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Roulette Etiquette 101 | How Not To Act Like a Fool

This past summer, I ended up taking a casino cruise with a couple of buddies. Living in Florida, I’m lucky to have this option available to me that so many other folks don’t. I enjoy the casino cruises as they offer a nice change of pace from the usual brick-and-mortar casino.

While I played many different casino games that night, I spent the majority of my time at the roulette table. I ended up having a solid night that evening, and I walked away with more money than I came in with.

During my time at the table, there was one player who was a complete disaster. This individual continued making mistake after mistake. At first, I thought this person must be a rookie. However, it became painfully obvious as time went on that this person just had no regard for roulette etiquette.

In the spirit of helping others keep from looking like a fool like he did, I decided to create this blog about roulette etiquette. My hope is that it will assist roulette players, no matter how seasoned they are, to avoid acting like fools at their tables.

If you’re new to roulette, I’d suggest that you give this piece an in-depth scan so that you get a good grasp of all of these tips. If you’re a regular roulette player, this is still worth a quick scan, just to make sure that you’ve got all of these bases covered.

I’ve gathered up my top 10 roulette etiquette tips to help you make sure that you don’t act like a fool at the table. Below, you’ll find the full details on each one of them.

Join at the Right Time

Before starting play at a roulette table, the first thing you need to do is find a table to join. While searching, you should look for a table that has a minimum bet that you’re pleased with and one that has at least one open slot. If a table is completely full, you’ll need to wait or look for another one.

Once you’ve found a table with an open slot that you’d like to join, approach the open seat. Once there, place the money that you’d like to buy in with on the table in front of you. If a spin is currently in play, you’ll need to wait for that to finish.

If you’re ever unsure on when to join in, simply ask the dealer if it is ok for you to join at that time.

Once the previous spin is concluded, the dealer will help to get you started. Remember that you should never hand cash directly to a dealer. Instead, slide it forward on the table so that it can be in the full view of the casino cameras. The dealer will get you your own unique color of chips to play with. By doing this, you, your tablemates, and the dealer will all know who has bet what. Make sure to keep note of which color is yours so that you don’t mix things up.

Bet on Time and Quickly

One of the things that you’ll want to do at the roulette table is make sure that you are prepared to bet on time and quickly. If you don’t do this, you’ll possibly miss your chance to bet. By being prepared, you’ll be less likely to miss your chance to wager on that spin.

As the dealer is settling up people from the previous spin, you should be thinking about what wager you want to place next. You’ll need to consider not only what you want to bet on but also how much you’d like to bet. You should have this all sorted out in your mind before it is time for you actually to wager.

Once the dealer clears his marker from the table, you can then begin to wager on the next spin. If you’ve got everything already set in your mind, you can quickly place your wagers. Once the dealer calls no more bets, you won’t be able to wager. If you find yourself unsure if it is the correct time to wager or not, I’d suggest that you ask the dealer. They will be more than willing to assist you with any question you have.

Communicate Clearly

In the game of roulette, you sometimes will need to communicate with the dealer or a fellow player. This is especially true when it comes to needing to place a distant bet in a location that you cannot easily reach. In this scenario, it is important that you communicate clearly with whoever is assisting you.

Before asking for help, be sure to gather the chips together that you want to wager. Next, sort out who you’re going to ask. After getting their attention, slide the chips towards them and clearly communicate where you would like for them to go.

It is important that you don’t just slide chips and point.

What you’ll want to do is tell them specifically what you’d like done. For example, you might consider saying, “Excuse me, could you please place these chips on the number 18?” Once you’ve communicated your wish to them, make sure that your bet ends up where you wanted it. Once they’ve finished helping you out, make sure to thank them for their help.

If you’re ever asked to help someone else out, make sure that you fully understand their wishes as well. When in doubt, simply ask them for clarity. Ultimately, you’ll want to take good care of them just like you’ll want others to take care of you.

Be Considerate of Your Fellow Players

When playing roulette, you’ll always want to make sure that you are considerate of your fellow players. In general, there are two main areas that you should pay attention to. Those two areas are smoking and space.

First up, let’s talk about smoking at a roulette table. In my opinion, the best way to be considerate of your fellow players is to opt not to smoke at the table. That way, you definitely won’t piss off anyone. However, if you do plan on smoking at the roulette table, you’ll need to keep a couple of things in mind.

First, it is important that you always blow your smoke away from other players and the dealer. Ideally, blow your smoke directly up so that it doesn’t head into anyone’s general direction. Secondly, make sure that you handle all of your ashes properly so that they end up in an ashtray. Do you best to keep ashes off of the table and off of the casino floor.

The other thing that you need to be considerate of with your fellow players is personal space. If you’ve played roulette in a casino before, I’m sure you’ve seen that things can get quite packed if the table is full. If you end up at a fuller table, you’ll want to make sure that you’re not eating up too much space. Check to make sure that you don’t have a wide stance. You might also consider turning sideways to help make more room for others. Another good option is for you to take a slight step back once you’ve placed your wagers.

Collecting Your Winnings

Perhaps the most exciting thing at a roulette table is when you win a wager. It’s easy to get caught up in the moment and rush to collect your payout. However, you must be sure that you don’t take your chips until the dealer allows it.

If you’ve played roulette at a casino before, then the chances are that you’ve seen someone trying to take their chips too early. You might have even been guilty of this yourself at some point. It’s a very common rookie mistake, but it’s usually one that you only make once after the dealer gets on to you about it.

For those of you that are newer to roulette, you should know that the dealer uses a marker. After a ball settles into a number, the dealer will place this marker on the table over the winning number. Often, the maker is a brass or acrylic piece that is a couple of inches tall.

If the marker is on the table, the dealer is still working to pay out all players.

During this time frame, you may not collect your payout even if the dealer has already set out your chips. If you reach for your chips too early, the dealer will correct you. Once he’s finished counting out all of the chips, the dealer will remove the marker from the table. At that time, you can then retrieve your chips.

Follow Instructions

As with all other casino games, it is important that you follow instructions when you’re at a roulette table. Specifically, you’ll want to make sure that you follow what the dealer says throughout your time playing. If you don’t follow the instructions of the dealer, you’ll quickly piss him off along with your fellow players.

One of the most important instructions that will come from the dealer is when he’ll call no more bets. Once this is announced, no one can place any more bets. If you attempt to place a wager after he’s announced this, he’ll declare your wager a no bet and it will not count. It should be very clear to you when no more bets is announced. Not only is it verbally announced, but the dealer will also waive his hand over the entire table at the same time to signify it. If you’re ever unsure, just ask the dealer for clarification.

You’ll also want to pay attention to any other instructions from your roulette dealer. For example, if he tells you that you’ve bet too little or too much, you’ll need to adjust your wager. Ultimately, the dealer is the one running the table, so you’ll want to make sure that you follow every one of his instructions.

Don’t Put Things on the Table

At a roulette table, the only thing that should ever be on the felt is your chips. Everything else should remain elsewhere. Specifically, you’ll want to avoid putting drinks and ashtrays on the felt itself. Often, you’ll find places for these items built into the table railing. By keeping these items off of the felt, you’re less likely to spill or cause an issue on the table.

Mind Your Celebrations

At a roulette table, you’ll always want to be mindful of your celebrations. Don’t get me wrong; you’re more than welcome to celebrate if you score a win. However, you’ll just want to make sure that you’re not overdoing it.

While you might have just won, many of the other people at the table may have just lost.

If you do decide to celebrate, keep it short and not too loud.

If you drag it on for too long or if you’re too loud, you’ll most likely draw some angry stares from your fellow tablemates.

Tip Your Dealers

If you’re unaware, roulette dealers in casinos are able to accept tips. While tipping is not mandatory, it is customary to tip the dealer if you’ve had a good run at the table or if you’ve been at the table for a while. Your dealer will greatly appreciate your tips.

It’s up to you how much to tip your dealer. If I’ve made some money at the table that night, I like to tip my dealer roughly 5% of my winnings. For example, if I’m up $1,000 at the table when I’m ready to close out for the night, I’d typically tip the dealer somewhere around $50. The amount that you tip is ultimately up to you.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you should consider tipping your dealer even if you don’t walk away a winner.

Remember that it is not the dealer’s fault if you lose. They are simply there running the game for you. A good rule of thumb is to consider tipping $5 for every hour that you are at a roulette table regardless of your earnings.

When you’re ready to tip your dealer, there are two different ways that you can go about it. First, you can simply give them a direct tip. To do this, simply slide your chips towards the dealer and say “thank you.” Your dealer will acknowledge your tip, thank you back, and place the tip in their tip container.

The other option for tipping your roulette dealer is to place a wager for them. When placing the bet, simply make a statement saying that the wager is for the dealer. If the wager pans out, the dealer will reap all of the benefits. If the wager loses, then the dealer sees nothing. Personally, I prefer to just tip the dealer as opposed to making a wager on their behalf since this guarantees them something. Once again, it is your call to determine if, how much, and how you’ll tip your roulette dealer.

Tip Your Servers

Speaking of tips, you’ll also want to make sure that you tip your servers while playing roulette. While it is a nice bonus that you get the drinks for free from the casino, remember that the servers are not working for free. Servers in most casinos make the majority of their income from tips, so it is important to tip for their service.

If you’re not sure how much to tip, $1 per drink is a good starting point. If you’re having a good night at the roulette table or you’re receiving great service, the servers will appreciate anything above and beyond that. One nice thing about tipping your servers is that you’ll most likely see them more often than if you are not tipping them.

If you plan on tipping your server, make sure to have the tip set aside so that you can quickly hand it to them when they return with your drink. Often, it’s easy to get sucked into the game and be distracted when they return. By having the tip set aside, you can quickly hand them the tip as they hand you your drink. In my opinion, you should always tip your servers something. After all, the drinks are free, so the least we can do is tip our servers!

Summary

From here on out, make sure to keep these ten roulette etiquette tips in mind when you’re playing the game. By doing this, you’ll be sure not to anger your dealer or your fellow players.

Thanks for reading and best of luck on your future gambling adventures!
Chris Ross :