You just booked your first trip to Las Vegas. You have your hotel, a list of casinos you want to gamble at, and your restaurant reservations.
You think you’re all set. But you’re not.
You’ve only ever played poker at a buddy’s house. You don’t know how to gamble at an actual casino without looking like an idiot.
I’ve made the etiquette mistakes, and I’ve looked like an idiot.
In this post, I’m going to share with you the 5 casino gambling mistakes every new gambler makes.
This is to keep you from looking like an idiot.
I’ve got your back.
1- Stop Assuming You’re Going to Win Money
Please do yourself a favor and drop the idea that you are going to win money gambling at casinos. I promise you that you will have tons more fun and want to go back if you’re realistic.
My first time at playing at the casino I was convinced I was going to win money.
Of course, I was sorely disappointed.
Let’s look at this way: Casinos have survived the multiple wars, the Great Recession of 2008, and they still remain open.
You know who isn’t still open?
Video stores. There’s just no need for them.
You know why? There’s no money to made.
Casinos make money off you losing. And they’re good at it.
In fact, It’s the basis of their entire business model, and it works.
There are roughly 1,500 casinos in the United States alone and more to come.
There are professional gamblers, but they gamble on an entirely different level than the casual player like you and me.
I’m not implying you can’t make money gambling in casinos, but it’s more likely you will lose.
Gamble for fun.
This is a vacation, not a career.
If it WERE your career, you wouldn’t be reading this blog.
Enjoy casinos for what they are.
2- Using the ATMs in the Casino
Every casino has multiple ATMs on their casino floor.
There’s even one at the door where most guests check in to their rooms in the casino.
These are strategically placed to give you the confidence to pull out more money than you had planned on spending.
Take that money with you to the gaming tables or slot machines you are going to play at. When you run out of money – and you will — take a breather and go to the bar or step outside.
This will give you a moment to realize you’re not going to win your money back.
Be realistic with yourself.
They’re in every sector of the casino floor.
Not only are the fees to withdraw money highway robbery, you’re robbing your bank account trying to win back the money you have already lost.
This may seem like common sense, but those ATMs are all over the casino for a reason.
It’s for you to withdraw more money and basically give it to the casino.
Please be smart about your spending on gambling.
Listen to the late Kenny Rogers, “know when to fold’em”.
There are plenty of other activities to do in casino towns.
3- Heavy Drinking and Gambling Don’t Mix
Ok, this is a tough one, but just hear me out.
You’re on vacation, and you want to let loose a little. You notice every time you sit down to gamble (it doesn’t matter if you are at a poker table or playing real money slots) a cocktail waitress comes around and offers you a free drink.
You’re astonished at the opportunity for a free drink.
You order another one.
This is cool man!
You keep drinking and playing. This goes on for hours if you let it.
Here’s the kicker:
Much like any other money decision, you don’t want to gamble drunk.
When you’re inebriated, you lose your ability to make good decisions. It is not traditional to get wasted and go buy a car or house.
Why would you do the same with gambling?
Your inhibitions are low, and you will make some risky betting choices.
It’s not pretty.
Not only will you wake up with a killer hangover, you’ll also regret what your bank account looks like in the morning. And the casinos know this.
Why do you think they’re giving you free drinks?
I’m not telling you to NOT take advantage of the free drinks — just don’t gamble drunk.
You’ll look an idiot and feel like one too.
4- Tips, Always Tip
Every time I go to any casino, I know that I need to have cash on hand to tip.
I tip the cocktail waitresses on the casino floor, I tip the bellhop that takes my bags to my room, I tip my dealer when playing Texas Hold’em.
I even tip housekeeping for cleaning my room. After all, I’m off enjoying my day, and they’re having to clean up after a bunch of adults.
Casino towns are not cheap.
Expect to tip almost every service worker you run into.
I’m not saying you should tip $10.00 every time but do tip accordingly.
If it’s a free drink, I usually give the server $2.00.
At dinner, I always tip at least 20-25%.
I leave a five for housekeeping because they’re not my mom, and I haven’t lived at home since I was 18.
They’re trying to support themselves and possibly a family.
They make most of their money via tips.
Could you pay your mortgage or rent on minimum wage or even less for waitstaff?
Don’t have any cash on you?
You can always tip your service worker with chips. Chips in casinos are the same as cash.
There’s no excuse for not tipping. If you’re worried about affording all the tipping, you should reconsider your trip.
Like I said, Las Vegas and other casino towns are expensive.
5- Don’t Spill Your Drink on the Table
Have you ever been playing a game of pool at the bar?
Your friend puts their pint glass of beer on the felt (the green cloth part of the pool table).
What always happens?
The beer gets spilled all over the pool game, and in turn, ruins the table felt.
It’s an unsaid rule in pool you don’t put your drink on the table.
Some bars will even ask you to leave if you put your beer on the pool table.
The same etiquette is true for gambling tables in casinos.
To be blunt, you’ll look like a complete idiot if you spill your drink at a casino.
You look like an idiot if you spill your drink at the neighborhood bar — this embarrassment multiplies by 20 at casinos.
When you spill your drink on a gambling table at a casino, you’ve managed to have the table and the game shut down and everyone must move to a new table.
Don’t be that guy.
There’s a lot of superstition in gambling. Making an entire game move to a new table is bad juju.
Hint: use the cupholders that are built into the tables at every casino. You’re welcome.
Bonus Mistake: No Photography
It’s tempting to want to take a picture of your winning hand or the huge payout you hit on a slot machine.
That’s a no-no.
The casinos don’t like it, the pit bosses don’t like it, and your fellow players don’t like it.
So just don’t do it.
It seems simple, but a lot people make this mistake and then regret the decision the second they open the camera app of their smartphone.
Save your camera roll for the sights on the Strip and on the breathtaking fountain show at the Bellagio.
I hope you have a better grip on what not to do in casinos.
I don’t want you to look or feel like an idiot on your first big casino trip. I want you to have a blast.
I want you to not go to the ATM. I want you to be smart about your spending and when to let loose with the drinks.
I also want you to remember that this is all for fun, a hobby — not a marriage breaker or bank account drain.
I’d love to hear any other etiquette tips or tricks you might have, or any stories of hard lessons learned while gambling at casinos.
Let’s be honest:
We all have looked like an idiot while gambling at casinos.
Please leave your comments below.