Casino Etiquette

What not to do when you’re playing in a brick-and-mortar casino (Image:

If you’ve come to casino games via your desktop or mobile phone, you might not know the subtle dos and don’ts of betting in a land-based casino.

After the rules themselves, you’ll need to learn a few basic rules on etiquette to avoid wide-eyed glares from the dealer, and glances from your fellow players.

Here are a few simple tips for making your first casino trip a little smoother.

1 – Leave the Selfie Stick At Home

Most, if not all, casinos in the world don’t take too kindly to customers taking photos of the gaming floor. So, if you want to capture that Vegas moment of bustling roulette tables and banks of slots, buy a postcard unless you want a sharp word from casino security.

2 – Turn Off The Mobile

Not only is talking on your mobile distracting to players trying to concentrate on hitting blackjack, it’s rude. In most cases, anyway, the croupier will ask you to turn your phone off while you’re playing, or to step away from the table so you can to take your call.

3 – Dress Properly

While many big casinos in Las Vegas operate a relaxed policy to dress (sandals and Hawaiian shirt fine) many others don’t. Depending on where you are, you may have to wear a shirt or smart trousers, and wearing sneakers might mean you’re going to have a long trip back home to change. Check with the casino BEFORE you arrive to make sure you’re not under-dressed. And of course, for men and women, it’s fair to say going topless is a big no-no.

4 – Don’t Drink Too Much

Casinos are fun playgrounds where the grown-ups can chill out and have a good time while gambling. But don’t let the booze get the better of you and make both your and the other players’ experience lousy.

5 – Buying Chips

Buying your chips is probably the easiest mistake casino newcomers make when sitting down at a table game. First, make sure you’re aware of the minimum and maximum bets of each table as they will differ. These are clearly displayed on boards, so don’t sit down at a roulette table and hand over $5, only to realize the minimum bet is $10.

To buy chips, never hand the dealer cash; lay it on the table in front of you as you sit down. The croupier will catch sight of this and change your money into chips, announcing the amount as he does so.

6 – Listen to the Dealer

If a roulette croupier says, “no more bets”, he means it. If you’re unsure about the passage of play, take one of the casino’s fresher classes first, or watch the action for a while before joining in. It’s a good rule of thumb to listen to the dealer as they are directing the passage of play.

7 – Cashing Out

Because roulette chips are specially colored, you’ll need to cash out before you leave the table. Indicate to the croupier that you want to leave (waiting for the end of a spin when they’re less distracted) and he will change your roulette chips for generic casino cash chips. The same goes for blackjack or craps.

8 – Handling Chips

At a roulette table, the dealer will give you a different color of chips to everyone else. This is to differentiate your chips from everyone else’s. Remember your color and learn where the chips have to be placed correctly for a bet. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer for help if you need; this way you won’t end up forfeiting bets by placing chips in the wrong place.

Never move, or remove, chips during a spin of the roulette or hand of blackjack, and don’t touch other players’ chips.

The croupier will place winning chips on top of your bets on the table and leave them. It’s your job then to remove the chips if you want or “let it ride” on the next bet.

9 – Keep Your Outbursts To Yourself

Casino games should be friendly and entertaining, both for you and the other players at the table. Don’t fly into a rage when you lose and start blaming the dealer or arguing with other players. Handling a gambling downswing should be handled outside the casino, not at the table.

10 – Learn To Tip

Unless you’re in a country where dealers can’t be tipped, it’s expected that you leave a small gratuity for the dealer when you get up to leave a table. It needn’t be big and don’t feel pressured to donate a big portion of your stack if you’ve had a good win. $1 on every small win or $5/10 when you leave the table is usually sufficient.