If you’re an RV owner and a casino virgin that’s intrigued by spending a night at a casino resort, this article is a beginner’s guide to casino etiquette to help you have the best possible experience on the tables and the slot machines. On the casino floor, there’s plenty to get excited about, but it can be an intimidating experience for the senses, especially if you’ve never played classic table games, such as blackjack, roulette and craps, before or if you’ve only ever played online. Let’s look at some of the dos and don’ts when you’re playing, watching and socializing in a brick-and-mortar casino.
Dress codes – In most land-based casinos around the U.S., you will get away with wearing casual clothing. A smart shirt and jeans will suffice, although it never hurts to wear a blazer and tie. However, throughout western Europe, blazers and shirts are customary in casinos where glamor and sophistication are more the order of the day. If you think your wardrobe needs a little upgrade for your first casino visit, GQ offers a guide on what to wear on a casino floor.
Personal ID – Identification is essential, no matter where you play. Most land-based casinos will ask you to prove your age, and they are within their rights to prevent you from playing if you can’t provide ID — even if it’s clear you are old enough! Also, casinos often ask players from overseas to prove their age by displaying their passport. So, if you’re not an American and you’re planning on driving to a casino, make sure you have your passport with you always.
Changing cash for casino chips – You don’t need to visit the cashier to get your chips to play. All you have to do is sit down at your chosen casino table and exchange your dollars for chips with the dealer or croupier at the table. However, it’s frowned upon to just give your cash to the dealer. Instead, you must place it on the table in front of the dealer where they will take it from there and count it in front of all other players.
Tipping – One of the most exciting things about spending a night on the casino floor is the cheap drinks. Although it is customary to tip cocktail waitresses $1 for each drink you’re offered. Most of the time that is all you will have to pay as these drinks tend to be on the house while you’re playing and socializing. Aside from the waitresses, the dealers and croupiers also get tipped in casino chips. Consider tipping them as a friendly gesture once you take a seat or let them share in the joy of a big win by giving a $5 chip from a $50-$100 pot.
Table etiquette – If you fancy a dabble on the blackjack tables, it is courteous to ask the other players at the table if you can take one of the spare seats. If a player is on a “heater” or a winning streak, some can be superstitious and disallow another player to join in fear of changing their luck. When you’re placing bets at the roulette table, don’t leer over the wheel once you’ve placed them. Your chips are completely safe with the table croupier. If you’re heading over to the poker room for a cash game or tournament, don’t talk too much about your hands. Revealing your hand after you’ve folded while the action continues could give another player an unfair advantage. Also, remember that any winnings from a casino table game are considered a form of taxable income in the U.S. — even for foreign winners — and as such, you will be required to complete an IRS form with the casino cashier.
Slot machine etiquette – As you meander through row upon row of slot machines to choose a game, don’t sit down at a machine where a coin bucket remains on the seat. It is still taken, and you should respect that and move to another machine.
We don’t want this article to sound like we’re being the fun police. Casinos are a great place to spend an evening, but it’s important you’re aware of casino etiquette to have the best possible first-time experience. Abide by the rules, show your fellow players and dealers some respect and lady luck may well be on your side.