When you hear the word etiquette, you probably think of girls in classes where they learn how to drink tea with their pinky out. At least that is the mental image that my brain jumps to.
Etiquette is one of those things that we do not think about too much in today’s society, but when it is lacking, you can notice it immediately. You may not take note of the ten people who hold the door open for you, but you will most definitely notice the one who lets it slam in your face.
Proper etiquette often depends on your location. It is acceptable to laugh with your friends while you are at dinner, but that would not be okay if you were in a theater performance. Casinos are another example of a place that has its own set of etiquette rules.
Unfortunately, those rules of etiquette get broken far more often than you might realize. Some people are new to the gambling world, so they just genuinely do not know better. Other people are determined to do things their way, and they do not care if their actions inconvenience someone else.
I am going to assume that all of you who are reading this are the nice kinds of people that would never do something to bother someone else intentionally. But, you may not always be aware of some of the ways that you may have bad manners in the casino.
So, to help you avoid those uncomfortable situations, here are three examples of poor etiquette that have happened to me in a casino. If you find yourself doing one of these things, you have some work to do before you revisit a land-based casino. Take this opportunity to reflect on how your actions might be perceived by other gamblers, and make some changes if necessary.
Example #1- Violating Personal Space
Casinos can get crowded quickly, especially when you are playing table games like blackjack or craps. Of course, there is going to be some instances of bumping into each other or brushing arms when you have twelve people crowded around a single craps table. But there is a difference between accidental touches in a crowded space and intentional violations of a person’s space. Here is an example.
Last Wednesday, I was at a casino in the early afternoon. The casino was not very crowded because I did not come during peak time. I was playing roulette at a table with two other people, one of whom I did not know. A man came up behind me and leaned in close enough that I could smell his aftershave. He leaned on the top of me as he reached over my shoulder to place his money on the table.
That man was blatantly getting in my space. There was plenty of open space around the table, so he did not have any reason to get that close to me. He could have taken one step to the side to avoid getting in my personal space, but he chose not to. I was very uncomfortable, and I had to lean on my friend to get away from this man that was violating my space for no reason.
Of course, there are going to be instances where the casino is so busy that you have to get close in order to get a spot at the table. But really if the table is so crowded that you would need to lean on someone else to get in, you should probably just find a different table to join. If a separate table is not available, you could always opt for a different game instead.
You should not have that problem at slot machines because there is at least a little bit of space between each device. And yet, there are still people who find ways to violate people’s space, even at the slot machines.
If you are going to sit at a slot machine when there is another person on the left, you should probably enter the chair from the right side. That way, you will not accidentally bump into or lean on the other player while you are getting situated.
It is okay to accidentally brush someone’s arm when you are in tight spaces, and you might even occasionally bump into people. If that happens, apologize, and do whatever you can to make sure that you give the other person as much space as possible.
Do not be the person who blatantly disregards people’s need for space, especially if you are a man encroaching on a woman’s space. Keep a polite distance between you and the next gambler whenever possible.
Example #2- Ignoring or Making Fun of Other People’s Superstitions
Gamblers have a tendency to be very superstitious people. I will admit that I get caught up in superstitions even when I know that they are not real.
It is very common for gamblers to believe things like a specific slot machine is hot or cold. Other players think that they can predict which number the ball will fall on in roulette by discerning patterns on the board.
The truth is that those superstitions are silly and unrealistic. Craps players never say the number seven because they believe if they say it, the next roll will land on seven. You and I both know that saying the number seven does not have any magical power to change the way that the dice land, but that is a prevalent superstition anyway.
Do not be the person that comes to the casino and starts to tell everyone about why their superstitions are wrong. Whether we admit it or not, we all know that gambling comes down to the luck of the draw or the roll of the dice. We know that we cannot change the outcome of the game by avoiding certain words or participating in a ritual like bending the cards in baccarat.
But the superstitions are part of the fun for a lot of gamblers. Even if they do not believe in luck or patterns, they may still participate in the notion because it makes the game more interesting for them. Some people believe that the superstitious beliefs and rituals are part of the excitement that a land-based casino offers, so do not ruin the fun for them.
There are a couple of ways that you might affect a superstitious player’s experience. If you are aware of their superstitions, do not bring attention to them. You should certainly not make fun of them for believing in their superstitions, and you should never try to explain away their beliefs.
When it is possible, you should also try not to upset them by not participating in the superstition yourself. For
if you know that craps players are superstitious about the number seven, do not say seven over and over again at the craps table. That is just being inconsiderate.
Acknowledging other people’s superstitions depends on the situation. If a player believes that their lucky rabbit foot or their red underwear bring them extra luck, you do not need to go buy those things for yourself just for the sake of being similar to your neighbor. When the superstition involves something that the collective group should or should not do, you can participate in the ritual even if you do not believe in them.
It might seem like a silly and insignificant detail to you, but it probably matters a lot to the other players. Being kind enough to acknowledge their superstitions makes the casino a more enjoyable place for everyone. So, instead of lecturing someone on all of the reasons that their superstitions are wrong, just accept it.
You do not have to believe in the superstitions themselves in order to be the kind of person that doesn’t make the neighbors mad for no reason.
Example #3- Mistreating the Casino Staff
Most gamblers are very kind to the casino staff, but every once in a while, you will find a player that treats the casino staff like garbage. These are the people who yell at the dealers as if the dealers did something to make them lose. They are the kinds of people who throw things and scream and demand to speak to the pit boss. Their behavior usually earns a security escort as they are asked to leave.
Those kinds of people are awful, but I do not think they are very common. As I said, most gamblers are very kind to the casino staff. However, I think it is more common to treat the casino staff disrespectfully in small and less significant ways. There are a few actions that are often considered acceptable or unnoticeable, but they really are not okay.
When people use pet names to refer to the casino employees, or they stiff them by not tipping, they are mistreating the staff in more subtle ways. Just because those examples are subtle does not mean that they are acceptable. Here are a few examples that I have seen of people who mistreat the casino staff in small and unintentional ways.
There are a lot of people who use pet names like hon or doll or sweetheart when they are talking to waitresses, dealers, or other casino staff. Typically, it is male clients who speak that way to female employees, but there are a few females who do it too. Of course, they do not mean any harm by it, but it is disrespectful.
Some of those words are objectifying, and others are simply far too intimate to use with an employee that you do not know.
Similarly, there are a lot of customers who try to flirt with or hit on the female employees at casinos. In the worst cases, it can get incredibly creepy and might make the employee feel very uncomfortable. Some of those employees may flirt back because they want to get a bigger tip, but they should not have to encourage that behavior to get paid.
Female casino employees are not helpful to you because they are interested in dating you. Remember that she is doing her job, and being kind to you is a part of that job. Do not hit on casino employees. You can be kind and polite to them without being creepy about it.
Casino employees in America rely on tips to supplement their income because their hourly rates are so small. People from other countries may not be aware of the tipping expectation, but there are also people who deliberately refuse to tip the staff because they don’t feel like it.
If you did not know that you were supposed to tip the dealers and waitresses, now you know better. Those of who just choose not to tip should remember that if you cannot afford to tip the dealers, then you probably cannot afford to gamble.
Some people refuse to tip the dealer because they believe that the dealer caused them to lose money. Other people blame the dealers or make rude comments to them whenever they start to lose.
The dealer does not have control over what cards come out of the shoe. Do not blame the dealer for your poor luck or bad decisions, and do not punish them just because you do not like the outcome of the game.
There are strict rules that the dealer has to follow to keep the game fair, and if the dealer does anything suspicious, the casino could lose their gambling license or get charged with fines. Dealers are under constant surveillance and a lot of pressure.
Customers that accuse the dealers of cheating or blame the dealers for their losses make their job harder than it needs to be.
Never accuse a dealer of cheating unless you are absolutely positive that they did something.
Alcohol is a standard part of the casino experience. If you are in Las Vegas or Atlantic City, your drinks will be free as long as you are gambling. There is nothing wrong with enjoying some free drinks, but a lot of people overdo it. Casino employees regularly have to put up with drunk customers that say and do inappropriate things because of their intoxication level.
The liquor you just drank may convince you that everyone around you is having a good time, but the casino employees are probably not. They get annoyed with people who cannot handle their liquor and who do not know when to stop.
Do not use drunkenness as an excuse for poor behavior, and make sure that you always drink in moderation. Getting drunk is only going to make you lose your money faster anyway, so it is not worth it.
Etiquette is probably not the first thing on your mind when you enter a casino. You are there to gamble and have a few drinks and have fun, so being polite is not necessarily on your radar. But, there are rules that govern polite society and make sure that everyone can enjoy themselves. There are some aspects of etiquette that depend on your location, like not speaking loudly in the middle of a movie theater.
Casinos have their own set of etiquette rules as well. Most gamblers can use the same principles of respect and politeness that they would anywhere else to prevent issues. But, these examples show that some people do not realize when they are being impolite. Some of the subtle actions that might seem insignificant to you can lead to other people feeling incredibly uncomfortable. You do not want to ruin someone’s night by doing something rude, especially if you do not realize what you are doing.
Fortunately, it is very easy to make sure that you are not one of the people who behave inappropriately in a casino. Make sure that you always give other people space and do not get close enough to touch someone that you do not know. If you are in a crowded area, make sure that you apologize for any accidental bumps and try to leave as much space as possible.
Respect other people’s beliefs and superstitions, even if you do not believe in them yourself. Do not argue with people about the things that they believe, and do not intentionally rile them up by doing something that they think will bring bad luck.
Make sure that you treat casino employees the same way that you would treat the casino CEO. As long as you do these simple things, you can rest assured that you are using good manners and proper etiquette for the casino. When everyone follows these guidelines, the casino is a much more enjoyable place for all of the customers and employees alike.
Of course, when you’re playing the top online casinos you don’t need to worry so much about etiquette. Just remember that your behavior matters when visiting land-based venues.