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Land-Based Casino Table Etiquette: A Beginner’s Guide

Visiting a land-based casino can be intimidating. Stepping into the unknown is often scary, so I’ve produced this etiquette guide to help you enjoy your first gambling experience.

When visiting a land-based casino, it’s important to behave appropriately at the table. It ensures everyone has a good time, keeps the game running smoothly and prevents issues with security.

In this blog, I’ll talk about how to act when playing blackjack, Baccarat, Roulette, and poker, some of the most popular casino games.

I’ll also tell you how to deal with cards and chips and talk to dealers.

I know better than anyone that playing casino games for the first time in a real-life casino can be scary. Likewise, land-based casinos can be intimidating.

But once you know how to follow a few simple rules of etiquette, you’ll be able to sit back, relax and enjoy playing.

land-based casino table etiquette

Blackjack Etiquette

Following specific rules is essential when playing blackjack to ensure everyone has a smooth and fun night.

These guidelines not only show respect for the other gamblers and the dealer, but they also help to prevent misunderstandings and potential cheating.

Here are a few key points to keep in mind:

Don’t Hand Cash To The Dealer

First of all, never give money directly to the dealer. Even though this seems minor, it’s a big deal.

When you give cash to the dealer, it can raise significant alarms with the security team.

The money you want to exchange for chips should always be placed on the table. The dealer will count it out and exchange it for chips.

Don’t Remove Cards From The Table

Never taking cards off the table is another essential rule to follow. Once cards have been dealt, they are in play and shouldn’t be removed from the table or put out of sight.

This is to stop anyone from cheating – switching cards, for example, and to prevent cards from being dropped or lost.

If you drop a card by accident, tell the dealer immediately, and they will take care of it.

Don’t Touch Your Chips Once The Cards Have Been Dealt

I tell new players never to touch chips once the hand has begun. This is a rule in every land-based casino, and it’s to stop players from changing their bets. For example, cheaters with a solid hand may try to add extra chips to their stack and vice versa.

Don’t Announce Your Decision; Signal It

Lastly, please don’t say what you’re going to do; demonstrate it.

It’s best to use hand signals to tell the dealer what you want to do. This is a common thing to do in blackjack, and it helps the game move faster.

For instance, tap your finger on the table if you want to hit. Wave your hands over your cards if you want to stand. In addition to speeding the game up, this is also to prevent confusion. A player could claim they had said “stand” if they drew a card and bust. It also helps as CCTV records all actions at the table.

Don’t Tell Other Players What To Do

Another essential etiquette rule to follow when playing blackjack is not to tell other players what to do.

Every player has the right to decide their hand. It’s not your place to tell them what to do.

For example, if you’re sitting at a table with someone new to the game, it can be tempting to advise them on how to play their hand.

However, it’s important to remember that they are the ones playing, and they should make the decisions. Giving unsolicited advice can also confuse and delay the game.

It’s also important to remember that everyone has their playing style and strategy. What works for you may not work for someone else. It’s not your place to criticise or judge the decisions of others. Each player has the right to play the game the way they feel best.

Baccarat Etiquette

When playing Baccarat, following specific rules of conduct is essential to ensure everyone has a smooth and fun time. I love Baccarat, as it’s an easy game to play, with virtually no skill involved.

However, Baccarat attracts a lot of high-stakes players, and if you fail to follow the correct etiquette, you could ruffle the wrong feathers at the table.

So here are a few essential things to remember:

Understand The Game

Before you join the table, it’s most important to know how the game works. Baccarat is a card game played in casinos with a standard deck of 52 cards. It’s a game of chance in which players bet on whether the player’s or the banker’s hand will be worth more.

So, before you sit at the table, you should know the rules, how the game works, and the bets you can make. This will help you make better decisions and increase your chances of winning.

I recommend playing Baccarat for free before sitting at a table and playing for real money. Thousands of online casinos allow you to try their games for free, experiment with the game and get a feel for how it all works without putting your own money at risk.

Join At The Right Time

It is essential to jump into the game at the right time. Try not to join the table in the middle of a shoe (when the dealer is dealing the cards), as it can be distracting and confusing for the other players.

Instead, it’s best to wait until the next shoe starts or until the dealer invites you to play.

This generally applies more to high-stakes tables. If you prefer to place small, £5 bets like me, this won’t pose as much of an issue.

It’s still worth being mindful of, however. If you’re ever in doubt, ask the dealer if it’s OK to sit down. They will usually welcome you with open arms if there are empty seats.

Handle The Cards Correctly

Once you are at the table, knowing how to handle the cards is essential.

The dealer deals the cards, but each player controls their cards.

When handling the cards, ensure they’re always visible to the dealer and the other players. Do not bend, crease, or otherwise damage the cards. If you’re caught doing any of this, you risk being accused of cheating – and at best, you’ll be ejected from the casino.

A good rule in all casino games is always to ensure the cards you hold are visible to the dealer.

I understand that accidents can – and do – happen, and if you accidentally drop your cards or damage them, make sure to inform the dealer immediately.

Place Bets Correctly

It’s important to bet in the right way.

Players can bet on either the player’s or the banker’s hand in baccarat. Before placing bets, you must know the minimum and maximum bets.

You can bet with chips or cash, but make sure the dealer knows how much you are betting.

Do not put any chips on the table after the dealer has said there are no more bets, and do not change your bet after the cards are dealt. This is, again, a standard rule in all casino games.

Roulette Etiquette

I love Roulette; it’s a fast-paced, action-packed game of luck, and I like how you can place a considerable number of bets in line with the amount of risk you’re willing to take.

However, one of the problems with playing Roulette in a land-based casino environment is that the tables are usually jam-packed, the gameplay can appear hectic, and if you need to know what you’re doing, it can quickly overwhelm you.

Thankfully, by following a few basic rules and a little practice, you can quickly understand the ins and outs. I will show you some essential Roulette etiquette tips to be aware of at the table below.

Bet Promptly

I find Roulette to be one of the quicker-paced casino games, and this is why it’s essential to bet at the right time.

The dealer will always inform you when you can bet and when you can’t. In addition, they will vocally announce “place your bets” once the betting has opened and “no more bets, please” once the betting round has closed.

Make sure to place your bet before the dealer says “no more bets” to avoid being discounted. I also recommend being mindful of other players. You will often need to reach across other players to cover specific segments of the wheel, so try to do so in a respectable manner.

Communicate Clearly With The Dealer

I usually recommend new Roulette players begin by placing simple bets; red/black, odd/even, or straight-up number bets.

These bets are easy to set and require you to place a chip down on the relevant segment of the table.

However, if you want to place neighbour bets, you must clearly announce which number you want to cover and how much you want to wager to the dealer.

If you want to place these bets, clearly communicate with the dealer. They will usually repeat your selection to make sure everything is clear.

Be bold and ask the dealer about the game if you have any questions.

Don’t Rush To Collect Your Winnings

When you win, you shouldn’t rush to collect your winnings.

It’s rude to grab your chips before the dealer has finished paying out all the bets, and it can also be confusing for them.

So please don’t take your chips until the dealer has finished calculating payouts or until they signal to you that it’s OK to pick up your chips.

I also recommend checking your chips to ensure everything is clear.

Immediately alert the dealer if you ever feel another player has taken any of your chips. They will review the CCTV footage immediately and deal with the situation accordingly.

Pay Attention To “No More Bets Please”

When the dealer says, “no more bets,” pay attention.

This means that the betting round is over, and no more bets can be made. It’s essential to follow this rule and refrain from trying to place any more bets after the dealer has announced it.

Different land-based casinos have different rules surrounding the last bets on the Roulette table.

For example, some land-based casinos prevent you from placing any bets before the ball is dropped into the wheel. Others will drop the ball into the wheel and give you a few seconds to finish placing bets.

Don’t Place Items On The Table

Last but not least, keep everything off the table. This includes drinks, phones, and purses. It could distract other players, clutter the table, and make it more difficult for other players to place their bets.

Again, different land-based casinos have different rules about what you can and can’t put on the table. I’ve played in casinos where phones and drinks are allowed and others where players are permitted one glass only. Again, ask the dealer if you’re in any doubt.

Poker Etiquette

Poker is a game of skill, strategy, and etiquette. As a poker player, following specific etiquette rules is essential to ensure an enjoyable experience for everyone involved.

This section focuses on poker played against other players, not casino game versions like 3-Card Poker.

I find poker to have a steep learning curve, and it can take many years to master the game indeed. Don’t worry if you make mistakes when you first begin playing, as this is natural for all new players.

However, having a better understanding of some basic poker etiquette is essential. Below, I’ll walk you through some of the most important things to be aware of.

Act Swiftly

In poker, you should act quickly, especially when you have an easy decision.

When it’s your turn to make a decision, make a clear and quick choice. If you take too long to decide, it can slow down the game for everyone else.

I want to make something clear. However, you should not feel pressured to rush your decisions.

If you’re facing a big all-in bet and need to decide whether to risk hundreds of pounds, there’s nothing wrong with taking a minute or two to think through your decision.

What I’m getting at here is slowing down the game unnecessarily. For example, if a player is dealt 7-2 offsuit pre-flop who is facing two players raising in front shouldn’t ponder their decision to try and save face; they should throw away their cards and keep the game moving.

Don’t Get Involved In A Hand You’re Not In

It’s essential to stay out of other people’s business and play the cards you’re given. Don’t try to be a part of a hand you aren’t in because it can be annoying and confusing for the other players.

I find this is a bigger problem when playing with drunk players. If two players are involved in a large pot, the last thing they want is a drunken fool speculating what cards they both hold or advising one (or both) players on what action to take.

This is a bannable offence in many land-based poker rooms, and it’s something you should never do.

Don’t Angle Shoot

I’ll be honest; I hate angle shooters. It completely ruins the game and is incredibly unethical. There are several ways a player can angle shoot, and while it’s not technically cheating (in most cases), it will cause other players at the table to venomously dislike you.

Some common examples of angle shooting include:

  • Trying to peek at another player’s hole cards.
  • Deliberately acting out of turn.
  • Hiding your high-value chips to trick players into believing you have less money on the table than you do.
  • Counting your chips – or moving them closer to the line – to trick your opponent into believing you’ll raise or call their bet. Used to get a reaction from the player, this gives angle shooters an unfair advantage.
  • Verbally announcing “raise”, only to put calling chips into the middle of the table. The dealer will force you to make the raise. Players with a strong hand perform this move to deceive their opponent.
  • Announcing you have a winning hand at showdown when you don’t, in an attempt to get your opponent to throw away their hand.

Unfortunately, angle shooting is widespread in live poker environments. If you ever encounter an angle shooter, report their behaviour to the dealer. If they continue to commit offences, the floor manager can penalise them.

Don’t “Hit and Run”

While “hitting and running” isn’t against the rules, it’s considered bad form and could anger other players.

Hitting and running involve sitting at the poker table, winning a big pot almost immediately, and getting up and leaving. As a result, other players will feel cheated, as though they don’t have the chance to win any of their money back.

Of course, I want you to realise there’s nothing wrong with leaving the poker table after winning, but it’s widely considered terrible etiquette to go as soon as you win a big pot.

So if you want to leave, I’d recommend spending another 10 to 15 minutes at the table, folding your hands. This way, you won’t annoy the other players and won’t run into any issues coming back to play in the future.

Don’t Announce What Cards You Held

When I play poker, I never tell other players what cards I folded in the middle of a hand.

This is not only against the rules but can also give away information about how I play, which is unfair to the other players. It can also have a significant impact on the rest of the hand.

From a selfish point of view, it’s for me to keep my cards and decisions to myself. If I tell others what I folded, it can ruin the game for others and me.

The dealer will give you a verbal warning if you announce what cards you folded while other players are still involved in the pot.

Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice

As a poker player, I never advise other players who haven’t asked for it.

Advising without being asked can mess up the game and make other players confused or angry. Every player has a different way of playing and strategy, so what works for me might not work for them. It’s not up to me to criticise or judge what other people do.

Also, advising without being asked can make other gamblers feel uneasy and make me look like I don’t care about other people’s decisions.

I respect that other players have the right to make their own choices regarding their hands, and I concentrate on playing my own game.

If someone asks me for advice, I’ll gladly give it to them, but only when requested.

Don’t Act Out Of Turn

Acting out of turn is one of the biggest mistakes I see new players making.

Unfortunately, however, experienced players also fall foul of making this mistake.

Thankfully, acting out of turn is accidental in most cases, but some players do it deliberately.

When you act out of turn, you’re giving other players at the table – still involved in the pot – additional information.

This is unfair, especially to those who have already acted before you. In specific situations, you could end up ruining the entire hand. You can avoid acting out of turn by closely following the action and waiting for your turn.

Don’t Call The Clock Unless Absolutely Necessary

When playing poker, you always have the option to “call the clock” on another player when they’re taking too long. To do so, you can ask the floor manager. The player in question will have 60 seconds to decide; if they fail to do so, their hand is automatically folded after a minute.

There are situations where it’s acceptable to call the clock on players; I’ve done it myself when pots are small, and players take far too long to decide.

However, it’s generally considered bad etiquette to call the clock on a player, and I firmly believe you should always treat other players with respect.

General Casino Etiquette

As a regular casino-goer, I have learned the importance of proper etiquette, regardless of whether I’m at the Hippodrome or the Bellagio.

Following good casino etiquette is respectful to other players and staff and can enhance your overall experience.

In this concluding section, I will discuss general casino etiquette to help you confidently navigate the casino floor.

These tips and tricks will help you blend in with seasoned gamblers!

Don’t Distract Other Players

When I’m at the casino, I don’t do or say anything that could distract others.

This involves speaking loudly, using my mobile, or making too much noise. I also try not to stand next to other players or look over their shoulders.

Distracting other players is not only rude, but it may also be against the rules of the casino and cause you to be asked to leave.

I’ve heard of losing players getting angry and resorting to violence when people get too close to them, too!

When playing a game, I focus on my play and avoid getting involved in other players’ decisions and actions.

Not only does it have nothing to do with me, but it can also take my attention away from my game and cause me to make mistakes or place idiotic bets.

Be Mindful Of Those Losing Money

I know that gambling is risky and that every player can lose money.

So, when other players lose money, I do my best to avoid unnecessary celebrations or mocking their losses.

I know their situation and avoid doing anything that could be considered rude or disrespectful. For example, I would never comment on someone’s losses.

If I’m gaming with a talkative player who’s losing, I may offer a few words of encouragement or give them a sympathetic nod, but that’s as far as I’ll go.

These are small acts of kindness, but they can go a long way. Also, as a player, I always remember that losing money is part of the game and could happen to anyone, including me.

Tip Your Dealers

Tipping dealers, especially in the US, are a significant part of casino culture.

Tipping shows you appreciate their service and ensures the dealer makes a decent wage.

When I’m playing at a table, I always leave a tip for the croupier if I win a lot or if they do a great job. Then, I tip a small amount for each hand or round of play, usually one or two small-value chips.

Croupiers are the staff who deal the cards, keep track of the chips, and explain the rules of the games to new players. They work hard to ensure the games run smoothly, and contrary to popular belief, they want players to win most of the time!

Dress Correctly

Finally, it’s important to dress correctly when visiting a casino. While I’m not saying you need to wear a suit and tie, I’d suggest looking smart-ish.

For example, I don’t wear shorts, flip-flops, or tank tops because they’re too casual.

Many land-based casinos – especially the larger, more well-known ones – have dress codes.

These can often be quite strict, although the rules for men and women can vary.

I recommend contacting the casino in advance to find the specific dress code, if applicable.

My Final Thoughts

I hope this guide on game and casino etiquette has helped provide an understanding of some basic rules and customs of gambling in land-based casinos.

Understanding these etiquette tips will allow you to navigate the casino floor confidently, whether how to place chips on the Roulette table or the correct time to join a Baccarat game.

I’d also like the stress that if you’re brand-new to the world of land-based casinos, it’s OK to make mistakes.

Dealers and staff members are always happy to answer any questions, and most land-based casinos are incredibly welcoming!

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About Neil’s Casino Comparer Reviews

I have tried to be objective and consistent with all my live casino reviews. Hopefully, they will strike a chord with you, but I thought it might be helpful to explain the criteria I use to mark each of the casinos. Hopefully, the categories and explanations make sense.

Playability – What is the overall impression of the casino? Did I have a good time? are the dealers nice and chatty and is everything easy to understand? Does it have a good set of games and is there a comprehensive set of betting options? Are high stakes players taken care of?

Software – What is the software like to use and does it integrate well with the rest of the casino?. Are the images clear and is the video streaming fast? Have they taken more than the default shared tables? Is it available on mobile?

Payment Options – Does the casino have a good variety of payment options? Do they payout quickly and on time?

Security – How good is the reputation of the casino amongst other players? Do they hold a valid gaming license? Are they transparent about the security measures they have in place? Are they regularly audited? Do they publish this information?

Support – Do they have multiple methods for communication with me? Is support available 24×7? Do they have instant chat and are they quick to respond? Are they able to help me immediately? Do they have an online FAQ and self-help library? Are the support people knowledgeable about the product I’m playing?

Bonuses – Do they have bonuses?. How strict are the wagering requirements? Do they offer repeat bonuses?. Do they offer loyalty points and can they be redeemed for cash or playing credits?

After all that, would I play there regularly?

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