’d decide to post in the chat. Don’t be rude and, by all means, don’t use swear words – you’d be amazed at the obscenities I’ve seen at the crazy Live Blackjack Party chat. Don’t bother other players and the dealer by non-stop chatting. Don’t write in capital letters only – that’s that’s rude. As with brick and mortar casinos, the dealer has no control over the cards, so don’t you blame them or take it out on them.

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