Skip to main content

If you’re new to gambling at a casino it can feel like there is an unspoken language that everyone else seems to understand. Whether it’s when to pull your winnings off a roulette table, or how much to tip your dealers, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know to be a confident, and courteous gambler.

First off, we have to address the most common issue players run into, phones. If you’re playing a table game it’s expected that you do not use your phone at the table. Some games such as roulette will allow you to place a bet, and get up from the table, and then you can use your phone. As a rule of thumb though, if you’re actively betting leave your phone in your pocket or purse.

Another very common issue new players run into is handing the dealer money. Most casinos won’t let the dealer take anything from your hand. Set your bills on the table in between rounds to get chips.

Craps Etiquette

We’ll start with craps, you’ll find it at just about every brick-and-mortar casino you’ll walk into. It’s a terrific game if you’re looking for a great community environment and decent payouts. If you’ve never played before you can take a look at our guide to get acquainted with the rules. Although it may be a bit daunting to join, we’ll go over some of the unspoken rules of craps.

  1. Once you’ve joined a table you’ll want to be aware of some common courtesy rules:
  2. If you have a drink, never hold it over the table, there are normally shelves under the lip of the table to place your drink while playing.
  3. When you are throwing the dice both dice should hit the wall of the board farthest from you.
  4. Once the dice have been thrown don’t touch the chips, even if the dice have settled.
  5. Keep your hands out of the table when the dice are being thrown
  6. When throwing the dice be quick, don’t hold onto them, keep the gaming moving.

When it comes to placing bets, the croupier (aka dealer) will generally be your best friend. They’ll let you know when to be, and where you can. In addition, our last bit of advice for craps is to wait for the shooter (dice roller) to change before asking for chips, this just keeps the game moving.

Also, don’t bet the “Don’t Pass” line unless you want the entire table routing against you.

Roulette Etiquette

Roulette is another social classic on the casino floor. If you’re into random chance games then roulette should be high on your list of games to sit down at. Though roulette can have a few quarks new players often violate early. Number one of which is WAIT FOR THE CROUPIER! Roulette can be an extremely exciting game especially when you hit, and there can be an immediate reaction to grab your winnings as soon as you can, DON’T. The croupier will place a pawn on the winning number, from there they will remove the losing bets and then payout on any winning bets. Wait till they remove the pawn from the table to collect your winnings.

Blackjack Etiquette

Blackjack can be one of the most casual table games to join, but has some unspoken rules newer players might stumble over. First of all, it matters what type of blackjack table you’re sitting at, if it’s a 1-2 deck game, you’ll have to wait till the deck is shuffled to play. If it’s a shoe game (aka 6-8 decks) you can join whenever between hands.

Knowing the hand gestures for blackjack is very important, if you don’t know them we cover that in a separate piece you can find here. Hand gestures are important for the dealer because they give them a visual cue into what you are doing, as well as the security who is monitoring the cameras. Even though hand gestures aren’t required it’s still better to know and use them.

Which seat you sit in does matter. Some players may be upset if you sit on the far right seat if you’re an inexperienced player. This is because inexperienced players are prone to making poor moves which can affect the cards of the players sitting farther down in the dealer order. If multiple seats are open you are best off sitting towards the left side of the table.

Baccarat Etiquette

Baccarat is one of those games that feel niche, and complex, but at the root of it, the game is simple. We have a guide if you’re unfamiliar with the gameplay and rules. There are a few different types of Baccarat, Mini, Midi, and Big, but we will just focus on the Mini type because it’s more common.

The etiquette in Barracat is quite similar to blackjack. You should be considerate of the other players at the table and the dealer. Other similarities include not touching your bet after it’s been placed, and don’t touch your cards.

Poker Etiquette

When it comes to pokers the list of etiquette can be expansive, mainly because you’re competing directly against other players. So first and foremost be respectful of the other players at the table.

A common issue new players may run into is string betting. In poker, you have to place your bet all at once in one continual motion. For example, if a place wants to raise the bid by 30 dollars, but they place a $10 chip across the betting line and then go back to add a $20 chip this is illegal. This would result in the bet only being raised $10 instead. So make sure if you are making a bet, you have your chips ready, and play them all together.

Another unspoken rule is to not cash out after hitting a big pot. This isn’t illegal, but it’s in poor taste to leave a game shortly after hitting a big win. You should also avoid a practice called “ratholing” where a player leaves the game after a big win and then buys right back in at the table minimum. This just removes money from the table, which will certainly not place you in the good graces of the other players. Many casinos have rules about this, and have a minimum time a player has to wait before rejoining a table.

Players should avoid hiding large denomination chips as well. Stacking your $100 chip behind a stack of $5 and $1 can make it challenging for other players to know what they’re betting against. Large-denomination chips should always be at the front of a stack or on top so they’re visible to other players.

Slot Etiquette

Slots are an interesting slice of the casino cake. Typically slot etiquette is formed around being courteous of those around you since the games themselves are single-player. The number 1 rule of slot etiquette is don’t make a mess. Being mindful of your drinks, and cigarettes is important. Don’t leave empty cans, or cigarettes on the machine after you’re done, dispose of them properly when you finish.

When it comes to playing the actual games, some players like to play multiple machines at once. This is allowed in most casinos, but players who are using multiple machines should only do so when it’s not busy. It’s disrespectful to play multiple machines if others are waiting to play.

Lastly, seats in front of slot machines are for players. If you’re sitting in a slot seat you’ll be expected to play. This isn’t saying you can never sit there, especially if it’s slow, but keep it brief and don’t block the game for others.

Conclusion

Casinos can be a tricky place to navigate when you’re new, but most of the time regulars and dealers are more than willing to teach you the ropes. The main rules pretty much all boil down to being polite to others and understanding the games you are playing. Even if it’s your first time playing a game, reviewing guilds or other  beginner material can help you learn faster and avoid some embarrassing faux pas your first time through.

Mitchell Lebrun

Mitchell Lebrun is the head of content at EatWatchGamble, working directly with our team of writers to ensure EWG is the ultimate casino resource. Mitchell is an Oregon State grad and avid NBA fan.

Leave a Reply