• Table game tips
• Slot machine do’s and don’ts
Casinos can be intimidating to novice gamblers. You won’t typically find signs or announcements informing newcomers about the rules of behavior. “What are the rules?” “What if I’m not overly familiar with a table game or slot machines?” These and many other questions may be running through the mind of some of your attendees.
To help calm some of that nervousness, Midwest Meetings reached out to FireKeepers Casino Hotel in Battle Creek, MI, and Gold Dust Casino & Hotel in Deadwood, SD, for advice on casino etiquette.
Let’s start with table games. There should be a placard located somewhere on the table telling you the table minimum and maximum bets. You need to convert your cash to casino chips when you play table games, and dealer’s can’t take the cash directly from your hand. Place your money on the table and ask the dealer for chips.
Casino chips can vary in design, but the colors are generally standard. White chips are $1, red chips are $5, green chips are $25, and black chips are $100. Never touch another player’s chips
Chances are, an attendee will have a refreshing beverage in hand. Those drinks must be in a cup holder, provided by the dealer, while at the table. And don’t expect to be served a drink as soon as you sit down. The server may have just been by that area so you may need to wait until they circle back again. Your hands are permitted on the table railing (the padded part of the table), but casinos normally do not want you touching the felt part.
Speaking of hands, in most games players are not allowed to touch the cards. If you are unsure if this rule applies, the dealer will let you know. Use the appropriate hand signals at the tables. If you don’t know them, ask. Dealers are always willing to teach you the rules of the game.
It’s also important to note that you shouldn’t place any objects, like purses, wallets, or bags, on the playing table.
We live in a world dominated by smartphones and your attendees will have this device on their person, guaranteed. There is a no cell phone rule at all table games - no texting, no calls, no social media. While we’re on the topic, no, the dealer cannot take a photo of you and your colleagues while you’re playing at the table. And sorry, no selfies either.
In regards to tipping the dealer... this is not something that is required, but it sure is appreciated. Especially if you’re winning big! In most casinos it is customary to tip your drink server, just as you would if you were in a bar or restaurant.
If the casino is not crowded, it is very likely that players will toss coins into adjacent machines so be sure to check that no one else is playing that machine before you drop your first coin in. If someone is playing the slot machine you want to play, wait until they leave and don’t ask them when they’ll be done.
Many gamblers are superstitious and consider it bad luck if someone else touches the slot machine they are playing.
You can “hold” your machine, say if you need to use the restroom, by placing a coin bucket over the handle or on the chair. Or you can lean the chair against the machine. Of course, it’s common courtesy to avoid playing those machines that have been held by players.
With slot machines it is customary to tip the slot attendant if you win a jackpot ($1,200 or more).
Regarding those smartphones with cameras... you are not permitted to take a photo of the machine itself.
Because it’s all about the selfies, Sara Lanning, part of the marketing department at FireKeepers, told us, “Selfies and other photos are permitted on the casino floor. However, they cannot be done at table games, as stated above, or with a direct shot of a slot machine.” Gold Dust Casino & Hotel recommends that you do not take pictures inside the casino without permission. This especially applies to taking pictures of other players in the casino.
Gold Dust Casino & Hotel also shared some general etiquette tips for novice gamblers:
- Don’t ask others how much they’ve won or lost.
- Don’t ask other players about their hand.
- Congratulate others when they win. Don’t be a sore loser.
- Free drinks while you game means “while you game.” You have to be actively gambling.
- Free drinks while you game doesn’t mean unlimited free drinks. There are state regulations that determine how often and how much anyone who is gambling can and will be served.
- And finally, be polite and treat everyone (dealers, casino staff, cashiers, servers, other players, etc.) the way you would like to be treated. Remember, the staff members are working (making a living) and the other people gambling are there to have fun.
The best advice we can offer unsure attendees is to ask a casino employee if they are unsure about anything. Some casinos offer gaming instructions where they explain the rules of major games and how to play. You’ll find the staff is more than willing to help out to ensure you have a good time.