7 Things to Look for at a Casino

Man Looking Through Binoculars With an Arizona Casino Background

Casinos are a mecca of gambling, sports betting, luxurious hotels, food, and fun; depending on the casino you decide to gamble at, that is. Not all casinos are created equal.

t’s crucial that new gamblers do some groundwork before their visit to make sure they’re selecting the best gambling destination.

When you’re picking out a casino to visit, there are a few things you should pay attention to in order to make your trip as enjoyable as possible. If you’ve been gambling for a while, you might have a few cringe-worthy casino memories that could’ve been avoided with a few internet searches. For everyone else, here are 7 things to take notice of when scouting out casinos.

1 ‒ Variety of Games

At the time, roulette was the game I looked forward to playing the most. I was incredibly sad to find that the casino didn’t offer it.

Driving all the way to the casino to realize that it doesn’t have your favorite table game is incredibly disappointing, but avoidable. Before you go to the casino, do a quick internet search for the games each one offers. Most casinos will have a list of casino games they offer on their website, and if not, read up on some reviews of the casino.

Roulette Table With Multiple Bets

Additionally, keep in mind that depending on the time of day, certain parts of the casino can be closed, and there may be a limited number of tables for games like blackjack and craps. During busier times, like on weekends, casinos will have more tables open with a wide variety of table minimums and maximums.

2 ‒ Closer Doesn’t Mean Better

Convenience is always an essential part of planning trips to the casino. On more casual gambling trips, you might feel inclined to select the closest casino for the ease of access.

Even though it might save you a few hours on the commute, depending on where you live, it’s not always best to settle for the casino down the road.

During the early stages of gambling, my friends and I opted to visit the same casino repeatedly. We thought we were being smart and economical.

It never occurred to us to venture out of our comfort zone. A year into gambling, a fellow gambler at a random craps table told us about a casino 45 minutes away, claiming it was worth visiting.

When we finally made the trip, I realized I had wasted a tremendous amount of time going to the same casino simply because it was the most convenient. Since then, I always make the extra drive because the more distant casino benefits outweigh the drawback of the extra driving time.

3 ‒ Look for the Free Drinks

Depending on the state you gamble in or the particular casino you’re gambling at, there’s a chance it offers free drinks to gamblers as long as they are gambling. A classic rookie mistake, which I fell victim to.

I wasted so much money on drinks only to learn that I could drink for free. Younger, more inexperienced gamblers, or people with lower bankrolls should save all the money they can for the tables.

Most casinos have cocktail service and take your drink orders to the bar. Even if the casino doesn’t offer free drinks, it’s better to avoid jumping up from the table to run to the bar every time you need a drink. Whether the drinks are free or not, remember to tip your server.

Every casino I go to in Las Vegas offers drinks to its patrons. However, the casino I gamble at regularly doesn’t.

Coincidentally I fare a little better at my local casino because I’m mindful of how much I’m spending on alcohol, which helps me moderate my drinking and play better. Free drinks at a casino are certainly a nice perk, but they can be a double-edged sword if you’re not careful.

4 ‒ Quality Dealers

The best casinos have the best dealers, plain and simple. If you gamble at a lower-tier casino, the quality of the dealer’s personability and professionalism can be hit or miss.

It’s crucial for younger gamblers to play at a table with dealers who know what they’re doing because they can offer assistance if you need it.

If a dealer is preoccupied with making sure they’re doing just enough to keep their jobs, they will be less likely to create a comfortable, inviting environment at your table. Most dealers I interact with, specifically at blackjack and poker tables, are top-notch, and I’ve seldom had issues with dealers.

Closeup of a Dealer Shuffling Cards

On one occasion, a dealer was so standoffish, and frankly bad at their job, I found a different table to gamble at. However, this took place at one of the lesser casinos in Vegas, which shouldn’t have surprised me. As I said, better casinos mean better dealers.

If you ever find yourself having an unpleasant experience with a dealer, I recommend doing as I did and finding another table. There’s legitimately no point in ruining your time by making a scene.

5 ‒ Friendly Clientele

The one thing you’ll immediately be able to gather about your casino is the type of clients it serves. Every casino seems to have a stereotypical client base they cater to.

While this may not always be true, and there are still outliers, you’ll be surprised to see some consistency among gamblers at a casino.

For new gamblers, it’s a must to gamble at a casino where you feel comfortable and welcome. In bigger gambling cities, it’s relatively easy to find casinos that cater to younger, less experienced gamblers.

However, in standalone casinos, sometimes locals and regulars can be unwelcoming to new faces.

This isn’t necessarily a reason to avoid going to casinos altogether. You should be on the lookout for the casino’s feel and energy.

If you have a negative interaction with a fellow gambler, there should be dozens of other tables available around the casino, depending on the size. In my experience, it’s not too terribly challenging to find a good table at any casino, but it might take more work at certain casinos.

6 ‒ Make Sure Tables Have Good Odds and Payouts

It may come as a surprise to you, but some casinos offer different payouts than others. Payouts on table games vary depending on the game you’re playing and should be marked somewhere on the table. In my opinion, this is most prescient with blackjack.

Typically blackjack payout is 3 to 2, but many casinos will pay out 6 to 5. If possible, make sure the casino you intend to visit offers a payout of 3 to 2 if you want to play real money blackjack. Another thing to be on the lookout for is if casinos charge an ante, or price to play per hand, or not.

7 ‒ Player’s Club Has Good Benefits

Almost every casino will have a player’s club card, and avid gamblers should take advantage of them. Even if you intend to visit a casino once, it’s worth signing up for the potential perks and benefits you can receive.

Casino Hotel Suite

These benefits vary between casinos, but typically perks involve casino comps such as free or discounted nights at the casino’s hotel or resort, free plays at the casino, discounted green fees, and meal vouchers.

Benefits will accumulate over time, depending on how much money you spend gambling at the casino. If you routinely gamble at your local spot and haven’t signed up for the player’s club, I advise signing up during your next trip.

Conclusion

Casinos can be hit or miss, and odds are you’re going to have an unpleasant gambling experience at a rundown casino at some point if you haven’t already. Consider it a rite of passage for gamblers young and old.

However, with even a few cursory glances around the web, you can make sure you’re not stuck at a casino that will stick with you for all the wrong reasons.

When scouting out casinos, make sure they offer your favorite table games with favorable odds and payouts. Read around about the casino’s client base and quality of the dealers, and regardless of the casino you select, make sure to sign up for the player’s club.

Some of these variables need to be experienced firsthand, however by doing a bit of research before your trip, you can make sure you’re not committing an egregious error and getting stuck gambling at a terrible casino.