Factors That Can Easily Ruin a Gambler’s First Trip to a Casino

Man With Head in Hands With a Casino Background

For many, gambling trips to the casino can highlight the week, month, and even year. There’s just something cathartic about walking into the casino to encounter the familiar sights and sounds.

While a standard visit to your favorite gambling spot is usually a pleasant experience, there are those times when things go sideways. If you’ve been gambling long enough, you know precisely the type of trip I’m referring to.

Unfortunately for some, these rare occasions can fall during an introduction to gambling.

Everyone should have the luxury of enjoying their first legitimate casino experience. However, various factors and roadblocks can stand in a new gambler’s way when trying to enjoy themselves.

Here are seven things that can easily ruin a gambler’s first trip to a real money casino.

Setting Expectations Too High

It’s natural to want and maybe even expect to win money at the casino. Aside from being a quality source of entertainment, one of the best reasons to gamble is the pursuit of financial gain.

If you start gambling with a losing mentality, you’ll almost certainly lose more often than you win.

Becoming an intelligent gambler requires one to keep their expectations in check and their goals realistic. But new gamblers are often far from acting like intelligent gamblers.

Blackjack Hand With Casino Chips on Top

Instead, many visualize themselves striking it rich at the blackjack table or hitting the jackpot at a slot machine. Whether that ridiculous notion is a product of casinos’ glamorization in popular culture or pure delusion remains to be seen.

When someone with limited gambling experiences aspires to win a ton of money in one trip, they will most likely be leaving the casino disappointed. It’s important to set attainable goals and always remember that a majority of gamblers lose money at the casino.

Choosing the Wrong Time to Go

Selecting the best time to visit a casino for the first time is purely subjective. That decision should come down to a number of factors that relate to the person in question.

Whereas one person might prefer a casino when it’s nearly empty, another might enjoy it when it’s almost at capacity. There might not be a “right” or “wrong” time to gamble, but there are certain things every new gambler should consider.

If you want to get the full casino experience right out of the gate, then it’s worth visiting it during peak hours. These are usually on weekend nights when most people are off of work and flock to the casinos.

But if you’re looking for a more laid-back experience, then it’s probably best to gamble earlier in the day.  Both types of trips have their pros and cons, and there’s something to be said for experiencing each situation. The decision should come down to the simple question of what you’re hoping to take away from the experience.

Playing With Pretentious Gambling Vets

One of the most intimidating parts of being new to the world of gambling is operating amongst people with infinitely more experience.

Let’s face it: Casinos can be overwhelming for people who are unfamiliar with everything they offer. It takes courage to sit down at a table and lay your money down, especially on your first casino trip.

For the most part, there’s absolutely nothing to be afraid of. Casino personnel and even other gamblers are often beneficial to people who ask for assistance.

Men in Suits Playing Roulette

Unfortunately, snobs are everywhere, including inside the walls of your favorite casinos. For whatever reason, some misguided gambling veterans can be pretentious and rude when dealing with inexperience.

New players can indeed slow down the pace of play and even throw off the rhythm at the table. Sometimes, that shift at the table can result in older gamblers lashing out at newer ones.

This type of situation is most common at the blackjack and poker tables. Instead of coming to the aid of someone who could use some words of wisdom, these gamblers would rather stew in anger and resentment.

Refusing to Set a Spending Limit

Proper casino bankroll management is the most important tool in any competent gambler’s toolbelt.

It’s easy to spend more money than you intend to at casinos. Even if you blow past your budget, there’s usually an ATM seemingly within arms reach. Plus, there’s always a belief that you can win your money back.

That line of thinking is both dangerous and far too common amongst gamblers who lack experience. Casinos make it challenging to walk away after losses, and it’s always tempting to keep playing.

It’s crucial that you set a budget for your gambling trip and don’t overspend. Even if you think you can win your money back, you’re more likely to make matters much worse. Gambling should be a source of fun, not stress.

Choosing the Wrong Types of Casino Games

Deciding which casino games to play should come down to a few factors:

  • Which games you will enjoy the most
  • The chances of winning certain games
  • The affordability of games and price per hand/play
  • Your level of experience with the most popular games

First and foremost, this decision should come down to whether you find a game entertaining. If you’re not enjoying the gameplay, there’s little reason to continue to play.

Casinos offer patrons a plethora of gambling games to choose from, usually at several different prices.

The games you choose should also be affordable, meaning you will be able to play for more than five minutes. That means finding a table with a minimum that caters to your wallet’s contents or a slot machine that won’t drain your bankroll.

Navigating a casino floor can be challenging for someone who doesn’t know what to look for. It might seem intimidating, but each game normally has a minimum and maximum bet listed somewhere on or above the table.

If that price makes you uncomfortable, keep looking around. You shouldn’t feel compelled to gamble if you’re not comfortable with the price you’ll pay per hand.

When all else fails, the decision can also come down to experience. Familiarity leads to comfort and a higher likelihood of enjoying your experience.

On the other hand, playing games you’re unfamiliar with can lead to unnecessary anxiety and catastrophic losses.

Deciding to Go Stag

If at all possible, every first-timer should gamble with someone with experience and gambling knowledge.

As I mentioned earlier, casinos are intimidating. You might think you’ll be able to navigate the floor because you’ve heard the stories and seen it depicted in popular casino movies and shows. But once you step through the doors, that false sense of confidence will likely wane.

Row of Casino Slot Machines

Tagging along with someone who knows the lay of the land will make your first time more enjoyable and relaxing. They’ll be able to talk you through things you’d otherwise be unfamiliar with and guide you in the right direction.

If you don’t have the luxury of knowing someone like this, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t enjoy yourself. But you’ll be forced to rely on the advice of perfect strangers who may or may not know what they’re talking about.

Having One Too Many Free Drinks

There are only a few types of gamblers who are universally loathed by the gambling community at large. One of those is the drunk new guy who often has a way of ruining everyone else’s good time.

New gamblers are already at a disadvantage, through it’s no fault of their own. The only way to become an established gambler is through experience. Having said that, young adults and college-aged gamblers have a tendency to make things harder on themselves by getting intoxicated.

Free drinks are hard to pass up, especially when you’re enjoying your time at the tables. But after a few too many drinks, you might find yourself making gambling mistakes and frustrating other gamblers.


No one should have to experience a rough introduction to gambling. A first time at the casino should be an enjoyable learning opportunity to build on.

Sadly, sometimes, luck won’t fall your way, and you’ll leave the casino worse for wear. Negative gambling experiences are an unfortunate reality for gamblers.

You might have a night where you can’t seem to win a hand or someone at your table won’t stop getting on your nerves. Not all gambling expeditions are created equal. But some of these unfortunate experiences are self-inflicted and completely avoidable.

Beginners can struggle to keep their expectations realistic and often fail to keep their spending in check. Every proficient gambler wants to win money, but that’s no reason to chase losses and throw caution to the wind.

Other factors, like encountering a crotchety gambler or a pretentious veteran, are entirely random. These types of people aren’t particularly common, but can destroy your confidence and ruin your trip.

If at all possible, try to tag along with someone who is familiar with gambling. Having a guide will do wonders for your development as a gambler.