Gambling is a popular form of entertainment. According to research by the American Gambling Association (AGA), approximately 42% of American adults engaged in various forms of gambling in 2022. Additionally, casino visitation saw a notable rebound, with 34% of Americans visiting casinos, a significant increase from the 28% reported in 2021. Both beginners and experienced gamblers love the lively atmosphere and high-stakes games at a casino.
If it’s been a while since you last gambled or you’re preparing to step inside a casino for the first time, you need to know a few casino etiquette rules that apply to all players regardless of what machine or card game you are playing.
Common Casino Courtesy
In a casino setting, adhering to general etiquette rules is paramount. Always maintain a courteous and respectful demeanor toward fellow players, dealers and staff members. Also, while most casinos will have phone usage restrictions, it is respectful to turn your phone off and not use it at the table.
Other casino-specific etiquette rules to follow include:
Know the Rules of the Game Before You Play
The first time you sit down at a table is not the time you should learn how to play a game. If you have an interest in a specific card game such as blackjack, make sure you research the rules before you go to the casino. Gambling etiquette prevents you from giving or accepting advice during a game, so it’s best to prepare beforehand.
Put Your Money on the Table
You buy chips at the table. However, in casinos, your dealer cannot accept money from your hand. So, whenever you need to purchase more chips, place your money on the table instead so your dealer can accept it.
Be Aware of Chip Procedures
Depending on the game, there are certain times when you can purchase chips. This means you might have to wait for the last bet before you can get more chips. Typically, your table will have a sign listing the table betting limits. Knowing what the minimum bet is can save you from the embarrassment of betting too low during your first round.
Know When to Touch Your Chips
Once you make a decision, it’s final. Players cannot touch their chips once they are on the table. Also, during certain games such as roulette or a hand in blackjack, players cannot move, remove or touch chips.
Be Careful of Which Cards You Touch
If there are face-up cards, they need to stay that way. You can touch face-down cards, though, with one hand.
Don’t Sit Down Unless You Plan to Play
The seats at a table are reserved for players only. Of course, you are welcome to view a game, just make sure to stand behind the players.
Know What to Do When You Want to Cash Out
Whenever you want to leave the table, you need to cash out. In games such as roulette, blackjack or craps, it’s polite to wait until your dealer or croupier is not busy to let them know you want to cash out.
Be Mindful of Alcohol Consumption
While it’s common to enjoy a few drinks while gambling, it’s essential to avoid excessive alcohol consumption. Intoxication can impair judgment and lead to impulsive decision-making, potentially affecting your overall casino experience.
Limit Phone Usage
Casinos can be distracting and exciting environments, but you must refrain from being engrossed in your phone. Engaging too much with your device can seem rude to fellow players and distract you from the game.
Set a Loss Limit
Gambling responsibly is key to ensuring you have an enjoyable time at the casino. Before you start playing, set a loss limit for yourself — an amount you’re willing to lose without impacting your finances or emotions. Stick to this limit and avoid chasing losses, which can lead to more significant setbacks.
Do You Tip a Dealer at a Casino?
While tipping is not obligatory, showing appreciation for casino staff is common. Here’s a brief guide to proper tipping etiquette at the casino.
- Gambling etiquette at the casino: Tipping at a casino is expected and appreciated, although not mandatory. Players usually tip when they win, and it’s less common during losing streaks. A general guideline is to tip around 5%-15% of your winnings during a lucky streak. Tip within your means to maintain a positive atmosphere at the casino.
- Recognizing various staff members: Remember to tip dealers and also waiters, waitresses, bellhops, valets and other support staff who contribute to your casino experience.
- Tipping in nongaming areas: Consider tipping in nongaming areas apart from tipping during gaming sessions. For instance, leaving a tip for the server is customary if you enjoy a meal at a casino restaurant.
- Courtesy in group tipping: Pooling tips together is common when gambling with friends. This approach allows everyone to show appreciation without putting undue pressure on individual budgets.
- Being discreet: When tipping at a casino, avoiding drawing unnecessary attention is best. A subtle tip is sufficient to convey your appreciation.
Tipping is about showing appreciation for services and creating a friendly casino atmosphere. By following these tipping guidelines and being discreet, you contribute to a more enjoyable gaming experience for everyone involved.
What Is the Official Casino Dress Code?
The casino dress code varies depending on the establishment’s specific policies. Some casinos maintain a formal or semiformal dress code — especially in certain areas like high-roller rooms or upscale sections — while others adopt a more relaxed approach. Consider the following guidelines to ensure you’re wearing the appropriate attire:
- Smart casual: Smart casual attire is a safe and acceptable choice for most casinos. Men can opt for collared shirts, polo shirts or button-down shirts paired with slacks or khakis. Avoid wearing overly casual items like tank tops, ripped jeans or athletic wear. Women can choose dresses, skirts or well-tailored pants with blouses or dressy tops.
- Formal or black-tie optional: Some casinos might have formal or black-tie areas, especially for special events or exclusive sections. In such cases, men should consider wearing suits, tuxedos or dressy blazers with dress shirts and ties. For women, elegant cocktail dresses or evening gowns are appropriate choices.
- Footwear: Comfortable and appropriate footwear is essential for a casino visit. Men can wear dress shoes or loafers, while women can opt for heels, wedges or stylish flats. Avoid wearing beach sandals, flip-flops or overly casual sneakers.
- Outerwear: You might need outerwear like blazers, jackets or coats, depending on the weather. Ensure your outerwear complements your overall ensemble and maintains a polished appearance.
- Check casino policies: Before heading to the casino, it’s always a good idea to check their specific dress code policies, often available on their website or by calling their guest services. Some casinos may have stricter dress codes, while others might be more lenient.
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