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 16 Casino Do’s and Don’ts to enjoy your recreational visit to the casino.
Bankroll, Game Rules and Rewards Club
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 recreation.
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.
5) Be contented with small casino wins. First timers usually lose more in casinos. Breaking even in casinos is generally considered a win.
Casino Do’s and Don’ts – Online Resources
6) 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.
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) Do drink alcohol responsibly when gambling. Excessive alcohol will inevitably cause you to accept losing beyond a “healthy situation.”
9) DoBring a watch and your cell phone. Casinos show no clocks, and don’t provide windows 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 cacophony of noise in the casino and prove invaluable.
Be Aware Of the Little Things
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 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 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.
Non-smoking, Tipping, and pictures
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 with.
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.
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.
Leaders of the Association of Gaming Equipment Manufacturers (AGEM), the National Indian Gaming Association (NIGA) and the National Center for Responsible Gaming (NCRG) joined the American Gaming Association (AGA) this week to highlight the gaming industry’s shared commitment to responsible gaming.
Gaming operators and manufacturers across the United States will commemorate the industry’s responsible gaming efforts by holding dozens of local events and responsible gaming educational activities this week in recognition of Responsible Gaming Education Week.
So, while NETimeGambling.com endorses recreational gambling, it’s always good to remember responible gambling.
NETG & RESPONSIBLE GAMING
When I first started NETG, another blogger posed the following question, “If one experience or life change results from you writing your blog, what would you like it to be?”
For me, this blog is a means to inform as a resource. More than anything I wish gamblers understood the logistics behind the gaming industry and losing. With the wrong expectations, a losing streak is a difficult thing to deal with – it becomes very personal. We bring a certain amount, whether it be $20, $200, $2000, or more, and it can be gone in a New York minute – and there you are, a quick losing streak changing your expectations, your feelings, and possibly your behavior.
Now what do you do? When your gambling becomes a streak of losing, what do you do to change your “luck?” How do you handle that pit in your stomach?
HOW DO YOU REACT?
Do you go on “TILT?” According to Bill Burton in his article “Losing Streaks: How To Survive,” “going on tilt is the expression used when poker players become upset and lose control of their emotions. Consequently they start making poor decisions and play badly and irrationally. Going on tilt is not confined just to poker players. Anyone who gambles on any casino game can find themselves on tilt. Once a player starts losing money they are a prime candidate. They have lost money and they try to make it back quickly by raising the size of their bets or playing a higher denomination slot machine. This will usually just lead to more losses.”
Sometimes a player will get to the point where they just don’t care how much money they have lost. But, for most of us, it does matter. Understand that casinos are very profitable businesses. They make money that is coming from the players pockets. Few people win. Most lose. Gambling is for fun. If it makes you feel bad, and cannot accept the fact that you’ll probably lose, do something else in your free time!
7 SUGGESTIONS FOR DEALING WITH LOSING STREAKS
Losing can become purely an emotional response. I try to remind myself the following:
I came with money that I could spend on the recreational pleasure of gambling. When it’s gone, I’m done. And a 10% win on the day’s Bankroll is a good day for any recreational gambler. Consider going home with money in your pocket, win or lose.
The casino will win, the house edge is real and getting worse every year as casinos tighten machines, game rules, and paytables.
Dont play Blackjack that pays 6:5 on all blackjacks! Just don’t!
Learning to accept it is the first step to dealing with losing. Even better, look for the best table rules, the best paytables, and higher denomination slots to help your gambling duration and “win-a-bility.”
If I win big, or lose big, I need to admit that anything CAN happen. The end result, AS LONG AS MONEY SPENT IS DISCRETIONARY, NOT YOUR FAMILY’S BUDGET $$, must be accepted. When you’re not in a good frame of mind and on a losing streak, put down your drink, don’t carry on and calmly leave. Jessica Cheng, Brand Ambassador at 777DragonCasino.com, says,”…we have a chance at winnings and a chance at losing – it’s just the nature of the game.
Losing at Gambling?
But there is no reason to slip into a depression and refuse to ever go gambling again. Just recoup, maybe take a break and gather yourself again, sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month and then when you feel ready, try again.” However, I would emphasize wait and “sit on a little bit of a tight budget for the next month…”
Repeat after me…..We must ALWAYS use our Rewards Card. At least get something for your money. A comp of any size could give yourself the break that you need, whether it’s an outright comp gift or from your own hard-earned comp points.
NEVER GO TO THE CASINO TO GET AWAY FROM PROBLEMS, NEVER GO TO THE CASINO WHEN YOU’RE ANGRY, UPSET, OR DEPRESSED.
If you have lost A LOT of money (which could mean anything to anyone, but I mean a good chunk over hours of play), do what Richard Munchkin, Author of Gambling Wizards and cohost of Gambling With an Edge (an excellent podcast and highly recommended for Advantage & recreational players alike). “The most important thing AFTER a big loss” he says “is to contact a casino host and ask for some money back. This is called a loss rebate, but it is only for BIG losses……Bottom line – try to get some of your money back by asking a host. If you can’t get cash try for show tickets, fight tickets, or whatever they will give you. By the way – the term “ton of money” is relative. If your ‘ton’ is $500 then you may only get a comp for 2 to the buffet.” Remember, unless you ask, you can’t get anything!
Fluctuations are to be expected, depending on the EV (expected Value) of the game your playing. See the cartoon above and read again. Don’t expect your money to last on a slot machine like it would on a Video Poker machine with perfect strategy. And yet, fluctuations will happen, no matter what the EV is. There are advantages to playing any game – just be knowledgeable and accept the consequences of lower EV games.
Remember, gambling is like any recreational pleasure – it can create a rush of adrenaline and release of endorphin to our human brain that some of us can’t handle well. Before I end, I must repeat what is in the side panel of this blog daily: Gambling Addiction is a serious illness progressive in its nature. It affects the person who gambles as well as many around them – family, co-workers and friends. If you wonder if the fun has stopped, and the compulsiveness has begun, go to the following Gamblers Anonymous site and answer a quick 20 questions. It may save your life.
Sometimes, I have got to share my experiences – more cathartic for me than anything. But may we all learn something while I rant…….
Last weekend I visited Mohegan Sun, played though the morning until it got was just too busy. Here’s a few experiences that morning that need yet another mention:
1) Lady to my left playing Buffalo Stampede next to me keeps taking rewards card out of machine, then in, then out…..you get the idea. At one point she had it out for a good 5 minutes. I asked why. She replied, “Whenever I take it out I get the bonus.” To which, I said, “You realize of course that the rewards card and RNG that runs the machine are two separate systems.” She says “Yes, I guess. But it just feels that it makes a difference.” ok – and I just kept playing.
Unfortunately, all the time she played without the card, she was denying herself 2X points and tier points – a hefty promo for Mohegan Sun.
2) Man to my right playing Buffalo Stampede is slapping the machine buttons like it’s a wack-o-mole game. He’s unhappy. I get a random bonus, but not much of a return. He barks toward me that the machine is programmed to do that – “I’ve lost $600 already on this machine. I would know.” The fact is, the more interesting bells and whistles on a slot machine, the more volatile it becomes. So, since he spoke first, I just reminded him that “it’s just a random bonus separate from the randomness of the RNG, so the machine doesn’t connect the two events on purpose.” Unhappy with my non-emotional, scientific approach, he lost the rest of his money in the slot quickly, and left in a huff.
Moral of the story – It’s a machine! There’s nothing personal about it. The machine has no brain, no emotional attachment to who’s playing it and no spiritual karma to rub and coerce out it.