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Old January 30 2012, 09:35 PM   #1
royalfan5
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Casino Gambling Etiquette

So I will be hitting the Council Bluffs Iowa casino scene this weekend. I am not really into gambling, but am planning on trying it as part of an extended group outing. Since basically my only frame of reference for casinos is Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, and the Hangover, I feel like should ask for some do's and don'ts to avoid upsetting someone on a hot streak. TIA.
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Old January 30 2012, 09:41 PM   #2
sojourner
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Don't push people out of the way of a "hot" machine.
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Old January 30 2012, 09:46 PM   #3
RoJoHen
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Always ask if it's all right to join a table. You don't want to ruin somebody's rhythm.
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Old January 30 2012, 09:59 PM   #4
Shatnertage
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Here's an article on gambling superstitions that my friend Jeff wrote:
http://www.ratevegas.com/blog/2011/0...n_vega_11.html

Are you playing tables or slots?
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Old January 30 2012, 10:04 PM   #5
tighr
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

royalfan5 wrote: View Post
I feel like should ask for some do's and don'ts to avoid upsetting someone on a hot streak. TIA.
Depends on what games you're planning on playing. If you're playing Poker, most card rooms have the etiquette rules nicely posted at the entrance (helpful for the newbies).
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Old January 30 2012, 10:05 PM   #6
Gothowitz
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Indian casinos don't have Craps or Roulette.
That saves you loads of do's and don'ts.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:06 PM   #7
royalfan5
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Shatnertage wrote: View Post
Here's an article on gambling superstitions that my friend Jeff wrote:
http://www.ratevegas.com/blog/2011/0...n_vega_11.html

Are you playing tables or slots?
Probably tables. Slot machines seem like they are a less fun way to have your money taken.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:11 PM   #8
Shatnertage
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Definitely read that article--there is some good blackjack material in there as well of general etiquette.

Slots aren't so bad--you might like the Star Trek slot if they have it. And if you're unsure of what you're doing, it's impossible to make a mistake playing them.

You also need to tip the dealer occasionally. At some casinos, you'll place a bet for her, and at others, you'll give her money that goes directly into the toke (tip) box. And even though the drinks are free, you should tip the cocktail waitress. I'd say a minimum of $2, but if you want something special or want doubles or particularly quick service, more never hurts.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:12 PM   #9
Timby
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

If you're short on money and don't know a lot about gaming, stick to craps, Pai Gow poker (if you understand poker hand ratings, you're almost already good to go there) and nickel slots. The pass line on a craps table is about as close to eliminating the house edge as you can get. Slots, beyond being fucking boring, also tend to follow a pretty standard pattern: A) Put money in slot, B) Mash buttons, C) Realize that you now no longer have money because the number says "0."

Tip your dealers and the cocktail servers. Most dealers make much less than minimum wage, especially at the Iowa shitholes, and depend on tips to get by. You never have to tip if you're losing, but if you're winning and feeling good, the normal thing to do is put a small amount of money (relative to your bets -- a buck or two for most people) near the dealer and just tell him, "This is for you." You can also make a bet that's for the dealer on whatever game you're playing and give him the winnings if you win and keep your original stake.

There are usually rules about when you can bet and where you should put your money -- just make your best guess, and the dealer will always nicely tell you if you do something wrong. Some players will get pissed off at you in some games if you do certain things, but people who do that are assholes, so you can mostly ignore their opinions. However, please do shower once a day if you're going to be gambling -- no one wants to sit next to fucking Pig Pen for an hour, and keep off your fucking cellphone. Generally speaking, if it's something you can do in the line at Subway, go ahead and do it. If not, don't.

If you're playing blackjack, be mindful of some of the etiquette; many places won't let you "enter mid-shoe," which means you have to wait for them to put a whole new sheaf of cards into the little card dispenser (the shoe) before you can bet, but you can sit down and wait in the meantime. You have to signal your intentions physically -- wave your hand over your chips to stand, scratch the table for a card to hit -- but if you forget and just say "hit" or "stand" the dealer will remind you of this. (The reason you have to make the physical motion is for accountability on the part of the casino -- if you were allowed to just say "hit," then the dealer gave you a card and you busted, you could just scream and moan that you told the dealer you were standing. By having your actions on camera, everyone's on the same page.) The game is fast-paced, and the players can be mean to you, especially if you sit in the seat all the way at the left of the table (third base), but, again, ignore them. If someone gets pissed at you because you make a bad hit and take a card that would have busted the dealer, for example, just roll with it. Also, most casinos have little basic strategy cards at the tables that give you a rough idea of when you should stand, hit, double down or surrender (though surrender rules are pretty rare outside of the Vegas casinos nowadays).

Ultimately, though, the etiquette in casinos is the same as etiquette everywhere else: Don't be a douche, and ask questions if you don't understand how something works.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:17 PM   #10
Gothowitz
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Warning on Blackjack; if you don't know basic strategy be prepared for mass bitching.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:22 PM   #11
Timby
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Gothowitz wrote: View Post
Warning on Blackjack; if you don't know basic strategy be prepared for mass bitching.
Depends on the table, though. If it's a $5 table, the people there aren't generally going to be the type to be throwing down three separate bets for a few hundred bucks each. Do note, though, that you can't directly ask other people at the table whether you should hit or stand, though most of the low-minimum tables will look the other way if someone's shaking their head at you and suggesting you stand.

As I said, though, every casino I've ever seen will give you a little card with a basic strategy table if you ask for it.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:23 PM   #12
royalfan5
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Gothowitz wrote: View Post
Warning on Blackjack; if you don't know basic strategy be prepared for mass bitching.
I'm thinking I want to avoid Blackjack for the most part.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:29 PM   #13
tighr
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Timby wrote: View Post
The game is fast-paced, and the players can be mean to you, especially if you sit in the seat all the way at the left of the table (third base), but, again, ignore them.
Yeah, don't sit there. Someone people take their 21 way too seriously.

I play mostly poker at the casinos, and the table etiquette here is similar to Blackjack. Everything is "cards speak", again so as to eliminate ambiguity (you don't call out your hand, the cards will speak for you when you flip them over). Don't pick up a stack of chips like you're going to bet them, and then "call" or "fold", or worse yet don't make a "string bet" (make two successive bets on your turn). The dealer will remind you of this, and the penalty is usually forced bet of any chips that made it to the inside of the ring.

In limit, the bets are structured, so each round has a set bet you must call or raise. In no limit, there is a minimum bet for each round but you can obviously make a higher bet. You MUST double the bet if you choose to raise. So, if you're playing 5-10 NL, and the guy in front of you bets $30, you must raise him an additional $30 ($60). The guy after you must also raise you at least an additional $30 (to $90 total), but doesn't have to double your bet. This stops people from raising $1.

Tip the dealer when you win. I usually just throw a $1 or two back from the pile, usually based on the size of the win (a big pot earns him more money, as a thank you for the cards). If everyone is playing fast at the table, you should go through 30 hands an hour, so the dealer should be getting about 30 tips.

Usually the tables will be full, so put your name on the table list and stand behind a table to watch them play for a while to get the hang of it. You can't see each players cards, but pretend you're one of the players and see how he acts.

NO CELL PHONES in the casino. People get pissed.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:29 PM   #14
CorporalClegg
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

Gothowitz wrote: View Post
Indian casinos don't have Craps or Roulette.
That saves you loads of do's and don'ts.
I think that's a state by state thing.

All the Pueblo Casinos in New Mexico have roulette and most of them have craps.
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Old January 30 2012, 10:34 PM   #15
Timby
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Re: Casino Gambling Etiquette

royalfan5 wrote: View Post
Gothowitz wrote: View Post
Warning on Blackjack; if you don't know basic strategy be prepared for mass bitching.
I'm thinking I want to avoid Blackjack for the most part.
Let me give you one huge piece of advice, then, since you admit you know next to nothing about gaming: First, know exactly what you're planning to spend when you set foot onto the casino floor, and have that money in cash on you when you walk in. Second, leave your plastic -- credit, debit cards -- in your hotel room, or in the trunk of your car, or somewhere that you can't easily get to them.

Winning in gambling affects our brains at an even more primal level than drugs or alcohol. The simple moment of winning a few bucks at a slot machine causes an utterly ridiculous flow of dopamine in your reward system, and excites your receptors to an absurd level. And it's very, very easy to wind up throwing away a lot of money in an attempt to recapture that high.

Walk in with everything you're prepared to lose and stay the fuck away from the ATM.
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