If you’ve never gambled at a casino before – or in any context whatsoever – the prospect of going to a formal establishment can be quite daunting. You’ll be sitting among loads of people who really know what they’re doing, playing complicated games at high stakes.

But there are also lots of simple options – like slot machines, for instance – and people who aren’t seasoned professional gamblers. Many tourists and novices see casinos as a fun, once-every-once-in-a-while kind of social occasion, meaning that not everybody is a high roller.

Whichever category you fit into, even if it happens to be somewhere in between super experienced and total novice, there are a few things you’ll need to know before you start gambling at a casino.

Just like any other formal establishments, casinos have a sort of unspoken list of rules and general etiquette that ought to be followed if you’d like to fit in and not cause a fuss. Some of these things pertain to how you play the games and use the machines, and others are just about your general behaviour. Regardless, if you’re planning on gambling at a casino, you better make sure you know what you’re in for.

Here is everything you need to know about gambling etiquette and how to behave at a casino.

Don’t Use Your Phone While Gambling

This should be a no-brainer, right? It’s pretty much common courtesy in all spheres of life not to sit on your phone while you’re busy interacting with other people or doing something else. Thus, it applies to gambling too.

When you’re gambling at a casino, you’re playing among people who generally know what they’re doing and are there for the specific purpose of gambling. If you go on your phone and get distracted, you’re going to ruin their experience too. So, have some respect for the other people at the table and don’t touch your phone in the middle of the game!

Make Sure You Understand the Game

This one’s always about judging the room. Some games are more complicated than others and they require a little bit more knowledge and know how. Now, that doesn’t necessarily mean you can’t participate if you aren’t an expert. However, you should make sure that you’re familiar with the rules and how everything works so that you don’t ruin the game for everybody else by getting confused over and over again. If you’re going to a land-based casino it’s a good idea to play at an online site like Grand Eagle first to familiarise yourself with your preferred game rules.

There may also be instances in which certain tables are offering more experienced players higher stakes and a slightly more competitive game. If you’re not an experienced gambler, rather leave these guys to do their thing and move on to a table that seems like it’s a bit more within your skill level.

Don’t Ask the Dealer for Advice

Following on from the last point, it’s considered bad etiquette to ask the dealer for advice. Even if you don’t know what you’re doing, remember that the dealer is not there to help you or any of the other players out – they’re supposed to be impartial, and essentially, you’re playing against them.

So, rather avoid being the person that the dealer needs to tell off at the table. If you aren’t sure what’s going on or what your next move should be, unfortunately, you’re on your own, and perhaps you shouldn’t be playing at that level just yet!

Avoid Drinking Excessively

While casinos are seen as places of indulgence, it’s still expected that gamblers don’t push the limits when it comes to how much they drink. There’s nothing wrong with having a few drinks if you know you can handle them, but what you absolutely shouldn’t be doing is getting drunk and trying to gamble.

Firstly, this is a really bad personal decision – gambling while drunk will prevent you from being able to make wise financial decisions and you probably won’t be able to perform at your best. Also, casinos aren’t allowed to knowingly allow intoxicated guests to continue gambling – there are laws about this. So if you do appear too drunk, it’s most likely that you’ll be asked to leave.

Another reason you don’t want to be intoxicated while gambling is that you’re likely to ruin the experience for other people. If you can’t think properly and perform during a game, it’s not going to be much fun for them. Or, on the other hand, it may be a lot of fun for them if they keep beating you. However, that’s not going to be much fun for you when you wake up the next morning.

Don’t Break Card Etiquette

Card etiquette is incredibly important when it comes to gambling, especially when you’re playing more technical games. Indeed, it’s also not necessarily something that comes to you intuitively, so make sure you do your research so that you know exactly what is and isn’t okay to do when you’re gambling at a casino. Here are a few of the most important ones:

  • If the cards are dealt facedown by the dealer, make sure you touch them with only one hand.
  • Look after the cards while you’re playing with them. This means don’t fiddle with them excessively – playing with them, bending them, folding them – and certainly don’t spill or rest drinks on them.
  • If you’re playing a game in which the cards are faced up – which is the case in a few games – make sure you don’t touch them at all. That means not with one or two hands – not at all.
  • You cannot touch your chips once the dealer has started dealing the cards.
  • Organise your chips neatly – don’t allow them to just be strewn all over the table, as this is seen as poor etiquette in the gambling world.
  • If you win a game, make sure you let the dealer pay everybody their winnings before you start collecting your own. That way, you’ll be sure that you get everything you have won.

There you have it, now you’re ready to play!