I have spent more than 30 years on the casino floor, and one of the things I wish I could get more players to understand is that casinos have a lot of rules.
And because casinos have millions of dollars laying around on their tables and in their slots, these aren’t like the rules at Monopoly that maybe you can bend when no one is watching.
First off, someone is always watching. Modern casinos have thousands of cameras and dozens of surveillance staff.
Second, those friendly guys in suits behind the table may be all too happy to make you a player’s card or comp you with a meal.
But their first job is to closely watch the games and the dealers in their section to enforce the policies and procedures the casino has put in place to safeguard all that money.
The list below isn’t all rules; some of it is just common casino courtesy, but it should at least give you some idea of what is expected on the casino floor.
Every member of the casino staff is used to dealing with new guests, and they are going to politely explain what’s expected if something does go wrong.
Keep your cellphone in your pocket.
This one dates from the era before smartphones, when casinos forbade patrons from taking photos on the gaming floor. This partially had to do with security and not wanting people to check out the place. However, it was also due to the fact that the wealthy, famous, or even notorious didn’t like having press images of them at the craps table. Today, the capabilities built into the tiny computer in your pocket pose the greatest threat to game protection that casinos have ever had to contend with.
Its camera can be used to capture the dealer’s hole card, or you can use it to count the cards. It allows you to tell an accomplice what cards have been dealt while pretending to be having a normal phone call. The accomplice can then use a computer to tell you how to play your hand using code words. In more recent times, there have been apps that use the video capabilities of your phone to forecast where a roulette ball will land.
There was even a group of filming slot machines and streaming that to servers back in eastern Europe that could figure out where in the long sequence the machine’s random number generator (RNG) was and then tell them the exact millisecond to press spin to get a win!
Suffice it to say, most Casino Philippines do not allow you to even have your phone out while you are at the table.
And if you are filming while playing slots, don’t be surprised if you are asked to stop.
Don’t Overdo The Drinking
A little over half of American casinos offer free alcoholic beverages. The term “complementary” does not imply an unlimited supply of beers and shots. Every 20 to 30 minutes, cocktail servers will make a predetermined circuit of the casino, passing by any particular slot or table. You might have to wait that long to place your drink order.
Usually, the floor person or dealer can’t get you a drink any quicker. Only one drink may be consumed at a time. Before receiving another drink, you must finish the one you currently have or give it up.
Any indication of intoxication will prompt the cocktail server or other casino employees to contact the beverage manager to conduct an assessment. You will be asked to leave the casino floor if they determine that you have had enough. No more gambling if you’ve been drinking too much. Your good time ends when it interferes with another guest’s good time, which is the general rule of thumb in this situation.
Do become familiar with the basic game mechanics.
There are countless different table games and thousands of slot machines. Don’t be afraid to ask the dealer or look for a slot person to explain the game if you have any questions because it can be confusing. Each casino may have slightly different table rules or dealing procedures when it comes to table games.
But we’ll discuss a few of the most common ones here: Most casino table games require you to sit at the table while you play. To put it simply, this is done to guarantee that the cameras get the clearest possible shot of the cards being dealt. Standing and hunching over your cards makes it impossible for security to track those cards.
Even some carnival games and the majority of blackjack are dealt face-up. Do not touch the cards if they are dealt out on the layout and not laid out in front of you. If dealt to you, you may choose to take them. In the majority of casinos, games like blackjack and even some carnival games only allow you to use one hand. Ask your dealer if you’re unsure.
Impose a loss cap.
It’s crucial to know how much you can afford to lose before you sit down at a table. Some people only bring that much, so they won’t chase losses if things don’t work out. Others simply possess the willpower to stand up and take a break after exceeding their established limits. Both are acceptable as long as you are certain that you will adhere to the established limit. A set budget for each gambling session will help you avoid losing everything in the first few hours and allow you to keep enjoying your vacation even if you lose your first few games.
It also controls your emotions and acts as a circuit breaker when you want to keep betting despite the poor cards on the layout. Some people enjoy placing restrictions on the prizes they are willing to accept. Maybe they’ve made some progress in the past only to lose it all back. Even though it’s less typical, knowing what you hope to win will help you play more responsibly and safeguard your bankroll over the long run.
Never instruct others on how to play.
Despite your temptation, resist the urge to instruct other players on how to play their hands. The right to play one’s own cards exists for all players, even though not all dealers will uphold it. If you are asked for advice, be sure to offer it; if not, play your cards as you see fit. Some carnival games forbid you from looking at another player’s hands, so you won’t even be able to give advice if you’re asked.
For example, if your wife doesn’t know how to play, this might seem extreme. The rules are designed to prevent this because some of these poker games can be won if players have too much information about the cards that have already been dealt to other players.
Keep superstitious craps players at bay.
There is a reason why many players believe that the best casino game is craps. It truly is an experience unlike any other when a player has a hot hand and the chips are piling up in the rail. But you can quickly see the superstition of the craps players when the dice become cold. This cyclical pattern of hot and cold dice is what has turned so many game enthusiasts into irrational believers in hexes and bad luck.
And even though learning to play dice is challenging under the best of circumstances, it appears that certain actions can incite the wrath of the craps gods to descend upon the table. The most important of these is buying in while on a roll. A full table of muttering, coughing players may be waiting for you if you don’t wait for a seven out or at least for the player to make a point before placing your bet on the layout. One strategy that seems to calm some of these seasoned players is to make a cash purchase at a blackjack table or other table before you start playing the dice.
Do Make An Impression
The dress code policies at many casinos in the US are very lax. However, there may be a dress code on the casino floor if you’re playing on a cruise ship or in another country. It will typically be posted by the main entrance, but you can also call ahead or check their website. There may be an unspoken dress code even in the more casual Las Vegas casinos accustomed to dealing with the hordes of tourists. For instance, the majority of casinos discourage “beachwear” and frequently ask guests to cover up.
There are laws on the books governing how much skin you can get away with showing, and even in Vegas, guests wearing T-shirts with profanity or vulgar images may be asked to have them turned inside out. Expect a much stricter inspection if you plan to visit a club or a nice restaurant while you’re out. Ball caps, shorts, baggy clothing, and even sports jerseys are typically prohibited.
Jeans and T-shirts might also be prohibited in some situations. Being overdressed is always preferable to being underdressed. There are numerous clubs and casinos not only in Las Vegas but all over the world, and while they all have different standards for appropriate attire, the better you look, the more likely it is that you will be admitted to any one of them.
Make sure to give the staff a tip.
Front-of-house employees like dealers, valets, and beverage servers typically make significantly less than the minimum wage in the majority of American casinos. The fact that the nice person bringing your drink is probably only getting paid $2.35 an hour by the casino doesn’t change, despite the fact that this tipping culture has been the subject of intense debate over the past few years. To be able to provide for their families, they depend on tips.
Most importantly, have fun!
Yes, there are numerous regulations. We did warn you. However, you should calm down because casinos depend on you having a good time. Every day, they try their best to balance your good time with the security and safety of all that money. Even though it might seem like a lot, most of it is common sense. So go outside and have fun! As long as you pay attention, the dealers and staff will make sure you don’t get into too much trouble.
They spend a significant portion of their day training new players, so you’ll pick up the fundamentals of what you can and cannot do pretty quickly. Never gamble with money you can’t afford to lose, but if you’ve set aside some of your travel budget for it, head to the casino floor and check out the action.