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Casino Etiquette24 April 2002
Where there are crowds, there will be conflicts. Casinos are no exception. In crowded periods, the customer who wants to play two machines at a time is at odds with others just looking for a place to play. Some blackjack players snap at others over playing decisions. And we have the same smokers vs. non-smokers conflict we see in other social situations.
Players can defuse potentially difficult situations by remembering that while casinos are there for your entertainment, they're not there solely for you. Follow a few simple rules of etiquette so all can enjoy their trips to the casinos:
** At slot machines or video poker games, limit yourself to one machine at a time during busy periods. Even when it's not busy overall, limit yourself to one machine when a bank of popular machines fills up. It does not improve your odds to play more than one machine at a time. Give someone else a chance to play.
** Whether at the tables or at the slots, if you are taking a break, make it short or give up your spot. Taking a bathroom break or taking a walk to stretch your legs for a few minutes is fine. Signal that you'll be returning by turning a coin cup upside down on the machine or chair, leaning the chair up against the machine or leaving your coat or sweater draped over the chair. But if you're going to lunch or to play another game, free up your spot. If you're going to be gone for more than a few minutes, it's not fair to other players or to the casino to tie up the game.
** If you're smoking while playing video poker or the slots, use an ashtray. If there's not one at the machine, ask an attendant to bring one to you. Do not use the coin well to drop your ashes or butts. Players who follow you have a right to reach in for their coins without getting your ashes all over their hands.
** Do not smoke in non-smoking areas. You have a perfect right to smoke where permitted, but non-smokers also have a right to expect the designated areas to be smoke free. I'm not sure why this is a difficult concept, but I've seen smokers become quite belligerent when asked to put out their cigarettes in no-smoking rooms.
** At blackjack, if you're playing a game in which your cards are dealt face up, do not touch them. In the not-too-distant past, casinos used to instruct dealers to slap the hands of players who touched the cards. Things are more player-friendly nowadays, but the rule remains. In games dealt face down, the situation is different. In those games, you pick up your cards.
** When you join a blackjack game, especially at higher-denomination tables, ask if the other players want you to wait until the shuffle to start playing. It makes no real difference in the long run, but sometimes players who have been on a roll will want to finish out the shoe before changing anything. Don't expect the same courtesy at low denomination tables. Space is at such a premium that it's a bit much to expect someone to wait at a $5 table.
** At any table game, when betting chips of mixed denomination, stack them with the highest denomination on the bottom and the lowest on top. It makes it easier for the dealer to read your bet size, and also is a casino safeguard against casino cheats who attempt to cap a bet with a large-denomination chip after they know the result.
** In roulette, wait until the dealer lifts the marker off the previous winning number before starting to make bets on the next spin. Until that marker comes off the layout, the dealer is paying off bets from the previous spin and wants no confusion over what is an unpaid bet and what is a fresh wager.
** In craps, when you are the shooter, roll so that the dice hit the back wall of the table. That's required to assure random rolls.
** At any game, resist the urge to give unsolicited advice. Blackjack players are particularly bad about this. Some players get angry over plays that wind up costing them money, but never notice the unorthodox plays that help them. Both happen, and in the long run, bad play by other players neither hurts nor helps your overall results. And whether it's blackjack or any other game, players have the right to make their own decisions, play their own way and make their own fun.
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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