There’s a common problem that exists amongst gamblers who are new to the casino scene. They either lack confidence, which can jeopardize their first time gambling, or they can be overconfident and make a fool out of themselves. Both of these realities regularly manifest themselves. But with some guidance, it can be avoided altogether.
It’s intimidating to gamble for the first time, regardless of the environment you choose to gamble in. Whether it’s your first time at a friend’s weekly poker night or the tables in Las Vegas, for some reason, it’s an incredibly vulnerable experience.
If you’re reading this and feel some anxiety about the proposition of starting your gambling career, don’t fret. Every single gambler has been in your position, even professionals. To make sure you can put that anxiety to rest, here are seven tips to help you feel like a pro sitting down at the casino tables for the first time.
1 ‒ Be Prepared to Play
Speaking from experience, there are few things worse than playing a table game with someone who has no clue what they’re doing. There’s no problem with inexperience, but refusal to read up on the rules of the games you’re playing is discourteous and inadvisable.
Most games in casinos aren’t complicated and can be learned in a matter of minutes. If you don’t consider yourself a gambling whiz, make sure you read up on the rules of the most popular games, especially if you’re playing during peak hours. If you spend even a couple of minutes reading about the rules, you’re going to save yourself some money and prevent exposing yourself to scrutiny.
While most games aren’t complicated, they do have rules and strategies to follow. Casinos are home to sects of gamblers who believe that other players impact the results of each hand. If you play poorly, they will certainly let you know. Help out your future self and research the games or download an application on your phone to get a feel for the game.
2 ‒ Dress to Impress
You can only make a first impression once, and new gamblers must appear as though they belong at a casino. Younger gamblers struggle with adhering to an unspoken dress code.
Look, I’m not the best-dressed guy around, and I feel my best when I’m wearing a pair of basketball shorts and a t-shirt. I also know that some of the people I gamble with are older and come from different generations. You should want people to take you seriously at the tables, especially if you’re playing against other gamblers in games like poker.
Whether it’s fair or not, people judge you based on your appearance. So, take care when deciding what to wear to a casino. Dressing like you just woke up will put you at an immediate disadvantage.
3 ‒ Set Limits
The best gamblers walk into a casino with a plan in place. They know how much money is in their bankroll; they know how much they’re comfortable losing and understand when to walk away from the tables. As someone aspiring to act like a pro, you should also set these limits for yourself.
Decisions made out of desperation are rarely good ones, so don’t gamble with money you can’t afford to part with.
If you’re having a good day of gambling, it’s always a good idea to set a goal amount. Once you reach it, consider calling it a day and heading home. If you play with too much confidence, you can squander your profitable play and will most likely regret not stepping away when you had the chance.
4 ‒ Gamble With Minimal Emotions
If you’ve ever watched a poker tournament before, you’ve probably noticed how even-keeled most professional poker players are. Whether they’re winning big or losing a big stack of chips, the best players rarely let their emotions get the best of them. Newer gamblers might find it challenging to abide by this rule, but it’s important to keep your emotions in check for several reasons.
If you’re playing poker for real money, a steely demeanor is critical if you want to survive at a table. Reacting one way or another will allow your opponents to gain information about your tells. A static emotional approach will keep fellow players from reading you and inferring what card you have.
Outside of the poker tables, this rule still applies, especially at table games like blackjack. While it’s not nearly as inadvisable to bet with your heart on your sleeve when you’re playing against the house, gambling with your heart can get you into trouble. When you allow yourself to get too emotionally invested, you can quickly start to chase losses or bet too much after a big win.
5 ‒ Treat Everyone With Respect
The worst types of gamblers are the ones who talk down to other players or antagonize dealers. Unfortunately, you’ll encounter a number of these gamblers during your gambling career. And if you haven’t up to this point, consider yourself lucky. Gamblers who are abrasive and rude can easily ruin a table with their terrible demeanor.
Always remember that dealers have no control over the outcome of the game. So, if you are on a losing streak at the tables, consider changing games or waiting out the storm instead of complaining about the dealer. The worst thing you can do is start berating dealers or being condescending to other bettors who are winning.
Good casino etiquette goes a long way in the gambling world. If you are courteous to everyone at the table, that courtesy should extend back to you. However, if you have the misfortune of encountering a disrespectful player, don’t fall into their negativity. Color up your chips and find a different table.
6 ‒ Tip Generously
It might sound superstitious, but I am of the mindset that generosity breeds generosity, and success should be shared. One thing to keep in mind while gambling is that casino employees, and most importantly, dealers, live off of tips. If you gamble frequently, you probably notice some gamblers sliding chips back to the dealer after big wins.
As long as you’re helping out the dealer in some way, the amount is inconsequential. Dealers can be an excellent resource for you, and you must establish a connection with your dealer. Not only can you ask them for advice while playing, developing camaraderie at the table will make gambling more enjoyable. Dealing cards can be challenging, and dealers always appreciate tips, so you should reward them when appropriate.
7 ‒ Gamble at Your Best
Gambling is an activity best done when you’re at your full mental capacity, free from emotional duress, and in a good state of mind. If you’re struggling with your finances or your emotional state is in peril, I advise against going to the casino. Odds are, you’re going to lose money, so don’t exacerbate the problems you’re trying to deal with.
Like I mentioned earlier, when you gamble with your heart and not your head, results may vary. You need to be at your best to win money at the tables. To put yourself in the best position, avoid gambling under the influence. There’s nothing wrong with having a couple of drinks while gambling. But if you’re gambling in a foul mood, turning to alcohol to loosen you up might sound appealing.
Gambling at a casino can have a steep learning curve. If you feel uncomfortable with your approach to gambling, you can put some of those worries to rest by following the tips above.
First impressions are everything, so make sure to dress well enough to avoid scrutiny from other players. Be respectful of casino employees and other players, and walk into the casino with a plan of attack. Research the games to avoid making simple mistakes at the tables and always be mindful of your bankroll.
Before you go gamble, make sure you’re in the right frame of mind to make logical decisions that are strategic and well-thought-out. By following these basic tips, you’ll feel more comfortable and start gambling like a veteran in no time.