Traditional (brick-and-mortar) casinos have long been functioning after many spoken and unspoken rules, which can all be very confusing to novice gamblers. After all, even though now they are popular among all social classes, they originate from early high-society entertainment forms.

This article is meant as an etiquette guide for all of you who wish to try gambling in a traditional casino but are nervous about breaking any of the rules revolving around this glamorous world.

Read these guidelines and avoid any embarrassing situations:

How to dress

As much as some deny it, the noble (or even bourgeois) air of casinos belongs to the past. Therefore, you could wear your fanciest and most dazzling dress or suit to the gambling night out, but be prepared to feel overdressed. Most casinos are not what we see in the James Bond movies, all glam and fancy. For goodness’ sake, they only just banned saggy pants and shirts printed with offensive images or messages, so the standards are not that high.

Unless there is a particular dress code stating otherwise, we will go with smart-casual – a hint of a laid-back attitude and a pinch of sexy. Not too shabby, not too fancy. And, just as a precaution, the ‘Code of Conduct’ also bans firearms, running and loitering.

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How to interact with others

The first rule of casino behaviour is politeness: whatever you do, you have to be considerate to the other players and the dealer.

This includes reading and understanding a game’s rules before sitting down at the table, as nothing is more annoying than a person interrupting the game at every move just to be explained the rules over and over again. One other “no” here is asking other players for advice regarding how you should play – remember you are competitors and, by doing this, you are putting everyone in an awkward position.

Also, if you join the game while a hand is in progress, have patience and wait until the turn is over. Use this time to prepare your next bet and your chips. Never touch a bet after it has been placed. Always think things through beforehand.

Another important rule is related to how to place your bet: if you want to put your money on a certain number, but you are positioned too far from the roulette table, it is acceptable to ask another player to place your chips for you. But be careful to be very specific, so there’s no room for confusion on what your indications were. After he or she helps you, always say the magical “thank you”. Don’t throw your chips on the table – besides the fact that it is rude, there’s also the possibility you might displace another player’s bet. If this happens to you (whether you are the “offender” or the “victim”), let the dealer know, and he will shed light on the situation with the help of the recording cameras.

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Among inappropriate conduct examples, we should also highlight the loud manifestation of excitement. It is deemed as unacceptable any shouting, very loud speaking or interjections. When you win, express your joy in a modest way, without insulting the others.

Tipping the dealer

Most casino etiquette guides would say that tipping the dealer is not only acceptable but also encouraged. While this holds true for the majority of the US brick-and-mortar casinos, some (mainly European) venues do not accept tipping. Inform yourself beforehand.

If you decide to play in a casino where tipping is accepted, then do so, even if you are losing. The tip is your way of thanking them for trying to make the experience more fun. Depending on their friendliness, you can leave them about one-third of your total winnings or losses.

Drinking and smoking

Moderate alcohol consumption is our best advice here. Almost anyone in a casino, except the staff,  can be seen with a glass of alcohol in their hands, so this social practice is not being frowned upon. But overcoming your limits has many drawbacks – besides being prone to losing more money, you might also be a nuisance to the other players by making inappropriate comments without even realising.

As far as cigarettes are concerned, the vast majority of casinos allow smoking. But while it is acceptable, be considerate about the non-smoking players. While at a table, try to maximize the time between cigarettes. Also, do not blow the smoke in front of other’s faces, as it might be considered an act of defiance or even passive violence. When you put out your cigarette, use an ashtray and make sure the butt is no longer emitting any smoke.

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Of course, this mini-guide does not comprise all the casino guidelines, mainly because each venue and each game have separate rules. But, as long as you know these, you are ready to start your gambling experience! Have fun!