Everything You Need to Know About Canadian Casino Etiquette
Casino popularity continues to climb around the globe. As more people pour into casinos, more are learning how to play. It’s smart to go into them with a little preparation, of course.
Whether you’re completely new to casinos or have only played online, a little etiquette goes a long way. Casino etiquette is the unspoken list of rules that make everyone’s poker experience better. Don’t be afraid of being pegged as a newbie, memorize the etiquette and you’ll fit right in.
Some of these unspoken rules can vary from casino to casino, of course. If you need a general idea on how you should conduct yourself, we’ve made a guide.
No Pictures, Please
Pictures aren’t explicitly prohibited in a casino, but they do discourage it. The reason being is that they do not want potential criminals knowing their layout. If you snapped a photo of someone celebrating, they won’t mind.
As long as you’re not going around filming everything, security won’t be on you.
Phone Calls While Gaming
If you’re yapping on the phone while next to others trying to concentrate, you’re going to get some death stares. Turn your phone on vibrate and stick to text messages for communication. Try to reserve your phone calls for emergencies only. You can always step out or find a corner to take calls.
There is a Dress Code
Treat the dress code as you would any other professional establishment. Shirt, shoes, and skin to a minimum. That doesn’t mean women cannot dress sexy or men must wear slacks and a dress shirt.
Most casinos don’t mind shorts and sandals attire, just call them in advance if you feel unsure.
Watch Your Alcohol
When the liquor is flowing, the dice is rolling, and the chips are in the air, the casino is the place to be. The key to safe gambling is having your wits about you. Even if you’re not driving, monitor your alcohol intake.
Alcohol can also lead to some unnecessary arguments with players, too. A little trash-talking is okay, just don’t let it take over the game.
Buying and Rebuying
When you first step foot into a casino, refrain from buying chips before deciding on a game. The same goes for credits for the slots. You never know if you’ll wind up changing your mind and going for a different betting structure.
For table games, chips can be bought at the table. Just place the money on the table and the croupier will take care of it. Dealers do not handle these transactions. Take note of the minimum bet size for the table you are at.
Respect the Dealer
Everyone makes mistakes, but you should defer to the dealer for any discrepancies. Listen to what they call out during each deal, hand, or play. If you’re new to the game you’re playing, sit out for a few rounds.
Once you get used to the flow of play, you’ll make their jobs much easier. Remember, the faster the play, the more potential winnings for you.
Keep Track of Your Chips
It is your responsibility to know how much you have, what you’re betting, and what chips are yours. Memorize the colors of the chips and their denominations. When playing roulette, know your chip’s color and your opponents.
Do not try to move, add, or take away chips in the middle of a roulette spin or blackjack hand. Of course, there should never be a point where you are touching anyone’s chips for any reason. This is just asking for trouble and removal from the table or casino.
The croupier will place winning chips on top of your bets on the table and leave them. It’s your job then to remove the chips if you want or “let it ride” on the next bet.
How to Cash Out
When you’re ready to leave a table, you need to cash out. Depending on the game you were playing, you will need to convert your chips first. Roulette, blackjack, and craps all need to be changed to casino chips.
Once you are done, simply ask the croupier to cash out and they will cash you out. Then, you will take your chips to the cashier when you’re ready to leave.
We know that casino action can be exciting, but try to be a good sport. Whether you’re winning or losing, don’t shout and act a fool. All the theatrics can slow down the play for everyone, which is not fun.
You might be having fun, but think about how it feels for others. When you get down on your luck, it doesn’t feel good having someone rub it in. In fact, all you want to do when you’re running cold is to get past it as fast as possible.
It’s not against the rules to try and psych your opponent out, just be smart about it. If you’re constantly berating or arguing with players, the floor managers might warn you. Make it a habit and you might be banned from that table or the house.
Tip Your Dealer
The best casinos have some of the best dealers–and you’ll notice it. Cards are flying faster, they communicate better, and more. The best dealers are so consistent, you’ll forget they’re there sometimes.
If you’re running hot, you should tip your dealer. It’s just common courtesy and good casino etiquette. How much you should tip is up to you, but adding $5 to $10 to their hourly pay is a good start.
When it comes to blackjack, you can tip the dealer in chips or you can even place a bet for them. This adds a little fun to the game for them. Just think how monotonous dealing can be when all the players are stiffs and don’t tip.
Gambling Machine Tips
If your casino favorite is in the slots and video poker rooms, then there are some things you should know. Casino etiquette works a little different here. These are the unwritten rules when you’re playing the machines.
Yes, you can play multiple machines at a time, it’s actually a good strategy. This becomes a problem when the casino is busy. Some people might be too polite to say something, so don’t assume anything.
Even if the machines you are on aren’t popular, leave at least one spot open. Casino security won’t mind you manning multiple machines either, that’s more money for the house. Look at some casino reviews to find the best places to play slots with plenty of machines.
All the sights, sounds, and stimuli will naturally get people talking. Don’t mistake the loud conversations as a license to jump in them. Also, try not to be too imposing at the slots. Yes, the seating can be an ideal environment to chat, but most regulars are there to escape and win money.
Poker tables are usually talkative if you’re looking for conversation. Just be prepared to meet a lot of “serious” gamblers who aren’t for small talk.
It’s also worth mentioning that if you’re spectating, keep your distance. Don’t huddle over someone when you’re watching them play. You’ll notice that sometimes when a machine is hot, a crowd will form behind the winner.
Don’t be the person that causes a pro to lose his concentration. VIP members can and will call for the removal of bodies at casinos.
Don’t Abuse Equipment
If you’re pulling on the reels or mashing buttons too hard, you’re going to draw ire. The more noise you make, the more your neighbors will hate you. When it comes to the tables, don’t slap chips or bend cards.
Be careful with any food or drinks you have nearby, too. Some places won’t permit them, but if you do need a sip or bite, do it away from play. Put a good amount of space between you and the table or machine you’re at.
If you’re sitting at a machine cursing like a drunken sailor, you might offend someone. Do it enough times and the casino might ask you to move. If it’s bad luck, you might as well move anyways.
Just be aware of how far your voice travels, especially in an empty casino.
Don’t Coach People
Unless someone asks you how to play a particular slot, don’t offer up unsolicited advice. Most slot machines are pretty straight-forward. Video poker usually has pretty good instructions, too.
It’s also pretty annoying when someone is trying to advise which machines to play. Telling someone that their machine is cold or hot is usually going receive mixed reactions. Some may be insulted and some may just find it obnoxious.
Card Game Casino Etiquette
Casino etiquette for card games will vary a little based on the type of game. Overall, you can expect these tips to translate well no matter what you play. You may recognize some of these from the above tips.
Don’t Coach Hands
This is universally bad unless you’re a legitimate pro who is doing it for the whole table. Even then, many players don’t like to be told they’re playing wrong. Giving your two-cents on how someone should play their hand is poor etiquette.
In poker, nobody should trust the guy telling them that they need to play their hand a certain way to win. That’s like telling everyone you never bluff. Who is going to believe that?
Take Your ‘Bad Beat’ and Move On
When you genuinely get a bad beat at a card game, it hurts. You played your hand perfectly, the opponent gets lucky, and you lose it all. This isn’t your cue to berate, throw a tantrum, or take up everyone’s time.
This is especially true if you’re facing an amateur who lucked into winning a hand. Luck is still a big part of the game. Even the professionals can’t avoid those dreaded runner-runners. As soon as you start accounting for those uncontrollable loses, the more solid your poker becomes.
Use Hand Gestures
The rules state that you must use hand signals when you’re playing card games. Making hand gestures isn’t just a standard blackjack tip, it’s for security purposes. Security cameras can’t pick up mumbled commands, so you must signal for your hits or stands.
In poker, everything is telegraphed besides the ‘check’. You do a simple tap on the table and the dealer moves on. These hand gestures make the game much smoother and keep mistakes to a minimum.
Facing Cards Up or Down
Outside of some obscure card games, all your cards should be dealt face-down. You will rarely see a dealer accidentally flip a card while dealing. If this does happen, a new deck must be used.
When cards are faced up on the table, they are either in a showdown or being folded. Folding cards face up is something only done when the last two players are left. It is considered bad casino etiquette if all your hands are folded facing up.
Don’t Ask Dealers for Advice
Honestly, you shouldn’t be bugging the dealer for anything. Clarifications and chip counts should be the only two types of questions you will ask the dealer. If you need playing advice, ask Google or a player willing to chat.
Play Like a Pro
The more you know about casino etiquette, the better your experience. Canadian casinos are great places to learn due to the culture. Las Vegas casinos can be a little rough around the edges. Plus, the overall population of pros is going to be a lot higher in Vegas.
With that said, if you want to be successful at any casino, you need to practice. Memorize all the rules, make some good connections with other players, and be an outstanding guest. You will acquire a lot of free advice if you put yourself out there.
For more guides like this, check out our blog. We’ll keep you updated with casino news, reviews, and advice from the pros. Remember to gamble responsibly and to seek help if you feel things are out of your control.