A visit to a casino can be loads of fun, especially if it’s your first time there. It can also be an extremely daunting experience. Don’t worry, it’s perfectly okay to make some mistakes to start with, but just to put your minds at ease, here are some things to know when visiting a casino for the first time.
There will probably be a minimum age requirement
This may not be particularly surprising, but casinos usually have a minimum age requirement for those looking to gamble. In the US, this can vary between 18 to 21 depending on the state, while most places in Europe it is 18. Every country has its own specific age, so be sure to carry a valid ID when you visit.
Find out what the specific house rules are
Every casino has its own specific, and different, set of rules. These may include restrictions on smoking and drinking or strict dress codes. Other places won’t allow photography inside. So, be sure to read up on these rules (they’re usually posted outside the establishment), or to ask a floor manager or employee.
Change your cash into chips at the cashier’s cage
Casinos require that you make your bets in chips or with casino credit. You can change your cash into chips at the table, or visit the cashier’s cage. Additionally, try to bring a set amount of cash with you as it will help both keep to your budget and to avoid the high rates for cash withdrawals at on-site ATMs.
Know the games you want to play
Research what is on offer at the casino you plan to visit and practise before you play. Whether you’re unfamiliar with the game, or just a little rusty, it’ll help you feel more comfortable. If you have any questions, don’t hesitate to ask the casino staff.
Take your time in deciding
Walk around a bit and get an idea of what all is there on offer before you decide what to play. With all the bright lights, crowds of people, and constant activity, it is easy to get a bit lost. Also, don’t be embarrassed if you can only afford a minimum buy-in; a casino is a place to enjoy yourself.
Know your limits
Remember that there are minimum and maximum bets at each table. So, while managing your money may be the last thing you want to do when you’re busy having a good time, it’s important that you keep track of what you’re spending. Additionally, it’s often a good idea to decide on how much you can afford to lose before you start playing so you know when to stop.
There are usually lots of slot machines on the casino floor
Slot machines are one of the most profitable games for many casinos. Easy to play and with massive jackpot offerings, they are also extremely popular with guests. On the other hand, they also have some of the highest odds in the casinos’ favour.
Take free lessons on how to play their games
Even if you’re new to the game and don’t know how to play it, don’t worry. Most casinos offer free instruction in various games in an effort to entice visitors to play more. These games offer better odds than the slot machines and are also often more fun. Such lessons are usually held in the morning.
Know the tipping etiquette for the casino
Like any other part of the service and hospitality industry, it is often important to tip those working at a casino from your waitress to your dealer. However, some casinos do not encourage tipping so be sure to find out what the standard practice is beforehand.
If you want to gamble with other players, look for a card room
There are usually lots of different games on offer on the casino floor, such as Craps, Black Jack, Baccarat, Roulette, Poker, and much more. However, these are mostly played against the house (or the casino). So, if you want to play against actual people, look for a card room instead.
Remember to put your name down on a waiting list
But, you can’t just sit down at any empty seat in a card room. These rooms can get extremely busy, so you have to put your name on a waiting list and wait to be called to the table once seats become available.
Check if the drinks are free or not before you go
Many casinos offer complimentary drinks for players who are gambling. Some might give out alcohol but charge you for it later, so be sure to check. Additionally, alcohol reduces your inhibitions making you more willing to take risks (and to make mistakes) so try to drink in moderation.
Don’t underestimate how much money your trip will cost
Don’t underestimate how much your trip to a casino is going to cost. While lots of experiences (such as food and entertainment) are either cheap or free, the gambling itself is always more expensive than most first-timers expect it to be. So be sure to budget adequately for your trip, and maybe add 20% more to this.
So, do you have any other tips for visiting a casino for the first time? If so, do share them in the comments below.