So, your friend or family member offers to take you to a casino for your very first time. But, never having been before, you haven’t a clue about what to do when you get there. So, here are some quick suggestions for you newbies out there, or maybe a refresher course for the rest of you.
- Know how much money you can wager and lose. Yes, that’s right, lose. Know your Bankroll. Approach it as entertainment first. Remember, if you’re not an Advantage Player looking to make a living, it’s recreation.
- Know the rules of the games you might play. If you can, get a free app on your smart phone or tablet and play a little before you go.
- Decide if your trip is for gambling only, or it’s to enjoy all that the casino experience can offer. You can spend sometime dining, shopping or watching live entertainment. These are good activities too. Just don’t gamble in casinos to make your trip productive.
- Sign up for a rewards card. You may get a free slot play bonus, or get freebies for eats later on. You could get free tickets to a concert, and if you play enough to raise your level of card, you could get additional things from a special parking area for your card level, to entrance into a VIP lounge.
- Be contented with small casino wins. First timers usually lose more in casinos. Breaking even in casinos is generally considered a win.
- Check the local newspaper for advertisements, or check the web on the best deals in casinos. NETimeGambling often lists promotions and New England casino news on Twitter and Facebook. Sign-up bonuses, double points, giveaways, dining deals – they’re all for the taking. Go where the whole experience will be great, not just the gambling.
- Don’t believe in superstitions like “hot machines” or “it must be time my luck changed’ or, “surely it can’t be red again” because each bet is an event of it’s own, with no connection to the previous event. As soon as you realize this, the easier it will be for you to understand the gambling experience. Repeat after me – “The House has the advantage.” Good! Now go out there and enjoy it, win or lose. Be prepared ahead of time and be knowledgeable.
- Don’t drink a lot of alcohol when gambling. Excessive alcohol will inevitably cause you to accept losing beyond a “healthy situation.”
- Bring a watch and your cell phone. There are usually no clocks or windows in most casinos, and if you get separated from your party, you might need to contact them. Wrist devices like FitBit or Apple Watches can signal you with incoming messages by vibrations or sounds that you can feel or hear above the caucophony of noise in the casino and prove invaluable.
- Casinos convert your cash into chips at the tables. Simply said, this is so you lose the sense that this is really money. Remember chips ARE money.
- Don’t be afraid to ask staff for help. Remember, the casino is built on getting you there (or should be) and so there are many people who are there simply to help you as a hospitality service. Don’t be shy. If you are new (or not) to the game, please ask the dealer for advice. They want you to win! The more you win, the more likely you are to tip, however tip for their helpfulness and entertaining personality – they have nothing to do with your winning. Don’t worry about taking a little longer. Everyone starts as a beginner, and most will appreciate your attempt to make the correct play. (Just stay away from higher limit tables!)
- Don’t hand dealers chips or cash – they are not allowed to handle it directly. The “Eye in the Sky” is watching your play and their work. Put the chips or cash on the table. They will not accept it any other way.
- If you smoke, be aware of those around you. If you are a non-smoker in a smoking part of the casino, be flexible. Reach a common ground that you both can be comfortable with.
- Take a walk around when you arrive. In this day and age, make sure you know your nearest exits if new to that property. Get acquainted with your surroundings. Casinos can be difficult to navigate through. That’s the way they want it. You get lost because you’re supposed to, then you grab a seat at a slot machine or blackjack, and voila! You drop some cash gambling. If you’re new stay with your party.
- Carry dollar bills for tips. In most casinos, complimentary beverages are served, but the wait staff is usually expecting a small tips.
- Be aware of the casino’s rules concerning using your phone for taking pics. Each casino has different rules and it is important for player to be aware of them. Hey, SELFIE-ADDICTS – Taking pictures in a casino or talking on a cell phone can get you into big trouble if it breaks the rules. Some casinos allow some picture taking, like when a jackpot is hit. But don’t be surprised when you asked to put your phone away. SELFIE STICKS aren’t tolerated by both the casino staff and the patrons. Remember, many visitors would prefer not to be in anyone’s picture – especially those Advantage Players that make a living in anonymity.