Are you traveling to Pittsburgh, Philadelphia or any one of the dozen brick-and-mortar Pennsylvania casinos to play blackjack, roulette or craps? Good casino etiquette is essential if you want to avoid embarrassment and a scolding from the dealer or casino staff.
With our guide to proper casino etiquette, you can concentrate on having fun and playing in comfort. Try them out next time you make a trip to your local casino.
Tip No. 1 - Dress Properly
You won’t have to dress like James Bond when you play at a Pennsylvania casino. However, it’s important to follow the rules to avoid a visit from the pit boss or casino security.
Unlike when you are playing from home at online PA casinos, a gambler can’t just show up looking however you want. Don’t enter the casino in bare feet and remember to wear an appropriate shirt or t-shirt. Any offensive logos or printing will be frowned upon. Similarly, going in topless (men and women) will earn you a quick trip to the sidewalk.
Not only is dressing appropriately polite to fellow gamblers, it’s also hygienic.
Tip No. 2 - Try Not to Drink Too Much
Most casual gamblers visit a casino as part of a fun night out. But be careful not to abuse the comped drinks.
Drunk behavior at the table will annoy fellow gamblers and could lead to arguments. There’s also a chance you may spill drinks if you’re being particularly clumsy.
Being drunk and gambling can be a bad mix. You may lose your inhibitions and feel like you’re invincible, betting more than you can afford and trying to chase losses.
You don’t have to be 100% sober at the table, but drunkenness is one of the worst things players and staff encounter on the casino floor.
Tip No. 3 - No Tech at the Table
Casino etiquette isn’t just about your dress or demeanor. In 2020, it can also be rude to use a mobile phone or tablet while a game is going on.
It’s important for players to pay attention to the game. If you’re staring at your mobile phone 24/7, you may miss your turn in a hand of blackjack or game of roulette. In some poker rooms, smartphones have now been banned at the table. They can be distracting to players and anti-social. You should know the casino rules, and if you are unsure, check with casino staff.
And one final tip: don’t take selfies. Photography is generally banned on the casino floor, particularly around the table.
Tip No. 4 - Know the Rules Beforehand
Proper casino etiquette is also about learning the casino rules before you sit down. It can slow the action if you are constantly asking the croupier for advice.
Watch the action before you sit down. You’ll get a feel for the gameplay and rules, especially if the players are experienced.
You’ll also learn the proper hand signals. In blackjack, for example, there are particular hand signals for taking cards (“hit”) and receiving no cards (“stand.”)
Some casinos offer free lessons to give you a feel for how the games work. And if you’re playing at an online casino, operators offer plenty of demo play versions of roulette, blackjack and baccarat. Play a few free hands, including in online poker, and get a feel for the rules before you risk your bankroll.
Tip No. 5 - Don’t Ask for the Dealer’s Advice
You’ve learned the rules, now you need to sit down at a table game and play. But don’t commit one of the worst crimes against casino etiquette: asking the dealer for advice.
Of course, you can ask the croupier to clarify the bet size or change up chips. But don’t ask them what the optimal move is in your spot, or whether you should hit or stand at the blackjack table.
Tip No. 7 - Make Sure to Tip
So, how much do you tip? Good casino etiquette is to tip between 1 and 5% of your win. Either do it every time you win or wait until the end of the session. You can choose to tip more if you have a very large win.
Remember to thank the dealer when you pass them a chip. That way, they won’t mistake your tipping for a bet.
Tip No. 8 - Handle Your Chips Properly
After learning the rules, correctly handling casino chips is another essential part of casino etiquette. Placing chips incorrectly will waste your time and the other players’ time. The dealer will constantly be adjusting your chips so that no mistakes are made.
If there are betting areas (as in blackjack or baccarat) make sure your chips are in the right place. On a roulette table you might have two dozen different bets you can make, each with its own particular chip placement.
Place your casino chips in the right place and you will avoid making an invalid bet. A good croupier will always check with you if the chips are in the right place.
And if you aren’t in a game, remember to stack your chips properly. Don’t stack chips in a heap on the table where they can get lost in another player’s pile.
Tip No. 9 – No “Past-Posting"
Past-posting is one of the worst bits of casino etiquette. Past-posting is the act of placing chips on the table after the “no more bets” phase has ended.
In roulette, cheats might place chips just as the ball is about to come to a rest. A dealer looking the other way may miss the move, and that’s what dishonest players look for.
To avoid any issues, always listen to the dealer and only place bets when directed.
Tip No. 10 - Don’t Be a Sore Loser
All gamblers hit a down streak from time to time. That is just the way of casino games and part of the casino experience. But it’s important to take losing as well as you take winning, and it is one of the unwritten rules to live by.
Abuse of staff or other players is rarely tolerated in a casino, and you may be asked to leave if you can’t control your temper.
The proper etiquette is to be calm and accept your losses. Leave the casino if you have to and come back when you’re in a better frame of mind. Taking your downswing out on other people can lead to even bigger losses.
Playing in casinos is about having fun and hopefully coming out a winner. Proper casino etiquette is also about respecting the environment, the staff and fellow players.
It’s important to treat the gaming floor as you would expect others to treat it. Dress properly, learn the rules of each table game, and respect the dealers. And of course, don’t forget to tip the hard-working croupiers (and don’t forget to throw a few chips to the cocktail waitress or waiter and the slot attendant if you play slots.