Basic Etiquette and Bad Behavior in the Casino

I have high expectations when it comes to human beings’ actions in a public place. A casino is a public room and etiquette is the customary code of polite behavior  among members of a particular group. This post reflects upon basic etiquette and bad behavior in the casino.

Besides being a venue for playing games and winning some money, the casino is also a venue for interacting with other people. Remember, the casino staff caters only to everyone’s pleasure, not just yours. So, follow a few simple rules of etiquette so we all can enjoy our casino visits. But most important is to be kind, polite and show respect to those players around you.

Playing casino games is a form of social activity. Any form of social activity requires some courtesy. So, here are some general rules governing casino etiquette that you should live by while playing in the casino:

Basic Etiquette

1) Don’t Use Cheating Devices: Gambling is meant to be fun and entertaining. While everyone wants to win big, try not to be dishonest in your attempts to cash in. Stick to your strategies and expertise rather than cheating.

2) Don’t use Cameras: If there is one thing casinos and gamblers can’t stand, it’s people taking pictures while gambling. Remember your immediate tweet of you at the casino may also include others in the same area. Please understand they may not want their picture taken, for whatever reason. In addition, personal cameras can be annoying to gamblers. Players should not even take their mobile phones or cameras out of the pocket, especially while sitting at a table game.

Territorial – “I am playing all these Machines!”

3) Casino etiquette expects that your fun would 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. Screaming profanity just because you’re at a casino doesn’t make many friends and impresses very few. Other people are there to have fun as well, and I am sure that you would not want to be distracted by them. Have the same consideration for them.

Related Post – Casino Etiquette For Social Events

4) General good manners requires you to be courteous not only to fellow players, but to casino attendants, employees and dealers as well  – It is extremely rude and tactless to show disrespect to the very people who have tried to assist in fulfilling your enjoyment.  A new podcast called Two Morons Tacking About Casino and Stuff provides the staff perspective. Don’t let the profanity hinder your listening to Spike and T-Bag, dealers & pit staff on the Vegas Strip. It’s an entertaining podcast and often explains the things that players do that is plain bad behavior.

More Basic Etiquette in the Casino

5) Understand the rules before you sit down, no matter if its slots, VP, or table games.
If you are unfamiliar with a certain game, observe quietly until you can figure it out or play one
that you are familiar with. Try visiting the Wizard of Odds to learn and practice a variety of games.

6) Always respect the queue line in all places that require a line, such as money cages, slot machines, table games and other stations. And 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. BIG PET PEEVE – observe pass lines.  If you don’t have the rewards card to match the pass line, go to the regular line.

7) Smoking Etiquette – Remember to read and follow the signs. Both smokers and non-smokers should respect the signs pertaining to smoking areas.

8) Refrain from giving unsolicited advice and commenting on other patron’s play Resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. (Blackjack players are particularly bad about this.) Whatever the  game, players have the right to make their own decisions, play their own way and make their own fun. Their money, their game!

Players and Bad Behavior

People With Huge Egos – Those players who think they are more important. When they feel they are being mistreated, you might hear them say “Do you know who I am?” Unless you are a whale, don’t be that guy.  Matter of fact, if you ARE a whale, don’t be that guy.

People Who Rush Up On Others. These are the people that are walking on your heels. You might be making your way through the casino, searching for the next slot, table game or video poker machine to make you a millionaire. But while you’re looking for that magical machine, you have the equivalence of the driver that is one foot behind you on the road, trying to push you forward.  These people are usually seen in the cashier lines.

People Who Sit And Observe Someone Else. This is the person who plops down next to someone at a slot (or video poker) machine, but doesn’t actually play it. How many times have you seen a fun looking machine, initially thinking to yourself that it was currently being played, but upon closer inspection realized the person was a ploppy! If you’re going to sit down at a machine, you’d better play it! Especially if it’s crowded!

More Basic Etiquette and Bad Behavior Examples

People Who Stop and Watch you play because they have nothing better to do.  And it’s usually right behind you.  I have turned around and given the evil eye many times to this kind of patron.  Funny though, until you stop playing, they just don’t move.

People Who Have No Sense Of Awareness. OH MY GOD, THESE PEOPLE ARE THE WORST!!! Have you ever tried to walk through a casino, only to have people walk right in front of you, stop walking right in front of you, or otherwise act like they are the only person in the casino?   Once, someone stopped dead in their tracks – right in front of me – to check out the casino floor carpeting. How about when you’re trying to walk through the casino and you have to bob and weave through people because they’re clogging the walkways like a piece of human cholesterol!  When you want to gaze about the casino floor or stop right where you are for some reason, quickly glance around before you decide to set up camp.

People Who Beat Up The Machine. STOP HITTING THE MACHINE – WHAT DID IT DO TO YOU?  This I see more often with slot players than I do video poker players, but there are still incredibly brutal VP slappers.Go home and get a punching bag, or maybe some counseling!

People Who Complain About Other’s Good Luck. Bad losers.  If you weren’t suppose to eventually lose, the casinos would be out of business.  If you frequent a casino, and you can’t take losing your money, go shopping. You’ll have something for your money after you spend it.  Ever experienced this – You sit down at a slot machine and put my money in, hit the bet button and win something trivial like $1. The guy next to you says something about “Of course the minute I leave the machine, you sits down and hit something – it’ll probably get hot, now.  I should never hang around a machine I just got up from.” Really? Not only rude, but stupid – people still don’t know how a RNG works?

Basic Etiquette and Bad Behavior is prevalent throughout the casino.  Let’s not add to the nonsense. That’s all for now.

Binbin

Improve Your Video Poker 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 and video poker machines, where you could find yourself shoulder to shoulder with a variety of others.

Playing Video poker and enjoying the solitary play of one vs. machine could bring a need to make new friends during  your session. Well, consider the following suggestions:

Video Poker Etiquette.

  1. Common sense etiquette suggests 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. Video poker etiquette frowns on those people that pound the buttons on a  machine as if it needs to be punished. Not only does it wear the game out over time, most importantly, it’s incredibly distracting to the other players around you.  Besides, you’d have to punish the RNG for your bad luck.
  3. If you are going to watch a person play, do not sit in the chair next to them unless you plan on playing yourself. This especially includes bar top VP, since it takes a seat away from another player.
  4. Understand the rules before you sit down. Don’t be lazy and expect others to teach you on their time. Be prepared before you play.
  5. If someone has leaned their stool or chair up against the machine, this usually means they haven’t finished playing, or maybe took a restroom break. Usually the person playing the slot machine has just went to the bathroom or to get a drink.
  6. 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!!
  7. 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)
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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.

That brings us to the last point when it comes to behaving properly while playing video poker 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.

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. Bottom line is have fun, stay healthy, enjoy recreational gambling – but not at somebody else’s expense.

Binbin

The Casino – A Zoo Full of Slot Vultures

A Casino or Wildlife Preserve?

Ever look at the casino as a wild life preserve?  It can seem to be very similar. There are many different kinds of wild life in the casino preserve like:

  • 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 Strategy 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)

In the slot machine exhibit,there are many different species of slot players.  Some are quiet and keep to themselves.  Others expect everyone around them to be social, sharing their legendary wins, their misinformed superstitions, and giving their unasked for advice.

But one is genus in the slot exhibit 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’)

senior-playing-slots

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

Anyone can see them, they are easy to detect, especially if your are in the slot machine pits. It only takes a  few minutes for the most aware casino visitor to notice them – circling around certain machines.

They seem to cunning and sly, but it’s easy to know what there intention is – THEY WANT YOUR MACHINE!

Maybe it’s their favorite, or maybe the limit progressive is getting close to the “must pay by” jackpot. Either way, I like to outwit the slot vultures around me. I try teasing them, 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 About.com.  Notice the resemblances of the two species.

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 available and ready to eat, I mean Slot Machine and “DUE to hit.”

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.

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.  However, 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.

Now for the weirdest of all, and probably the most shocking:

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 usually just move on to their next possible conquest.

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

Binbin

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