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Best of John Grochowski

Gaming Guru

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The Casino Answer Man

27 July 1999

You recently wrote about the courtesy and friendliness of the employees at one of the Illinois riverboats (Harrah's Joliet). I wish the same courtesy and friendliness could be practiced by some of the riverboat patrons. I find some players on some of the riverboats to be the rudest, crudest, most inconsiderate people I've every encountered. Examples:

    Hogging machines. VIP players are notorious for this. They are the first ones on the boat, so they reserve a whole bank of popular machines with their multiple slot club cards, holding them for friends who are in the general line.
    Eating at a machine.
    Having the player at the next machine hold theirs while they disappear for a lengthy time (10 minutes or more).
    Using the change catcher, especially the "well" type, for an ashtray or garbage bin.

There are several more examples I can attest to regarding people's behavior and attitude, but I'm sure you get the idea.

How about a column on riverboat casino courtesy and etiquette, including waiting in line and boarding, as well as playing on the boat. After all, we are all there to have fun.

There is nothing worse than cashing out at a slot or video poker machine, reaching in the well and coming up with a fistful of ashes, empty coin wrappers and used tissues.

And there's little more frustrating than scoping out a specific game and finding that all the machines are being held for players disguised as empty seats. Taking a few minutes for a bathroom break or to find a changeperson is fine, but when machines are being held for 15 minutes, half an hour or even more, it is both discourteous to other players and costly to the house.

Illinois law allowing only 1,200 gaming positions per casino license often leaves more demand than supply of games. This isn't Las Vegas, where if you find all the games taken you can always walk next door. A little courtesy is essential here if everyone is going to get a chance to play.

I'll add a couple of more things I've noticed in making my rounds. Machine hogs using more than one machine at a time in crowded periods are preventing others from playing. Casinos have signs on the machines asking players to limit themselves to one machine in crowded times, but that request is frequently ignored. Here's a little secret: There is no advantage to playing more than one machine at a time. Give someone else a chance to play.

Choose a game appropriate to the wagers you want to make. I saw a couple of guys earlier this month playing one coin at a time, one hand at a time on the three-hand Triple Play Poker machines. If a player wants to play one coin at a time, that's his business, but there are plenty of single-hand games in the casino. Let the people who want to play all three hands get at the Triple Plays.

At boarding times, I frequently sit and watch, waiting until the line clears before boarding. It always amazes me that some customers sit on the side, then cut in front when the line starts to move. Let the folks who have been standing in line board first.

Recent Articles
Best of John Grochowski
John Grochowski

John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

Winning Tips for Casino Games

> More Books By John Grochowski

John Grochowski
John Grochowski is the best-selling author of The Craps Answer Book, The Slot Machine Answer Book and The Video Poker Answer Book. His weekly column is syndicated to newspapers and Web sites, and he contributes to many of the major magazines and newspapers in the gaming field, including Midwest Gaming and Travel, Slot Manager, Casino Journal, Strictly Slots and Casino Player.

Listen to John Grochowski's "Casino Answer Man" tips Tuesday through Friday at 5:18 p.m. on WLS-AM (890) in Chicago. Look for John Grochowski on Facebook and Twitter @GrochowskiJ.

John Grochowski Websites:

www.casinoanswerman.com

Books by John Grochowski:

> More Books By John Grochowski