Everybody remembers the first time they visited a real-life casino. It’s one of those rites of passage the likes of which you carry with you for life.
Whether or not you remember it for the right or wrong reasons depends entirely on how the whole thing goes.
Irrespective of where you plan on heading for your first real-life casino experience, a few pointers can go a long way. From the smallest local casinos to the biggest gaming halls in Vegas or Macau, the same basic rules apply.
With this in mind, here’s a brief overview of six things not to do during your first trip to a casino:
1 ‒ Not Practicing at Least a Little Beforehand
First up, getting to grips with the basics of the games you intend to play beforehand isn’t only about avoiding mistakes and losing money. It’s also common courtesy, as the last thing a dealer wants to hear during a busy evening is “OK so how does this all work then?”
Truth is, the dealers and hosts and everyone else present in the casino are there to help you out and ensure you have a good time. But it is still a good idea to at least familiarise yourself with the fundamentals of the games you intend to play. Something that takes no time at all, but will ensure you don’t stick out like the proverbial sore thumb.
2 ‒ Act Like a Bad Loser or Winner
Keeping emotions under control as a newcomer to casino gaming can be tricky. Getting completely caught up in the experience is the norm, but you need to know where to draw the line, nonetheless.
For example, acting like you’ve just won the lottery after picking up £5 at the roulette table will out you as a rank amateur. As will throwing the mother of all tantrums after blowing your entire night’s budget on one stupid decision at the blackjack table. Players who go nuts at either end of the scale following big wins or losses are always an irritation.
3 ‒ Ignore Table Etiquette
Mastering the art of casino table etiquette is something that takes a certain amount of time and experience. By far, the best thing to do when getting started is to follow the examples or those around you. Not the one idiot at the table showing off and behaving like a jerk, but the other 99% of players conducting themselves with quiet and civilised decorum.
As a general rule of thumb, it’s a good idea to keep your hands to yourself, keep the volume of your voice under control and generally practice good manners. If you make a mistake (which you will) and are corrected by the dealer, don’t take offence or sit there with a face like thunder.
4 ‒ Disrespect Casino Employees
Nobody walks into a casino with the intention of disrespecting its staff members. But when things take a turn for the worse, you may find yourself putting certain staff members squarely in your crosshairs. For example, you make a huge loss on one specific table, subsequently designating the dealer public enemy number one.
What’s important to remember is how contrary to popular belief, the casino’s staffs are 100% on your side. Firstly, they want you to have a fantastic time so that you stay and spend money. Secondly, dealers count on successful players to tip them generously. Nobody in a casino is there to cheat you out of your money, or mislead you into making bad decisions. It’s all on you, so you need to own your mistakes and losses along the way.
5 ‒ Abuse the Free Drinks Policy
Most casinos are fairly liberal when it comes to their distribution of alcohol. There are two reasons for this – the first of which being the tendency for alcohol to loosen players’ pockets. In addition, the fact that you aren’t spending money on booze naturally encourages you to spend more on gambling.
However, there’s the difference between indulging in a few libations and attempting to get your money’s worth, simply for the sake of it. Those who fall into the latter bracket will spend their entire evening drinking as much as possible as quickly as possible, just because it’s free. And in doing so, become the single most irritating, unpleasant and unwanted entity in the entire place.
6 – Pass Up the Membership or VIP Scheme
If it’s a casino you intend to head back to at some point in the future, don’t write off the house loyalty scheme as a scam. The simple fact of the matter is that if you’re going to spend money there anyway, you may as well claim something in return.
Rewards and VIP privileges can vary from things as simple as free meals to entry to tournaments to all types of lavish gifts. All of which are technically free of charge, given how you were going to gamble anyway. Even if you really are the exact opposite of a high roller, you may as well sign up to find out what’s in it for you.
7 ‒ Withdraw Money from On-Site ATMs
Last up, there are two reasons why this is almost always a bad idea. Firstly, you should only ever take a limited amount of money to a casino in the first place. Determine your budget beforehand, take this exact amount and do not spend a penny more…period. If you doubt your self-discipline, leave your credit and debit cards at home.
Secondly, many (if not most) casinos feature ATMs that charge fees and commissions for withdrawing cash. Simply for taking out money to gamble with, you could find yourself losing 5% of your money. Unfair and unnecessary, given how the house edge is already tipping things in favour of the establishment. Take the money you can afford to spend with you, and don’t withdraw a penny more.
You might also find the following articles interesting: