The fascinating world of land-based casinos might seem chaotic to many, especially the first time you step in one. I remember when I went to my local casino back in the day. There were people screaming, waiters running around…it seemed like a total mess. I’ve got to say that I didn’t feel super comfortable at the beginning.
As I learned later on, there are many unspoken rules that actually keep the peace and harmony in place. In this post, I will share my thoughts on the four I believe are most important. If you break them, most people will probably think you’re a dumbass. Something like the guy who shouts in the library, but probably worse.
Since you don’t want to be that guy (I hope), let’s start with the list.
Don’t Ask the Dealers for Advice
The dealers are there to help the players and keep the games running smoothly. They are always open to chit-chat and will answer any question you might have about the rules. At the end of the day, this is their job. Also, they want to get tips, and being grumpy won’t do the trick.
However, do not ever ask the croupiers what to do on the table. Honestly, I’ve seen this happen a lot, and it’s super awkward. You will put the dealer in a tough spot for a number of reasons.
After all, the guy/girl works for the casino, and the casino wants you to lose. It’s a bit of a conflict of interest kind of thing.
On top of that, he risks getting into a tough spot. If he gives you an advice and you lose, you might get angry. You might even accuse him of purposely misleading you and start a heated argument. This will slow the games down, drive the other customers away, and is bad for the business.
So yeah, no matter how stuck you are, don’t ask the dealer what to do on the table. It’s not part of their job, and it’s awkward.
Don’t Tell Other Players What to Do, Unless They Specifically Ask for It
Most of us have probably been there. You see a guy who’s playing blackjack and is just throwing his money at the casino. You feel the itch to make him stop and teach him a thing or two. After all, the casino is the enemy here.
Well, never do that unless the person specifically asks for advice. You’re not supposed to tell grown people what to do with their money. Also, you risk a scandal if the guy’s aggressive and doesn’t like being lectured by strangers. Which probably no one does.
People have the right to spend their hard-earned cash as stupidly as they wish, so restrain yourself and watch your own game. After all, most of the players will lose their money in the long term anyway. Giving them a tip or two won’t make such a difference at the end of the day.
For Heaven’s Sake, Wait for Your Turn
This one wins my personal award for the most annoying thing you could do in a casino. It pisses off the dealers, the other players on the table, and probably even waitresses will be disgusted. Everybody hates it, and rightfully so.
If you’re playing a game with other people on the table, always make sure to act when it’s your turn. Probably the worst place to rush would be on the poker table, but it’s not much better while playing other games.
After all, it doesn’t take that much effort to take a look at the table every now and then. Even if you get distracted at some point, don’t simply proceed to assume you should be the one playing. Acting prematurely is not the way to go.
Instead, you could ask the dealer or the other players if you’re next. This is hardly ideal, but still much better than playing when you’re not supposed to. You could also be a bit sneaky and simply wait until you’re invited to play by the dealer.
Once again, it’s a bit annoying but can’t compare to not waiting for your turn. There’s a special place in hell for people who do that.
Always Tip the Dealer
If you are playing a game with a dealer, such as blackjack or baccarat, you should always tip the dealer. This is part of the casino culture and the croupiers put up with so much crap that they certainly deserve to get something extra. Also, their base salary is usually pretty low, and they do rely on tips to make a decent living.
You have two options for how to tip them. The first one is to directly give them some chips, usually after a big win or at the end of your session (if you have any money left). You could also do so if the shift of the croupier is ending and you’re pleased with your luck and/or his behavior.
The alternative would be to place a wager on the behalf of the dealer. It’s a bit more exciting, and most people prefer this option. For example, you could ask them for their favorite number and place a small bet there if you’re playing roulette.
In card games such as blackjack or baccarat, you could simply start a separate hand with a bet that’s for the dealer. Obviously, there’s a risk it won’t win, but the guys know that perfectly well and have no issue with this approach.
Of course, you should stay within your comfort zone as far as the exact amount goes. There’s no fixed tip, but the principle is what matters.
These are the 4 most important unspoken rules you should follow when you’re in a real casino. Of course, there are many others too, but they are not that annoying.
To close the topic, I would like to remind you that the breaking unwritten etiquette is irritating and could raise few eyebrows, but that’s about it. What you should absolutely avoid, however, is breaking the actual official rules of the casino.