A visit to a casino can be fun, exciting, and sometimes, even make you a few dollars. But if you’re not careful, it can also be a disaster, and leave you heading home with an empty wallet. That’s why there are 5 valuable lessons to learn before you step foot in the casino for the first time.
1- Drinks may be free, but you shouldn’t drink freely.
Alcohol is a casino staple because drinking lowers your inhibitions. Lowered inhibitions means more willing to take a risk, and that means you’ll make bigger, riskier bets – and that is good for the casino, not you.
Many casinos will keep the drinks flowing for free. That makes them more tempting, but you need to keep your wits about you. Limit your alcohol intake, and alternate with water or soft drinks. Ensure that any bad bets you make are made intentionally, not under the influence of alcohol.
2- Learn casino etiquette.
Casino etiquette includes the basic social etiquette of being polite and courteous, but also a few other things you might not think of. Some basic casino etiquette includes:
- Don’t sit at a table unless you intend to play.
- Turn cell phones off – their usage isn’t allowed at the tables.
- Don’t grab for your winnings; wait for the dealer to push them toward you.
- Don’t try to join a game mid-hand. Wait for the current hand to be played and join the next new hand.
- Tip your dealer, and use chips, not cash. It’s also acceptable to tip your dealer by placing a bet for them.
- If cards are dealt face down, use only one hand to touch them.
That’s not a comprehensive list, of course, and it’s generally a good idea to watch the table for a bit to pick up other bits of etiquette.
3- Know your spending and loss limits.
Before you step foot in a casino, whether it’s your first visit or your hundredth, you need to determine two limits: how much you’re willing to spend and how much you’re willing to lose. These are not necessarily the same.
If you end up on a winning streak, it’s easy to keep spending. You’re making money, so it’s a good thing, right? Except that all those wins can turn to a catastrophic loss in just one hand. Deciding how much you’re willing to spend helps you to keep things in check and stop while you’re ahead. You may decide to go a little beyond that limit, if you’re winning, but it’s still good to have it in mind.
Your losses, on the other hand, can add up fast. If you don’t set a limit here, you could end up losing thousands before you realize it. Setting a limit to how much you’re willing to lose will ensure that, even if you haven’t spent your spending limit yet, you stop the bleeding before it’s too late.
Keeping your limits in mind, make sure you check the betting minimums and maximums. Each table will have a small placard indicating the minimum and maximum bets. Choose lower bet tables to maximize your money and minimize your losses.
4- 21 and up only, please.
All players must be 21 years old or older, and casinos will not make exceptions to this rule. If you’re underage, you’ll just have to wait. If your sitter bails at the last minute, reschedule your plans. Otherwise, you’ll just find yourself frustrated, possibly embarrassed, and having wasted the time and gas to go only to be turned away.
5- Casinos will teach you how to play.
If you’ve been wary because you don’t know how to play the games, don’t let that deter you. Almost all casinos have classes that will teach you how to play all of their games. These classes are typically free, and while you lose no money during class, they are followed by optional game play. Do keep in mind, though, that some of the advice you get may be more to benefit the casino than you.
Casinos can be a unique way to pass an afternoon or evening. Learn some simple rules and etiquette, know your limits, and have fun.