Casino Etiquette: First Timer’s guide to casino gambling

Going to a casino for the first time can be incredibly exciting, no matter when you decide to first step foot on the gambling floor. There’s just one problem, movies and TV often make it seem like gambling floors are an ‘anything goes’ setting, but that really isn’t true.

In fact, almost all casinos have rules of conduct that they expect their patrons to follow. Some of those rules are standard for all casinos, while other rules are unique to a specific location or franchise.

Before you go to any casino you should look up their specific rules online to make sure you aren’t kicked out over a small infraction. That said, if you follow these general rules of casino behavior you’ll usually be okay.

How to Act in a Casino

Know the Rules of the Games

A lot of people think that they can go to a casino and learn on the fly while they are there. That’s a serious problem though since most casinos don’t offer tutorial tables. It okay to ask the dealer a couple of questions while you’re playing, but they may ask you to leave the table if it seems like you don’t understand the fundamentals of the game.

It’s also a good idea to watch a few hands of any game you’re still learning before you start to play. Watching the game may help you pick up on the rules, and watching a couple of hands will help you judge the skill of the other players at the table as well.

Avoid Joining Mid-Shoe

The card shoes are incredibly important to serious players in Blackjack, and it can be incredibly frustrating for other players if you sit down mid-shoe. Instead of joining any table with an empty seat, look for tables that are just getting started, or where the cards are being shuffled.

This is more of a courtesy than something you’re likely to get turned away for. However, your dealer may ask you to wait depending on casino rules or if any of the other players raise a stink about you joining.


Most casinos allow you to tip the staff and even encourage it. After all, casino staff works hard and are often on their feet the whole time. Not to mention that the staff has to deal with drunk and disorderly patrons, bad winners, and sore losers, all day long. Here’s what you need to know about tipping casino staff.


Dealers don’t necessarily expect large tips, but it is customary to give your dealers an occasional tip. It’s especially important to tip your dealer if you’re sitting at their table for a long time since you’re taking up a seat that might be given to a more generous patron if you changed tables.

In a lot of games, it’s customary to tip when you win a hand or win a round. The size of your tip should also vary slightly with the size of the win. On a small win, you can give a standard sized tip that may only be a couple of dollars. On a big win, it’s a good idea to increase the size of your tip to match.

Tipping is just a good way to pay back your dealer for helping you have a good time and keeping an eye out to make sure everyone is following the rules.

Don’t even joke about your tip buying the dealer’s favor. You’ll likely be asked to leave immediately if you make that kind of joke, both because it’s very rude and because the dealer can get in serious trouble if anyone at the table believes you.

Serving Staff

The other staff you’ll likely tip are the serving staff that help bring food and drinks to the tables. You should tip your server every time you make an order, simply because you may not order from the same server next time. Tipping as you order helps make sure everyone gets some of the tips.

However, since you’re tipping frequently it’s also a good idea to give your servers small tips.


Casinos want everyone concentrating on the games and don’t want to risk people cheating with their electronics. If you bring a phone or another electronic device it’s important to make sure it stays in your pocket or in your bag.

Don’t look at your phone while you’re sitting at a table. You also won’t be allowed to put the phone on the table since it can be distracting for other players.

Some casinos will ask that you leave electronics in your room or silence them if you have to bring them on the floor.

Don’t Touch the Cards

This is one of the more important rules you should follow, and breaking this rule repeatedly can lead to getting kicked out of the casino entirely. Don’t touch any cards on the table unless you’re explicitly told that you’re allowed to touch them.

Yes, this includes the face-up cards that are on the table in games like poker. Even though everyone can see those cards, you’re still not supposed to mess with them. Leave table cards to the dealer and focus on the cards in your hand.

Don’t Show Your Cards to Observers

This is one thing the movies often get wrong. It’s considered impolite to show your cards to the observers around your table, no matter the quality of the cards.

Not only can the observers give away the quality of your hand on accident, but it’s also possible for them to tip off other players on purpose.

Don’t Drink Too Much

Even though a lot of casinos offer free drinks while you’re at a table, it’s important to remember not to indulge too much. A buzz is fine but getting drunk at the table is impolite. If your behavior gets too out of control your dealer may ask you to leave.

If the bad behavior becomes a problem the floor monitors or security team may ask you to leave until you’ve sobered up.

Talking About Other Players Strategies

One thing that happens all the time in the movies but that isn’t allowed in most casinos, is talking about other player’s strategies. It’s fine to notice other players’ strategies on your own, including their tells and other facts about their playing. But it’s not a good idea to talk to other players about strategy, even when you’re not at a table.

In fact, sharing too much information could be seen as cheating, which casinos don’t look on favorably at all.

If you must share strategy insights, save it for when you’re off the gambling for when it’s less likely to influence the results of the games.

Comments are closed.