If you’ve never been to a casino before, that first time walking through the door can be a little daunting. If you’re a casino newbie, our guide to casino etiquette is here to help you out!
Different casinos have different dress codes, and some are more strict than others. Las Vegas casinos for example are famously relaxed – shorts, athletic wear and Hawaiian shirts are usually acceptable – to accommodate tourists and the hot climate. But other casinos can be much more strict, requiring smart clothing and banning athletic apparel and trainers/sneakers.
You can usually find out what kind of clothing is or isn’t acceptable on the casino’s website. At best you might feel a little bit out of place if you’re under or over-dressed, and at worst you might be denied entry, so it’s always best to check beforehand.
Turn your phone off
Using your mobile phone while at a game table is distracting for other players and can be seen as rude or inconsiderate. Most casinos don’t take kindly to you taking photos or selfies, and if they have the slightest suspicion your’re using your phone to cheat you’ll find yourself getting thrown out. Switch it off or leave it at home – the casino will be happy to call you a taxi at the end of the night.
Understanding chip and bets
You don’t use cash at a casino, you use chips. These can be purchased at the cashier’s desk or at the betting table.
Different colour chips represent different amounts of cash. Be aware however that there is no universal colour scheme for betting chips – different countries, regions and casinos can use different colours.
Just to confuse things even more, certain games including roulette, blackjack and craps use different colour chips to represent each player, so be sure to exchange these for regular chips before you move on to another game. Indicate to the dealer that your ready to leave and they will exchange the chips for you – this is known as “cashing out”.
A few more tips when it comes to chips:
- When purchasing chips at the table, it’s considered poor etiquette to hand your cash directly to the dealer. You should place it on the table instead.
- Once you’ve placed a bet, do not touch your chips. If you want to change your bet, ask the dealer – they will pass them back if it’s still possible.
- Never touch another players chips
- It’s customary to tip the dealer with a few chips (not cash)
- Each game has minimum and maximum bets, that are clearly displayed. These amounts are fixed, so don’t try to negotiate.
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Learn the rules
Nobody expects you to be an expert on your first visit to a casino, but it doesn’t hurt to brush up on the rules before the big night. Some casinos offer classes during the daytime. You can also find plenty of guides and tutorials online – including this website.
Listen to the dealer
When he or she announces “no more bets”, they mean it. The dealer directs the passage of play, so pay attention and listen to their instructions.
If you don’t quite understand how a game works, stand and watch the other players until you get the hang of it. But don’t sit down until you’re ready to play – otherwise you’ll be taking up a seat that someone else could use.
It’s best not to ask the dealer or other players for advice – they don’t want to be the ones to blame if you lose! Similarly, don’t get over-confident and start offering advice to other people if you’re on a roll. Don’t be a sore loser or an arrogant winner either – go to the bar if you need to celebrate or commiserate!
A night out at the casino can be great fun as long as you come prepared, follow the proper casino etiquette, and take it easy on the alcohol!
Have fun and good luck!