Casino Etiquette

A good knowledge of casino etiquette can help a night at the tables or on the slots run smoothly, minimising disruption to play and helping to contribute towards a fun, friendly atmosphere. Passions can run high in the exciting atmosphere of a casino, so it is important that everyone conducts themselves in a manner that shows mutual respect and helps to prevent proceedings turning sour.

Whichever game you are looking to join, it is advisable to stand back and watch a few rounds before leaping in, bringing yourself up to speed on the way it works so you can hit the ground running.

General Gambling Etiquette

Above all, be sure that you understand the rules of the game before you place a bet. While dealers are usually happy to answer questions, asking repeatedly for help can interrupt the flow of play, making your experience - and that of those around you - far more frustrating than it needs to be. If you don’t know how to play a game, ask the staff if there are instructions available or if the venue offers tables designated for inexperienced players. Failing that, you can always watch a few hands or spins before diving into the action.

It is important to show respect towards the staff of the casino, as everyone has the right to work in an environment where they feel safe and comfortable. Having gamblers shouting at them, abusing them and blaming them for their losses is simply not acceptable. You may be removed from the venue and even permanently banned if you are belligerent towards the dealers and other staff.

Tipping dealers and other employees is not mandatory, but it is polite to do so if you feel they have contributed to a fun casino experience, especially if you are winning. Doing so demonstrates that you appreciate their work and their contribution towards creating a pleasant visit. Dealers are often tipped in chips when a player makes a bet for them, but you may want to ask the venue beforehand about how to tip table staff in case they have different rules.

Don’t tell others how they should be playing; let them concentrate on their own game whilst you look after your own affairs. On a related note, it is bad form to show off if you are lucky enough to win big, especially if it was at the expense of players who are within earshot. Treat your fellow players the way you would like to be treated - with respect and consideration.

Don’t drink to excess, as it impairs your decision making and can be unpleasant for fellow players and staff. If you have brought drinks with you to the game, do not place them directly onto the table. Most casinos will provide a tray or rack for your beverages to prevent damage to the felt, cards, chips or dice. No one wants to be “that person” who knocked over a beer onto the blackjack table after having a few too many.

If you don’t like the way the game is going, it is unlikely to be the fault of the dealer or the cards. A run of bad luck can happen to anyone at any time, and has nothing to do with the game itself. Remove yourself from the table and try a different game rather than getting angry with the one you are playing.

Don’t sit down at a table unless you are going to play. You may watch the action from a reasonable distance so you are not peering over people’s shoulders, but seats are reserved for players.

Casino Membership

Most casinos in the UK do not require players to become a member in advance of their first visit - you can simply turn and play. However, joining your local casino can often unlock special offers and discounts that make repeat visits a worthwhile experience. Entry is usually free for major chains, but you should inquire in advance if you’re unsure. Always bring ID with you for your first visit; if you’re fortunate enough to look younger than 25 years old, the staff will need to verify that you are old enough to enter.

High-end casinos, such Crown Aspinalls or the Playboy Club in London, will usually require an application for membership to be completed and approved in advance of your first visit, complete with the payment of an annual or lifetime fee. You will not be able to turn up on the night and gain entry.

If you’re unsure about the membership policy for a venue, it never hurts to contact them and ask.

Casino Dress Codes

Most casinos will have a standard dress code that visitors must meet in order to gain entry. For Genting or Grosvenor venues, you will be asked to wear smart casual clothing, which means no football kits, tracksuits, hoodies, ripped clothing or hi-vis work outfits. In general, you should also avoid wearing trainers. High-end casinos often require guests to arrive in evening wear or formal clothing. Hats and other headgear are typically not allowed in casinos, but may be permitted in cardrooms.

It’s always a good idea to get in touch with a casino before your visit to find out if they have a specific dress code to avoid being turned away at the door!

Blackjack Etiquette

Unless a dealer calls “money plays” - meaning that the table in question accepts cash bets - you will need to bring chips to the table.

If cards are dealt face up, do not touch them. For cards dealt face down, you should hold them in only one hand. Dealers are strict on this rule as it helps prevent players from marking cards. Do not touch your bet once you have placed your chips.

Learn the signals that let the dealer know you’d like to hit, stand, double or split.

Look for the empty squares when finding a place to sit down at the table. Even if there is an empty seat, the square in front may be being used by one of the other players already at the table.

Read the How to Play Blackjack section for more on this fun card game.

Roulette Etiquette

You must exchange your money for colour chips when playing Roulette and you can’t swap or share chips with your companion. Each player must have their own different colour of chips for the game in question so that the dealer knows what bets belong to which player. Cash your Roulette chips in at the table before you move on to another game, as these chips are different from those used elsewhere in the casino and cannot be used at other tables.

Wait until the dealer has paid the winnings from the last spin before you attempt to make your bet for the next round. This avoids confusion over which bets were for which spin.

It is your responsibility to remove your winnings from the previous spin from the table. If you don’t, it will be accepted as a bet on the next spin.

Find out more about the workings of Roulette at the How to Play page.

Slots and Video Poker Etiquette

Although you might be tempted to play on multiple machines at once, this is considered bad form if the casino is busy as you are stopping others from playing too. Even when things are quiet, you should be careful about simultaneously using more machines than you can safely keep an eye on, as thieves often prey on machines that are not being monitored.

If you need to step away from a slot or video poker game, it is fine to leave an item of clothing on the chair or to prop the chair up against the machine to stop anyone hopping on in your absence. However, out of respect for other casino-goers who might be waiting to play, make sure any absences are brief.

Some people dislike having other players watching the game over their shoulder, so it is best to respect others’ personal space at the slots.

The How to Play Slots page features more information about this popular section of any casino.

Craps Etiquette

Never place your money down whilst the shooter has the dice in their hand or is in the process of rolling. Wait until the dice are at rest in the middle of the table.

Don’t throw your bets down. Instead, place your chips and let the dealer know clearly what your wager is. Only roll the dice with one hand and don’t slam them across the table at high speed.

Try watching a few rounds before playing Craps if you’re new to the game. If you have any questions, just ask! The dealer and, often, other players will be happy to help you out as it helps this very social game run more smoothly.

The Learn more about playing Craps in the How To guides.

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