I’ve spent countless hours on the casino floor, both as an avid player and behind the box as an on-again, off-again dealer. And during my long tenure touring the casino gambling scene, I’ve met plenty of players I’d just as soon never see again.
For obvious reasons, a casino can unleash a seemingly well-adjusted person’s worst impulses. Losing money always stings, especially when you’re doing it under a spotlight with strangers watching, so I can empathize to a certain extent.
With that being said though, there are no excuses to make things more difficult for other gamblers in the casino by polluting the atmosphere with bad vibes and boorish behavior. We’ve talked about seven types of terrible gamblers in a previous post, but we’ve compiled a list of seven more for you to be aware of. Do your best to avoid being like these awful players.
1 – The Angry Hothead
I knew the guy was a little erratic, as my fellow dealers had sounded the alarm right when I started my shift.
Even so, I wasn’t quite prepared to take the deuce of diamonds straight to the eye. But that’s exactly what happened when this grumpy “gentleman” tried, and failed, to capitalize on a standard double down spot.
I had dealt the man an 11 and he happily slid out a stack of four $25 chips to match his original bet. Elbowing his neighbor, the double downer—I mean that in more ways than one—beckoned other players by growling, “Look at this, I’m gonna git ‘em here!”
Of course, that’s when I slid the dreaded deuce from the shoe and calmly delivered the man a lowly 13. He still had a shot to win the hand though, as I held a 4 up with a 10 in the hole for 14. He looked up hopefully, calling out for a “monkey” (or a face card so I’d go bust), but I drew a 7 to make 21 instead.
And that’s when Mount Moron erupted in furious rage…
Hurling unspeakable insults my way was one thing, dealers are trained to handle verbally abusive gamblers. It was when he winged the balled up card directly into my eye that things took a turn for the worse.
Security staff emerged from the shadows and ushered the man off the property, but I was still a tad shaken. Fortunately, my manager took notice and gave me an early break, and soon enough, I was behind the box like nothing had happened.
Something had happened though, a ridiculous overreaction and an overreach into my personal space. If losing at the casino causes your temper to flare up, developing anger management skills is a must going forward.
2 – The Constant Complainer
While I’ve only been hit in the eye by a card that one time, I’ve watched the same scene play out on the felt a million times over.
A player sees a strong opening hand and starts salivating, almost talking themselves into believing that they’re a lock to win. Then, the deck fails to cooperate and the player glumly watches me slide their chips into my tray.
While a few gamblers resort to outright hostility in these situations, the more common response is to complain:
“Oh, isn’t that just my luck? I mean, I should’ve known she’d catch a 9 there, I never win with 20. Fourth straight day where I cannot catch a damn break in this place, would you believe my luck?”
Oh, I can believe it alright. But I wouldn’t quite call it “bad luck.” Nope, sorry, you’re simply playing blackjack. A skill-based game to be sure, but one in which the house still holds a statistical edge, and one in which random variance still reigns supreme.
And while the house’s edge is realized over the long term, short-term samples will invariably produce bad beats like losing with a pat 20.
Don’t tell that to a constant complainer though, as they’ve long since convinced themselves that they’re special for all the wrong reasons. Every deck is stacked against them, every machine is ice cold, and every dealer has a grudge to bear.
In reality, these players just aren’t equipped to handle the natural swings that define casino gambling.
3 – The Arrogant Strategist
Shifting gears from losing players to winners, nothing gets my goat more than a skillful gambler scolding less experienced peers. It doesn’t matter which game you play either.
Even at the craps table, where skill and strategy need not apply, the regulars love to harass and harangue rookies for making “mistakes.” Craps “strategists” are happy to let you know that betting on the don’t pass line is for dunces, even though it’s actually a slightly better bet than the more common pass line.
In blackjack, every table seems to have that one player who can’t stand to see others deviate from basic strategy. In some cases, these would-be teachers even mean well, wanting to help a neighbor improve at the game.
In most cases, however, they’re simply lording their expert knowledge over the table to feel better about themselves.
4 – The Hindsight Specialist
For folks who lack that strategic knowledge and expert experience, there’s always an easy way to fake it—20/20 hindsight.
These players love to watch a hand play out, not saying a word until the outcome is determined. Then, and only then, do they pipe up with some smart-aleck comment:
“Oh, man, I would’ve held the four-card flush there instead of the trips. I mean, you would’ve nailed it, you see that, right?”
Never mind the obvious fact that holding a pat three of a kind in Jacks or Better video poker is definitely a better play than drawing to a flush. No, these Captain Hindsight types only fixate on previous results rather than potential outcomes.
And indeed, had you drawn for a flush and missed it, the same player would stick the needle in by asking why you didn’t keep the trips.
5 – The Oblivious Oaf
Alcohol and casinos go hand in hand, for better or worse. Casual gamblers come to blow off steam and let loose. Meanwhile, the house is more than happy to maintain this behavior with a steady stream of free cocktails.
Drinking at the table isn’t a bad thing, in and of itself, but it can become a big problem for a few bad apples.
Players who get so soused that they heckle others, berate the dealer, spill their drink, or delay the game make the whole experience tough for all involved.
6 – The Gross Sexist
This one applies mainly to men, but I’ve seen a few ladies indulge in shameless sexism, too.
Something about the casino seems to bring out a person’s most base impulses, including sexual objectification. If you’ve ever watched sexism play out in person, you know just how gross and indefensible it can be.
Do your part by treating everyone—players, staff, and passersby included—with respect.
7 – The Nitty Tipper
On a final note, please remember that casino employees are essentially service workers a la waiters and baristas.
Tipping at the casino is a choice, I understand that. Just try to make the right one by rewarding fast dealers, accurate servers, and attentive hosts for their hard work.
I’ve met many of my best and most valued friends while gambling and dealing. The casino truly is my home away from home, and I wouldn’t trade the family I’ve forged there for anything in the world. But for every genuinely kind and caring person found on the floor, I can count a dozen more who inspired nothing but disdain.
Encountering toxic people is inevitable while gambling, and you can always get up and move to a different game. Just make sure to remain mindful of your own behavior, while trying your best not to emulate any of the personality types up above.