Casino Tipping – Enhance Your Gambling Experience

Service Tips are nothing new.  I have always believed that great service deserves good tips. Tipping at the end of a meal is the report card of how your server took care of you. Attentiveness, and friendliness are key factors in my book.

I had the same approach at the casino.  Playing video poker at the bar, I would tip at the end of my session, depending on the attention and friendliness I received.

However, attending events like ZorkFest and networking with other gamblers has proved to me that on the casino floor, it’s better to do just the opposite..


Tipping bigger at the beginning of service and not waiting to the end to issue your “report card” tends to grease the wheels of service. Drink service is the perfect example.  Tipping a little extra at the beginning of service tells the server / bartender that you’re interested in their service, not entitled to it.  Since doing this, I’ve noticed significant results.  Not only is the friendliness factor increased, but now they are aware you have their interest.

Service with a smile.

It’s not a sure thing – remember you’re at the casino where nothing is a sure thing.  But that initial tip can mean the difference between service and non or slow service.  Remember mileage may vary depending upon how busy the casino may be, or the server.


I was always the kind of guy that waited to tip the dealer at the end, much like a restaurant.  Again, there is a better approach.

Table game dealers should be friendly, helpful and sometimes even entertaining. That being said, they can often be matter of fact, if not aloof. There could be lots of reasons.  I always thought “hey, it’s called the ‘service industry’ for a reason, buddy.” But, just imagine how many Bozos and idiots these people put up with on a daily basis.

Tip ahead?…….well, maybe not all dealers.

Here’s are my suggestions for the recreational table game player based on personal experience and networking with other players:

  • Greet the dealer, and  ask how his/her day has been as you lay your money on the table.
  • When the pit boss comes over, address them the same way as you give him/her your players card.
  • Tip the dealer during play – better yet play for the dealer.  Put a smaller bet down with yours. Now the you and the dealer are a team. Watch for a positive reaction. If they appreciate it, occasionally repeat, or more depending on your bankroll’s progress.
  • Dealers at tables such as Pai Gow Poker may really appreciate it. With such a slow game that doesn’t bring a lot of tips their way, dealers may particularly take notice.
  • Back to that pit boss – remember they were dealers once.  When they see you tip, or play for the dealers, pit bosses may bump up your bet-per-play rating.


Recently I played Pai Gow Poker for a few hours at Foxwoods. Even recreational gamblers can play this game at a higher level denomination due to the number of pushes that occur. I was playing $25 a hand, with a few side bets and often a single $1 bet for the dealer. So, a spread of $25 to $31. As I played, I was friendly. At one point,  I even made a mistake in organizing my high & low hands once, which the pit boss and dealer collaborated to allow reorganizing my hand, which I thanked them with a slightly higher dealer tip.  Remember, there are a lot of pushes in this game, so a dealer’s bet can be repeated more than BJ or roulette.

When I inquired how I was rated after my session, the pit boss said $50 a hand!  Higher than I expected.  Coincidence? I say ney, ney.

So, take the plunge – tip ahead, be friendly and good things may happen.


Tipping at the Casino

Recent postings on tipping at the casino has inspired me to point out typical practices and etiquette concerning casino tipping.

First, my own opinion is that tips are earned for good service.  Tips are not an entitlement.  A smile goes a long way towards a tip.

That being said, those that work in the casinos, whether they are waitresses or dealers, have job similar to the waiters and waitresses that serve you every day at your favorite restaurant or your favorite bartender at the local bar – these people work in the service industry. As service providers, the majority of their income, up to sixty-six percent, is actually earned by tips and not their base wage.

Blackjack Table

Blackjack Table

Table Games

The following are tipping guidelines for table games.  It is my opinion that part if the dealer’s service responsibility is providing a good time, or at least a efficient run of the game.  I don’t tip “Debbie” or “Donald” Downers.  But, as long as the game is being dealt in a professional, pleasant manner, it is appropriate to tip your dealer periodically regardless of whether you’re winning or losing. Besides, having the dealer on your side can certainly help.  Many dealers will look out for your bets if you even place a bet for them, including them in the game.

Blackjack – A good rule of thumb and proper tip etiquette is to tip the dealer about one chip worth five dollars during each session. A session is the amount of time that a dealer works the table before their replacement steps in. Some blackjack players set aside as much as ten percent prior to starting gambling.

Craps – Again, like blackjack, it is custom to give the dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they man the table. Again, a side bet of as much as ten percent can be set aside to compensate the dealer.  Personally, I feel craps is a tough game for dealers and takes a special person to follow all the action, especially on a busy table.  That should weigh in on your tip considerations.

Poker – Tipping etiquette for poker is much like blackjack and craps in that most players give their dealer a minimum of one chip worth five dollars during the session that they deal. Depending on the amount you win, you can give the dealer an extra ten percent but do not tip more than twenty-five dollars.

Roulette – While at the roulette table, the tipping rules are pretty simple. Keep your tip around one chip worth five dollars for each session.

Slot Attendants

Slots and  Video Poker

Even the slot machines, which are played independently of any dealers, may require tipping. If you hit the slots big, feel free to tip the casino worker up to five percent but no more than twenty-five dollars.

Rob Wiser from Strickly Slots points out that “Don’t forget the waiters and waitresses. The one person you should always tip every time—without fail—is your beverage server. “Complimentary” means the drinks are free, but it doesn’t mean the service is. Most players aren’t aware that when you stiff a cocktail waitress—or get up and leave before she can bring your order—she technically has to pay for that drink. To put it simply (the actual formula is rather complicated), each time a waitress orders a drink from the bartender to serve to a customer, the drink is recorded in the computer, and she is responsible for paying the IRS tax on that drink.

Service with a smile.

Beverage Service

When the drinks are “free,” a dollar per drink is a good tip. Whether it’s a glass of champagne or a bottled water, every beverage counts as one. This is why you should tip regardless of the type of drink, and tip for each one. If you request a glass of ice with your Diet Coke, $2 would be an appropriate tip, since it’s technically two drinks and they’re taking up that much space on her cocktail tray.”

Tipping beforehand can be a smart move with cocktail service. You’re letting the waitress know right off the bat that you’re an appreciative customer, and she’ll likely give you the fastest service possible. But beware, it doesn’t always work the way you’d like.

Dividing the Pie

Rob Wiser reminds us that, “In most casinos, dealers pool their tips and split them. If you want to know whether your dealer gets to keep tips, or has to pool them, just ask. Some players will tip a bit more generously knowing that the money is going directly into their dealer’s pockets.

Pooling tips is a policy that makes sense for casinos. Otherwise, the dealers working at the high-limit tables would rake in huge bucks—some high rollers are known to tip thousands of dollars—while the dealers at the low-limit tables would barely make a living. Pooling tips encourages all of the dealers, no matter what area of the casino they’re stationed in, to be courteous and professional.”

However you approach tapping at the casino, tipping is a very personal choice; there’s really no “correct” percentage, as there is with a restaurant bill. Consider what the service industry says: the word “Tips” stands for To Insure Proper Service.

If you get the proper service, give the proper tip.  Simple.





Don’t Be “That Guy” at the Casino

At the casino, you play next to introverts, extroverts and everyone in between. My story today is probably familiar to those of you who are gambling introverts. It’s not that we are unfriendly, it’s about visiting the casino for the solitude, the me time, just me and the machine.

When I’m at the craps table, I’m more out-going. After all, it IS the party at the craps table.

But when I’m at my machine, don’t assume I’m your long-lost friend, and don’t assume I’m unfriendly if I don’t want to chat with you.

Sunday, taking advantage of Triple Status points at Mohegan Sun, I was playing $1 video poker. I was minding my own business, concentrating on the game. That’s my usual way to play slots and VP. I don’t initiate contact with others – I respect others and don’t impose. I may mention to a player that they may need to reinsert their players card. (I hate to see players lose points on their cards).

As I am playing, some guy sits two seats down with no one in between us. As I continue to play, he yells at me, “hey, what should I play?”

I didn’t realize he was talking to me.

“Hey, you, look at this”

“Hey, stop ignoring me, you ignoring me?”

Now he is screaming.

I look over. He has four to the Royal, with a made flush. Really, he doesn’t know this play?

So, I say, “Royal.”

He hits the deal button – no Royal, no flush.

Unhappily, he remarks, “never happens, (I ignore and continue to play) “what’s the matter you don’t like friendly people?”

I reply, “I don’t visit here to tutor players who don’t know the game.”

Now, he just gets ugly. “I make more money than you’ll ever see. What you have against being friendly?”

(I think to myself) Yes, sir it’s my fault that your imposition upon my solitude is MY fault.

I get up and leave, with him barking at me, still telling me and half the casino how he is such a better gambler than me. I didn’t know being an overbearing fool decreases the House edge.

The moral of the story, don’t be that guy. Some gamblers are introverts some are extroverts. And some are just imposing bullies.

Don’t be THAT guy.


16 Casino Do’s & Don’ts

Casino Entrance sign

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.

1) 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 (33)

2) 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.

3) 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.

4) 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.  th (26)

5) Be contented with small casino wins. First timers usually lose more in casinos. Breaking even in casinos is generally considered a win.

6) Check the local newspaper for advertisements, or check the web on the best deals in casinos.  netime-logo NECANETimeGambling 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 be a Griswold

Don’t be a Griswold

7) 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.

8) Don’t drink a lot of alcohol when gambling.  Excessive alcohol will inevitably cause you to accept losing beyond a “healthy situation.”

9) 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.

10) 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.
11) 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 (1)  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 helpfullness 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.
12) 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.
13) 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 (16)
14) 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.
th (2)

Tip your waitstaff, especially if you request specific items.

15) Carry dollar bills for tips. In most casinos, complimentary beverages are served, but the wait staff is usually expecting a small tip.

16) 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.
Finally, have fun.  It’s social, it’s entertainment.  Let’s just leave it as that.
That’s all for now.

15 Ways to Improve Your Slot Machine Etiquette

As with most behavior in public spaces, behaving properly usually helps provide a better experience for you and for those around you.  No where in the casino could that be true than the winding rows of slot machines, where, at busy times, you could find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a variety of others.

Slot Machines

There’s a lot of slot machines to choose from out there!

To some, how “best to behave” is another way people try to harsh one’s happiness.  Alas, that usually is just nonsense from those who only want to do what they want at whatever expense there is to the rest of us, as if they are more important, more entitled – special.

The following also relates to playing video poker.  With either machine, while we enjoy the solitary play, one vs. machine, or want to make new friends while playing, consider the suggestions below.

Slot Machinr / Video Poker Etiquette.

  1. Slot machine etiquette teaches that you should never touch the slot machine of another player. You should also not lean on their chair or shoulder as this motion could cause them to jerk and hit the wrong button concerning denomination or number of credits.
  2. Slot machine etiquette allows a person to play two slot machines that are right next to each other as long as the casino is not overly crowded. There will be times in which people are waiting to sit down that a slot attendant might ask a player playing two slot machines to end one of their sessions.

    Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

  3. Slot machine etiquette frowns on those people that pound the buttons on a slot machine rapidly for good luck. Also, many casinos will frown on this since this wears the slot machines out over time. Plus, this is just distracting to other players around.
  4. If you are going to watch a person play a slot machine, do not sit in the chair next to them unless you plan on playing yourself. This takes a seat away from someone else. Slot attendants will usually be quick to ask you to please move. This is a true no-no of slot machine etiquette.
  5. Understand the rules before you sit down. Is the slot machine progressive? Is it a community game involving other players? How do you get the bonus(es)? Take time to watch the game from afar or how about this – check the menu and actually read the game rules and pay table! Don’t be lazy and expect others to teach you on their time.
  6. If someone has leaned their stool or chair up against the slot machine, this usually means they haven’t finished playing it. Usually the person playing the slot machine has just went to the bathroom or to get a drink. Even if they haven’t got any money in the slot machine, by leaving their chair or stool leaning up against it they are stating that the machine is in use, so don’t think that you can just go up and play.
    If you’re that person, as an act of courtesy, you must not leave the slot machine reserved for several minutes. Get back to the machine immediately. (of course, casinos will favor high rollers and shut down a machine for hours)
  7. Playing multiple slot machines or video poker machines simultaneously is not encouraged whether the casino is crowded or not. But, it is more tolerated when the casino isn’t busy. Besides, it does not improve your odds to play more than one machine at a time. Give someone else a chance to play.
  8. There are times that some players have forgotten their players card within the slot machine. When you found this out, it is a practice that you must put the card on the top or to the side of the machine where the previous player can easily see and get the forgotten card.
  9. Do not watch others play over their shoulder if they do not know you, that’s just creepy !!!! In small casinos it seems to be accepted to do that once your money runs out…just wander over and watch a total stranger play. Like I said – CREEPY!!
  10. Don’t be a slob! – Ashes, spilled drinks, coughing without covering, sticky hands from food – these are just some of the things that annoy your fellow players. (Suggestion – always have hand sanitizer when playing.  It comes in handy)

    Drinks, cigarettes – what a mess!

  11. Don’t share your superstitions, myths, or ignorance of how these machines work with those around you. Denomination, rhythm, which buttons to push, whether your rewards card is used or not – these are all just ignorant nonsensical notions of those players who just want attention.  Ig
    nore their suggestions.  The random-number-generator runs the machine, period.
  12. If you need to use the restroom, put your service light on.  As long as you are not taking a 15 minute break, slot attendants are around to help you out in this area.  DON’T ASK THE PLAYER NEXT TO YOU TO WATCH YOUR MACHINE!  Let them have their fun without feeling like a hostage until you decide to come back. My response to strangers who ask is “No, thank you.  I don’t know how long I will be here.”
  13. Wash your hands frequently, especially when using the restroom facilities. (Gentlemen, and I use the term loosely, WASH YOUR HANDS!)
  14. Don’t “hover” over a machine you want to play.  Some people watch a person’s credits and watch until the player is done so they can “POUNCE!”  If I feel that kind of pressure from someone, I will use my phone, check my wallet, stand and stretch – basically anything to waste time to let them know that no kind of predatory pressure will make me succumb to their creepiness.
  15. That brings us to the last point when it comes to behaving properly at the slot machines – tipping.

    Service with a smile? – Tip!

    When to tip? While tipping is a personal decision there are certain times where it’s customary to tip. For example, when you’re receiving a jackpot payout that a floor attendee must help you with, it’s customary to tip them (Granted, if the service is lousy and the attendant is incredibly slow to pay you out or perhaps not professional, you can think twice about tipping.) The rule of thumb is usually to tip around .5 – 1% of the jackpot amount, make sure to keep this in mind when working on your bankroll management budget.  Concerning beverages, yes they are free in many casinos, but tip the staff as you would in a restaurant. Again, if the service is lousy, don’t.  But if you especially make a specific request, be sure to tip.

Unlike some table games, slot machine etiquette is pretty easy to comprehend. With a little respect towards fellow gamblers and adherence to the golden rule, you’ll be able to improve the experience of other players, as well as your own. Use common sense, and be courteous to those around you.
That basically covers it. Bottom line is have fun, stay healthy, enjoy recreational gambling – but not at somebody else’s expense.


Casino Etiquette For Social Events

Socializing with the family & friends?

While many enjoy going to a casino alone, many of us also enjoy bringing family, friends and large groups. It is, after all, a place to share a meal, have a drink, enjoy each other’s company, and of course gamble. Many times, this all happens at the same time – why not? The atmosphere of lights, sounds, and excitement are great for stag & bridal showers, birthday parties, etc. The only problem exists when socializing gets in the way of other patrons gambling.

Kids On the Casino Floor?
img_1621Kids – Gotta Love ’em – But Not necessarily if they’re not yours!
It should be taken into account that casino is not a proper place for kids, so if parents want to spend time on the floor, they can do it without their children. It is done to prevent any misbehavior and respect casinos security.

Also, studies show that pre-teens who begin to gamble before their 18th birthdays usually become problem gamblers 3x as quickly as adults. So, if you want to protect your children from becoming the next members of Gamblers Anonymous, keep them far away from the casino floor.  With the additional legislation of online gambling, be cognizant of your teen’s online activity.

Online Gamer

Online Gaming

Kids in Public Casino Areas?
If you are wandering through a casino with a child, the child should be with you at all times. Many people head to a large resort or even the smallest casino in an attempt to get away from their kids for a short time. They do not want to deal with yours.

Casino etiquette states that you should never do anything that would obstruct the traffic flow inside of the casino. Stopping in the middle of the traffic flow for your family of 8, + 6 kids, is not a good idea. Not only are you being inconsiderate of others walking, but you are sitting ducks for others rushing through and not paying attention. Your kids are probably as over-stimulated with the casino ambiance as much as you – probably more! Keep them safe, keep them close, and keep them out of the main traffic areas.

If you are pushing a stroller in a casino, you should never push the stroller on the carpet near any of the games. There are even some casinos that will ask you to leave if you do not follow this mostly unwritten rule.

Territorial - "I am playing all these Machines!"

Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

Your Family doesn’t include the rest of the Casino Patronage.
Have a good time, but remember – you’re not alone! Respect those around you. Appropriate casino behavior means keep your partying contained to your group. Follow these general suggestions:

  • “your fun should stay within your own group. Yes, we know that winning that first jackpot bonus of $23.35 is amazing, but you are not the only ones trying to have a good time. Other people are there to have fun as well, and I am sure that you would not want to be distracted by them.”
  • “never do anything that would obstruct the traffic flow inside of the casino. If you want to take a look at something, or take a picture, try to make sure that you are off to the side and out of the main aisles.”

Finally, when showing newbies to the casino, find less populated areas to hover over slots. Yelling across other patrons to talk and give each other advice is definitely rude.

Millennials, Please Notef

Many people have visited before your arrival. Habits, rituals, and favorite things to do are part of their visits. As we all try to acclimate to the changing casino landscape, gambling and additional amenities, lets all try to get along in the shared spaces. Be considerate

It basically means to be aware that others are around you. Enjoy yourselves, just don’t force others to be part of it.

That’s all for now.


12 New Year Resolutions for Gamblers

new-years-resolutionDo people really make resolutions and stick to them? C’mon now – really?

I think we make resolutions on January 1st with all good intentions. I really do! They represent hope – change for the better – improvement. Whether we follow them or not, they represent what we think are important changes to make as individuals and as a society.resolutions

So resolutions are good, right? But making too many is fodder for disaster! Let’s look at some gambling resolutions for the new year.  But, it’s always better to pick one or two below – and STICK TO THEM.

So, here are our suggestions courtesy of the Casino Answer Man, – John Grochowdki. Pick a few, or maybe one a month.  Whatever the case, try these


1) I will stay within my Bankroll!Bankroll

Know what you can spend.  If you have a winning session, great! If not, stick to your limit. If losses approach the amount you’re willing to spend, slow down. Take a timeout, get a snack – people watch! If you hit your limit, it’s time to stop

2) I won’t bother people near me – I will respect other players space and focus.images

Instead of bothering others, I will do my own homework and learn the games myself. This includes not being a pain in the #$% to the dealer and wait staff. Remember to keep your advice to yourself, unless someone asks.

3) I will learn the games before I play:

Blackjack Strategy card.

Blackjack Strategy card.

A little homework goes a long way in helping to cut the odds against you at casino games. Learn basic strategy in blackjack and for each video poker game you play. Know the rules and best bets in craps. No matter your game of choice, buy a good book and read about the best methods of play.  If you have to ask a stranger about the game or machine, chances are you shouldn’t be gambling.

4) I will keep part of my winnings:

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

They Represent Real money! Treat these chips as such.

Your winnings are just that YOUR WINNINGS. It isn’t “their money.” As soon as you’ve won it, it’s yours, and you don’t have to give it back. On any sizable win, put at least half of it away. You can buy yourself a treat, go out for an evening on the town, put a little away for the kids’ or grand-kids’ educations, pay bills — whatever you want. Even better, keep part of your winnings for your next session.

5) I will keep track of my gambling.gdiary

Keeping track of stats such as time spent, casinos visited, promotions used, money won/lost, etc…will force you to look at your gaming experiences. Patterns of losing play, or machines played, may indicate that changes are needed.

6) I will play only with money I can afford to lose:

$100 Funny Toilet Paper

When the losses come, make sure you don’t have money earmarked for food, clothing, school, the rent or mortgage on the line. Play with money budgeted for entertainment, not for life’s necessities.


7) I will never chase losses:

Does money just seem to be floating away?

What’s worse than losing money? Losing even more in a desperate attempt to win it back. You’re never “due” to win, and wins and losses don’t have to even out in the time we play. A losing streak means it’s time to ease back or quit, not bet more.

8) I will never use credit card cash advances for gambling money:

Casino Redemtion / ATM machineThink the house edge is high on some games? Try comparing it to credit card interest rates. The house edge added to interest on borrowed money and ATM fees — that’s a tough combination to overcome.  Bring your cash, or if your a big player, get your marker from the casino.  Either way, hide those credit cards and ATM card in your car, or don’t bring them (locals.)

9) I will go easy on the alcohol:alcohol-gambling

If you want to have a drink while you play, that’s your business. You don’t want your judgment impaired with money on the line. Have a good time, but keep a clear head, too.

10) I will keep perspective and play for fun:

Shooting at the Craps Table - have fun whatever your game is.

Shooting at the Craps Table – have fun whatever your game is.

Keep perspective and play for fun. Gambling in a casino is not a get-rich-quick scheme. Only a handful of blackjack and video poker players have the skill, discipline and bankroll to enable them to make money in the long run. Most of us will lose more than we win at any game. Most players are best off to treat losses as the price of admission for a day’s entertainment. Casino gambling is a form of entertainment, a way to have a good time. On those days when we take a little extra cash home, so much the better. But even a losing day can be fun if you keep your expectations realistic. Remember, it’s not about luck, or casino conspiracies – it’s all about math + science = house edge.

11) I will pay attention to my TITO Tickets and my belongings in the casino.

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

Ticket In, Ticket Out! TITO

 Be careful with your money. There are people out there who look to take other players money, TITO vouchers (TITO = Ticket In, Ticket Out) purses and more. That’s their job! Be careful out there and be aware of those around you.

12) I will be more aware of my Rewards Account. Players Club

Remember, all rewards clubs have different rules. 1 point in one club equals $1, but other clubs have 100 points equaling $1. Take advantage of Players Club promotions – especially 2X & 3X (or more) points days. Be aware of when your points expire.

I’m sure there are more. Whatever your resolutions may be, I hope you keep them as long as possible. I hope your New year is a prosperous one – make 2017 the best gaming experience yet. Get that royal!

That’s all for now


Table Game Players, “Let’s Applaud Those Good Dealers”

blackjack-dealer“Peace At The Table, Goodwill toward Dealers” – is that how the song goes?

No, not really.  But during this Holiday Season, especially if you’re a regular, it’s a great time to remember to tip good dealers.

As usual, I turn to

the Casino Answer Man!  His latest post is a great one from Casino City Times and can be taken in the spirit of the season.  Here is most of his article.  For the entire article as well as his archives, click here.

blackjack-dealer-2If you play much blackjack, you’ve had dealers who make the experience breezy fun. They’re friendly as well as efficient. They move the game along but will take time for inexperienced players.  Players and dealers sometimes seem for form a community as the dealer asks players about their interests and gets them .

When dealers are friendly, attentive, cheer player wins and give thanks for tips, it makes the experience more pleasant.

But sometimes it feels like the dealers would rather the players weren’t there at all. Grumpy, inattentive dealers can make you wonder if you’ve chosen the right place to play.

I’ve certainly seen extremes on both ends, along with plenty at points in between.

Tim, who says he’s a regular reader of this column, saw both extremes in the same session. There was little doubt which experience he preferred.

blackjack-humor“I rode the dealer roller-coaster through a long session,” he told me. “When I bought in, Deb was dealing, and she was great. She’d say, ‘Let’s win some money’ after a shuffle and give us a ‘There you go!’ after a blackjack or ‘That’s the one we needed’ when she’d deal one of us a 5 on top of a 16.”

Wishing the players well makes good sense for dealers. It helps players relax, and players who feel the dealer is on their side are more likely to tip. Tim said dealer Deb went a little farther in helping players relax and have fun.

“It was all very pleasant, like we were all friend and neighbors. Of course, she reaped the rewards. One guy bet $1 for her on every hand. The rest of us didn’t do that, but it didn’t take very many wins in a row before there was a bet for Deb. After every bet for her, she’d give a big thanks, and on winners she’d say, ‘We won that one,’ emphasis on the ‘we.’”

Things changed when dealers changed tables.n5ee4b43bcc2780614b1df8aed3b19ea5
“When Deb rotated off the table, we got Kim,” Tim said. “Kim said, ‘Let’s lose some money,’ and there were a few laughs. ‘Bet you thought I was going to say ‘Let’s make some money.’ We all figured she was joking, teasing us a little, but she wasn’t.

“She almost never said anything. She didn’t thank anyone for tips. Pretty soon, even the guy who had tipped on every hand stopped tipping. She didn’t tell stories or ask us anything. The lively neighborhood became a dead table. One lady asked Kim for advice on a hand, and she said, ‘I don’t care what you do with it. It’s your hand.’”

The full act went over like a lead balloon, according to Tim. Fortunately, Deb rotated back onto the table and Kim moved on.”

So the moral of the story, reward good dealers.  That includes at the craps table, where a good dealer or crew can make your losses still fun. (Although losing is not so fun, but acceptance in the science of strategy play and house edge can reduce the angst.)




Your Blackjack Do’s and Dont’s – No Myths Here!


table game


So, you like to play Blackjack, eh?  Here are some tips to follow. Some things have to do with your presence at the table, others, proper strategy. One thing is for sure – there are a lot of people out there who think they know everything, but guess what – THEY DON’T!  So, here is a mish-mash of do’s and dont’s from the pros. Continue reading

8 Ways to MAXIMIZE Your CASINO FUN by “Being in the Moment


Casinos can be fun places – gambling, entertainment, great food choices and more. But there are some things that patrons – gambling & non-gambling – need to be aware of get the most fun out of their visit. Here are a few:

Cocktail Waitress with "free" drinks.

Cocktail Waitress with “free” drinks.

FREE DRINKS – There are ways that casinos are able to promote their casino games to their patrons. One of which is to provide free drinks around. Although it is free casinos have something else to gain from their courtesy of free drinks. Some gamblers cannot seem to control taking advantage of these drinks that they often drink too much leading them to lose their reason and gamble uncontrollably to the casino’s favor. Always take the casino free drinks in moderation.

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The automatic re-shuffling machine – Shufflemaster.” Be careful, it can speed up a card based game faster for your bankroll.

GAMES PACE / SHUFFLE MASTERS – There are some casino games that are played in a faster pace. This will mean the faster the game the more the player places a wager which lead them to spend more within a few minutes. Continue reading

Slot Players Can Be Like Vultures


The elderly can be easy prey for the “Slot Vulture”

Have you ever watched people who play slots – I mean really observed them? There are many different species, but one is considered the most annoying and rude of all of them – the SLOT VULTURE, or the Scientific name “Aegypius Monachus Unum Armate Apparatus.” (Latin for ‘One Arm Machine Vulture’)


A Full group of machines – from the eye of the “Slot Vulture”

After visiting my local casino for a few hours, I noticed them – circling around certain machines. They reminded me of other human gambling species:

  • The Blackjack Hoot Owl (Tells you the best way to play, whether you want to hear it or not)
  • The Slot Crow (Always complains loudly about the tightness of machines and how they never win)
  • The Gambling Dodo (doesn’t know how, doesn’t care to know how, and wants you to stop everything to lead them through whatever game it is they’re playing)

Please enjoy one of my most read rants “Stupid Human Tricks” here.  Sometimes I can’t help myself.  But as my Minnesotan friend Tim Dressen reminded me, “It’s my Blog, so I can post my opinion if I want to!” (Read about his book “Outsiders Guide to Las Vegas”)

I don’t know what was more fun – playing this new slot machine for 3 hours on only $50, or outwitting the vultures around me, like:

  1. making them think I was leaving, but, oops, just stretching.
  2. checking my wallet or email – EVERY TIME MY CREDITS WERE LOW.
  3. acting like I was calling someone to ask them to bring more money

Yes, the slot Human Slot Vulture is a conniving, rude and annoying animal, yet quite naive since we are quite aware of them and understand their animal-like intentions. Their normal habitat can be found in the slot machine area of any casino.

The following comparison is inspired by “Wild Birds Expert” Melissa Mayntz article “20 Fun Facts and Trivia About Vultures” found in Birding/Wild Birds Expert at  See if you see the resemblances.

Territorial - "I am playing all these Machines!"

Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

Fact 1. Vultures are relatively social roost in large flocks. Human vultures however are content to hunt alone or in very small groups, since they are very territorial once they sit down

Fact 2. Vultures prefer fresh meat but are able to consume carcasses that may have rotted so much as to be dangerous for other animals.  Human Vultures prefer fresh meat as well – we all know that the last human slot player made their new prey, I mean Slot Machine “DUE.”

images (3)Fact 3. Vultures have excellent senses of sight and smell to help them locate food, as do the human variety.  Human vultures have keen eyesight to view slot players leaving seats even before the previous slot player has actually “vacated” the seat. This makes them much fun to play with by faking them out repeatedly.

downloadFact 4. Vultures have bare heads, often bare necks and relatively weak legs and feet. This similarity could explain the fact that less slot players are millennials and most slot players are “boomers” and older.

images (1)Fact 5. It is a myth that vultures actually circle dying animals waiting to feed. These birds are powerful fliers and will soar on thermals while they look for food, but when they locate a carcass, they will approach it quickly to begin feeding before other predators find it.  The human species tends to hover, and watch, even before the carcass, or player’s session, is dead – often feigning interest in their play to get in position to pounce on the next empty seat.

Fact 6. Vultures urinate on their legs and feet to help cool off on hot days.  Did you know that most Las Vegas casinos have employees clean the seats in the early morning for this same reason!

Luckily, the human species won’t hurt you.  They’re just too stupid to know better.

Have you an annoying slot machine experience with other players?  Let me know at

Have a great seesion, but be careful – it’s like a zoo in there!




10 Lies & Myths for the OBLIVIOUS Recreational Gambler

Is This What Gambling In Massachusetts Casinos Going to Make Us Feel Like?

This post was inspired by Ryan Craggs who wrote an article for Yahoo Travel called “The 30 Worst Decisions You Can Make in a Casino.”

Recreational gamblers are often uninformed, lack knowledge of gambling strategies, and prefer to be oblivious to advantage gambling tactics – which is OK – if you want to lose your money quickly and the social aspect of visiting a casino is your preference. Whatever floats your boat.

Many people visit a casino to play and be entertained – probably the majority of us. Who really knows how many people care about keeping their money, playing longer, getting comps, lowering the house edge with correct strategy, etc.

So, if you

  1. care about playing longer
  2. care about losing less
  3. want to give yourself the best chance at winning
  4. are an advantage gambler, or
  5. a whale with money to burn………………………

this post is not for you, but if you read it anyway, you get a giggle out of it.

VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER – This post is rife with sarcasm, untruths, and basically meant for entertainment only.  The truth about money management, random number generators in slot machines and game strategy has been completely ignored.  No slots, table games, dealers, or casino staff have been hurt in the process of these very closely researched casino untruths. 

So, here is a different take on Ryan Craggs article, and all those other articles about what not to do when you’re at your favorite convenience casino.

Remember, these decisions are all bad if you want to play longer or have a greater chance to win every once in a while.  But, who am I to judge what anyone is comfortable with…..


AND NOW, IT’S TIME FOR….“10 Myths and Lies For The OBLIVIOUS Recreational Gambler”

  1. FEELING LUCKY – Yes, remember anyone can just walk into a casino and win!  Never mind that”casino edge” that so many people talk about.  Some one’s got to win, and you have as good a chance as the next guy to have blind luck hit in your favor.
Beverage Staff

Beverage Staff Schlepping your SPECIAL DRINK back and forth, over and over….

2) NO NEED TO TIP YOUR WAITRESS / YOUR DEALER – You’re entitled to free drinks when you gamble.  That’s $1 more for your quarter Video Keno game. Remember, they get paid by the casino – a little above minimum wage.  Tips shouldn’t matter, should they?

3) PLAYING SLOTS, UNAWARE IF MAX BET IS IMPORTANT – You know that you can’t get any of those progressive jackpots (or do you) if you don’t play MAX BET, but no matter – you just like the symbols on this slot. It’s entertainment, and it’s in a section that you can’t get free drinks easier. (See previous suggestion)

Blackjack Table

Blackjack Table

4) PLAY 6:5 BACKJACK – 3:2, 6:5, what does it matter?  th (25)You know that you lose $3 on each blackjack, and that you increase the casino’s edge another 1.39% – but it’s about the camaraderie, the fun, the drinks, and the social atmosphere of beating the house……right?


5) NOT HITTING ON 16 vs. DEALER’S 10, SPLITTING 10’s, and TAKING INSURANCE – you don’t really care about losing or giving the house more edge do you – especially if your table is “hot” – take a chance on your gut-wrenched hunch. Remember it’s all about the camaraderie, the fun, the drinks, and the social atmosphere of beating the house……right?

6) PLANNING TO PLAY AS LONG AS POSSIBLE, AND IF I’M UP, I’LL CONTINUE TO PLAY ON THE HOUSE MONEY – You hit once, or twice on whatever game you’re playing, you’re in a ZONE – you should keep playing.  Just a word of caution from Mr. Craggs, “There are roughly 1,500 in the U.S. alone, and it’s because they’re proven moneymakers…..they make money because of that thing called a house advantage. Sure, you can win money, but if you play long enough, you won’t.”  But, hey, if you’re in the ZONE, keep playing…..

Casino Redemtion / ATM machine7) GOING TO THE ATM FOR MORE MONEY – You know about that house advantage, but you’ve been on a losing streak that can’t possible continue. You’re due.  You got to hit sooner or later, right…..

8) GIVING UNSOLICITED INFORMATION TO “HELP” OTHER PLAYERS – I’m so grateful to those players who have tried to impart their uneducated, innate knowledge, such as – “that slot pays better if you play two credits, not three” or “that video poker machine hasn’t paid out for anyone, it’s cold, don’t play it” or even “don’t double down here, this casino has the cards rigged to make their money that way.”  You, too, can be helpful – and intensely disliked – by giving untested information like this.  Tell me how it works for you…..

9) STAYING AT A SLOT BECAUSE “IT’S DUE” – Your slot hasn’t been hitting, but you know they go in cycles. And you think that the machine remembers it’s previous cold cycle, so…….you stay. Besides, those things are programmed to pay out to the next retired person who strolls by and randomly tosses in a coin. So, you stay, because NOBODY is getting YOUR JACKPOT!

th (26)10) NOT PLAYING WITH A REWARDS CARD – It’s just Big Brother watching you, right?  For the recreational player, you know darn well the casino connects you to all sorts of inter-web stuff.  Better you’re anonymous, so they can’t give you comps, points for dining, tickets for concerts and special gambling offers – you know, things you’ll feel guilty about later.

VERY IMPORTANT DISCLAIMER – This post is rife with sarcasm, untruths, and basically meant for entertainment only.  The truth about money management, random number generators in slot machines and game strategy has been completely ignored.

smily faceThat’s all for now.