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Casino Etiquette

What is ‘Casino Etiquette’?

Proper casino etiquette is a must for any serious player, especially if you intend on visiting a particular establishment on a regular basis. How you behave will spread quickly among both the employees and casino regulars, and refusing to adhere to some of the more basic standards of behavior can result in a chilly reception, and even get you a one-way ticket to the nearest exit.

‘Casino Etiquette’ Explained

Etiquette rules encompass most aspects of social interaction, despite that the term itself is rarely used. Rules of ettiquette generally reflect an underlaying and unspoken ethical code, and are usually unwritten.

The birth of the internet has opened an entirely new forum, which has adapted the existing rules of conduct to create what is known as ‘Netiquette,’ which dictates email drafting, and other rules for participating in online forums.

Most casino games have their own exclusive set of conduct rules, however, there are also some that apply across the casino floor, and throughout the industry. Best practice dictates applying the rules of conduct every time you walk across the threshhold of any land-based casino, and behave accordingly.

Be a Considerate Smoker
Many land-based casinos limit smoking to small restricted areas within the establishment, while others allow smoking throughout the casino floor. If you are a smoker, try to be considerate to dealers and players, especially those who are non-smokers.

When you exhale, make sure you don’t blow smoke right into the face of someone else. Always make sure to fully extinguish your cigarette butts, because that thin stream of smoke is likely to rise into the air and right into the personal space of someone other than yourself.

Don’t Get Drunk
Casinos often provide free drinks to customers who are playing their games, and there is nothing wrong with relaxing and enjoying a cocktail or two, you want to avoid getting sloppy drunk and obnoxious.

Don’t Harass the Employees
Whether it is berating a dealer because you lost a couple of hands, or subjecting a cocktail waitress to uncomfortable flirtation, remember that casino employees are simply trying to earn a living to support themselves and/or their families. It is very bad etiquette to harass them in any way.

Know the Rules
There is nothing like having the game flow interrupted by a newbie constantly asking questions. Naturally, there is a certain allowance for the learning curve, which is expected concerning beginning players.

Knowing the rules gives you better chances to make a profit from your skills, but it keeps you from irritating other players.

Know the Chip Denominations
Playing at the casino will be much more enjoyable if you know how much each chip color is worth. Usually, the chips are valued as follows:
• Black Chips: $100
• Green Chips: $25
• Red Chips: $5
Dealers won’t mind if you have larger chips into smaller amounts, but they don’t like it when you ask to have your $5 chips converted into $25 chips or higher.

Face Up Means Hands Off
While playing certain casino games, you will have cards dealt to you facing upwards. In these cases, it is important to remember to keeps your hands off those cards at all costs. Failing to do this will result in a verbal warning from your dealer.

Don’t Ask the Dealer for Advice
If you are going to be playing with your own money, you need to learn to make your own decisions. Never put your dealer in the uncomfortable situation of asking for advice.

Don’t Touch Wagers
Once a game starts, don’t place your hands on the wagers, even your own, until it is required for you to do otherwise. Breaking this rule can result in your getting blamed for cheating, and can cause you to be thrown out of the casino if you persist.

Casino Game Etiquette
When it comes to proper etiquette, every game has its own rules, and adhering to these can mean the difference between an enjoyable experience and a stern verbal warning from the house.

Blackjack Etiquette

Blackjack is one of the most popular games at both land-based and online casinos. There are a number of unwritten rules concerning proper etiquette in Blackjack, and to fit in with other players, be sure to adhere to the following rules:

• Don’t Lecture Players
• Know the Hand Signals
• Wait Your Turn
• Only Use One Hand
• Don’t Whine

Don’t Lecture Players
You don’t have the right to berate the way another player plays their hand. They are paying their own money to play, so you should mind your own business and worry about your own cards.

Learn Blackjack Sign Language
In the game of Blackjack, using the sign language exclusive to the game of Blackjack prevents verbal instructions from becoming misunderstood. To avoid holding up the game, you would be wise to become familiar with these signals as soon as you can.
• To Hit: Tap the table
• To Stand: Wave your hand horizontally, parallel with the table.
• To Split/Double Down: Place a wager matching your original bet next to your original bet, but not touching it.

Wait Your Turn
If you come to the table with a game underway, wait for it to come to an end before you ask to buy in. It is not polite to distract those currently engaged in a game.

Only Use One Hand
When playing Blackjack, it is important to only touch and handle your cards using one hand. Otherwise you will likely get a verbal warning from the dealer.

Don’t Whine
If you are dealt a poor hand, don’t whine like a baby. The best practice is to play your hand like an adult, and accept that losing is also part of life.

Baccarat Etiquette

Baccarat is a game that ranges from casual to sophisticated, follow these rules below to best navigate this 007 favorite.

• Know the Version You’re Playing
• Dress Appropriately
• Go with the Crowd

Know the Version You’re Playing
The common variants of Baccarat are Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer, and Baccarat Banque. Each variant has different rules, so it is important to know which version you are playing.

Dress Appropriately
For playing casual versions of Baccarat, any sort of clothing is acceptable. High roller versions typically require suit and tie, so be sure to dress appropriately for the game you will be playing.

Go with the Crowd
If players are betting on the banker, or betting on the player, it is polite to wager with the group. This creates an atmosphere of community, and it is simply rude to do otherwise.

Slots & Video Poker Etiquette

Slot machines and Video Poker games are for the solitary player, so there aren’t a lot of rules to be concerned with, however there are specific things to be aware of, and they are listed below.

• Don’t Steal Someone’s Seat
• Tipping
• Don’t Eyeball Your Neighbor

Don’t Steal Someone’s Seat
If you should come across someone’s purse, or other personal belongings in a seat positioned in front of a slot or video poker game, please do not toss them on the floor, take a seat, and start playing. Chances are this person went to the bathroom, and upon their return from wherever they went, you will certainly get an earful. It is best to simply respect this player’s space and look for another machine to play instead.

Since there is noone dealing you cards, if you are having a cocktail waitress get drinks for you, always be sure to give her a tip. If you win, and it requires a hand pay, you should leave the person paying you 1% of your winnings as a tip. Otherwise, do not worry about tipping.

Don’t Eyeball Your Neighbor
Sometimes it is easy to get caught up in watching your neighbors play, and for big wins when all the bells and whistles are going off, it’s ok to do, but during regular gameplay, this can be distracting, and even downright irritating.

As mentioned above, players on slot machines and video poker machines are solitary players, and it is likely for a good reason. The polite thing to do is play your own game and mind your own game and business.

Poker Etiquette

Poker is a game consisting of several players so as a group based game, there are several forms of etiquette associated with it.

• Know the House Rules
• Don’t Discuss an Ongoing Hand
• Don’t Splash the Pot
• Don’t String Bet

Know the House Rules
Before taking a seat at a poker table, it is essential to know the house rules. This will save you from embarrassment later on, and probably save you from losing a lot of money besides.

Don’t Discuss an Ongoing Hand
Wait until a hand is complete before you talk about it at all, and really, you shouldn’t even do that. Players who are still in the game find this extremely irritating, and are likely to let you know.

Don’t Splash the Pot
Sprinkling your chips onto the table is considered very rude, as it makes a mess and also makes it difficult to know the size of the pot.

Don’t String Bet
This is when you put chips into the pot, then slightly hesitate before adding more. This is actually considered illegal in a poker game, because there are players who use it to try and get a reaction from other players at the table.

Roulette Etiquette

Roulette is typically a multi-player game, so you should always try to keep the harmony flowing nice and easy. To do this successfully, follow these rules of etiquette below.
• Watch Your Feet
• Make Bets Quickly
• Keep Track of Your Chips

Watch Your Feet
Roulette is a game of many spectators and players, so it can get pretty crowded around the table and in the gallery. Watch your feet to make sure you don’t step on someone’s toes… literally. The best practice is to keep your feet directly underneath you, and not stretched out to one side or the other.

Make Bets Quickly
The croupier (dealer) always tries to keep the game moving, so you have about a minute to place your bets between spins of the wheel. Make your bets quickly, and always be sure to respect the croupier’s announcement of ‘no more bets.’

Keep Track of Your Chips
Every player at a roulette table is given chips with a unique color scheme, so it is essential to keep close track of them while you are playing roulette. You can only wager with chips of your specific color, so you really need to be sure not to mix yours up with friends you are playing at the table with, or anyone else’s.

Craps Etiquette

Craps is probably the most community-based casino game of all, and to that end, it is always important to observe the proper etiquette so you can avoid irritating someone standing right next to you. Some key things to pay close attention to are listed below.

• Set Tips on the Table
• Buying In
• Shoot Quickly
• Avoid Seven
• Keep Drinks off the Table
• Cheering for Players

Set Tips on the Table
Never hand a tip directly to any of the dealers, the stickman, or the boxman. Place it on the table in front of them and announce ‘for the dealers.’

Buying In
If you are wanting to buy into a game, wait for the dice to be placed in the center of the table. Buying in when a roll is about to take place is considered rude, and will probably earn you some dirty looks.

Shoot Quickly
Here again, the dealers try to keep things moving, because this generates more profits for the house. When you are the shooter, don’t waste time between rolls, this holds true even if you are practicing strategy in dice control. You should set the dice and roll as quickly as possible.

Avoid Seven
While you are at a Craps table, don’t ever say the word ‘seven.’ This is considered very rude and also bad luck.

Keep Drinks off the Table
Holding a drink over the rail is a recipe for danger. Most Craps tables have a spot underneath for drinks and other personal items.

Cheering for Players
It is considered polite to cheer players on who are enjoying a hot streak, but don’t be obnoxious. Simply send positive energy and vibes their direction, and an occasional fist bump once their turn is over.

Online Casino Etiquette

Not much of the above information applies to online casino rules of conduct or etiquette. Playing online allows you a greater degree of anonymous independence. You can kick off your shoes, play your music as loud as you want, and blow your smoke wherever you like.

One thing to keep in mind though, is how to deal with the customer support staff. You might be upset about something, but it doesn’t do you any good to take it out on those who are only trying to help you. Besides, the customer support agents have the power to offer you extra amenities, or free spins, and they are likely to be generous if you treat them with kindness and respect.

Once you have mastered the proper way to behave in a casino, you will find yourself feeling more welcomed than ever. Dealers will go out of their way to keep you entertained, and waitresses will compete over who gets to serve you. When you reach this level, you will find that positive energy and vibes go a long way when it comes to Lady Luck Smiling on You.