How My Friend Got Us Kicked out of the Casino and Why You Shouldn’t Be like Him

By Beverly Greer in Casino
| July 23, 2018 12:00 am PDT
Casino Etiquette

Over the past year and a half, I have taken several trips to casinos both locally and in Las Vegas. I have gone with a variety of friends, and almost all of my experiences have been positive ones.

But that all changed when I went with my friend Matt.

I should start off by explaining a couple of things about Matt.

First of all, that is not his real name. Second of all, Matt is generally a kind, respectful, responsible friend.

His actions at the casino that day were not characteristic of his general behavior. He’s a genuinely good guy most of the time.

Potential Reasons You Could Get Kicked Out

Before I jump into the story of what happened with Matt, let me first explain some of the most common reasons that you might get thrown out of a casino. There are several common reasons, but legally, casinos don’t even have to have a reason.

As long as they are not removing you on the basis of constitutionally protected grounds, such as race, religion, or gender, they have every right to ask you to leave.

Generally speaking, casinos don’t WANT to kick you out.

Casinos want everyone to be able to enjoy a pleasant gambling experience, especially when they get to keep a portion of the money you lose. But as soon as you start ruining that pleasant experience for other players, they won’t hesitate.

There are a few things that are pretty likely to capture the pit boss’s attention, and once he has noticed you, it could mean a surprisingly quick trip to the door.

The first thing that will get you some unwanted attention is any form of rowdiness. Whether you are a little overzealous in celebrating a win or are aggressive and angry after a loss, if your volume increases or you act a little wild, they will be watching you.

Rowdiness doesn’t always mean that you will immediately get the boot. If your excitement dies down quickly or if you are able to pull yourself together, the pit boss may let you continue playing.

But once you are on their radar, there is no going back, so if it happens again, you will most likely be removed.

Another way to get the attention of the pit boss is to be rude or disrespectful to any of the casino staff. Any cursing, insults, yelling, or even uncivilized cat-calling or flirtation could get you tossed out very quickly.

The casino’s top priorities are keeping everyone gambling happily and keeping their staff safe. If your aggression or discourteous behavior is threatening either of those, you will be removed swiftly.

Often, aggression and rowdiness are heavily influenced by alcohol consumption. Many casinos offer free alcoholic beverages while you are playing (as long as you play a certain amount), but once the alcohol goes to your head, they are legally responsible for removing you.

It will depend on how much the pit manager notices you, so you might get away with being tipsy for a while if you are not a particularly loud drunk. But once they think you have had enough, they will ask you to leave.

Some casinos are kind enough to offer you a comp for a meal to help you regain your composure, but it will depend on how well you respond to the invitation to leave.

Counting cards is technically legal, but casinos sure don’t like it. Pit bosses and security personnel are trained to watch for signs of card counting, and they will respond accordingly.

If they are suspicious of your playing strategy, they might give you lowered betting maximums or take other measures to limit your play. Once they become confident that you are counting cards, you will be asked to leave.

In fact, if you are playing any game too well or winning too often, they will respond the same way as they do to card counters. Any time someone has a big win, the pit boss will take note, and if it happens more than once, they will get skeptical.

Of course, it is possible just to have a lucky break and win a couple of times in a row, but they still have to protect their assets. So, they won’t kick you out immediately, but they will definitely start watching you.

There are several steps they will take before they remove someone for winning too much. Casinos often employ card counters themselves or train other employees to observe the game.

They teach these employees so that when someone starts winning too much, they have someone who can watch the game to decide if the players really are cheating in some way. Even if they can’t figure out how you are winning so much, if you start making a dent in their treasury, they will ask you to leave immediately.

One thing that really tips off the casino staff is a player who fluctuates their betting sizes. It is perfectly acceptable for you to raise your bet on a hand that you feel a little more confident on.

But if you start increasing your stake to the maximum, then lower it back to the minimum before raising it significantly again, they will begin to notice. Even if there are no limits, significant variations in betting size make it evident that something is up.

Bettors who are spreading their money that much are essentially announcing that they have a way to know which hands will win.

Ratholing is a term used to describe players who sneak their chips off of the table and then claim that they lost money or that the casino didn’t pay them the right amount. This is just another form of stealing, and you won’t get away with it.

Casinos are constantly watching the movement of every chip, especially large denominations, like black chips that are worth $100 each.

The bottom line is that there are several pairs of eyes watching you at all times.

If you think you can get away with stealing, cheating, aggression, or any other form of discourteous play, think again. Between the dealers, the pit managers, and the security personnel watching on camera, someone will see everything that you do.

Even if you are winning honestly but to the point that it hurts their bottom line, you will be asked to leave faster than you can say “gamble.”

What Really Happened

When I was at the casino with Matt, it was not just one of these things that got us thrown out, but a combination of factors. I should also explain that it was not entirely his fault, but a large percentage of it was his doing.

It all started with a lucky win on a slot machine.

Matt, his girlfriend, myself, and my husband all got to the casino around 9 p.m. My husband and I went to the craps table first, but Matt’s girlfriend wanted to try a slot machine first, so they went to the penny slots. About a half an hour later, Matt came running up to us to tell us that he had won!

It was not a major jackpot, but he had won a few thousand dollars. He excitedly told us the story of how they had been playing for a while without any wins, but he finally got five cherries.

He was not yelling, but his excitement was evident, and it had been the entire time that he dashed through the casino to find us. That seemed to be when the pit boss first started paying attention to us.

After toasting to his win, we all decided to move to the blackjack table for a while. Matt was feeling invincible after his slot machine wins, so he was betting erratically. He started with wagers that were way higher than his usual.

But every time Matt lost a hand, he would get worried that he was going to lose everything that he had won. Once he got worried, he took his bet back down to the minimum. A couple of winning hands and another cocktail later, he was back to betting large amounts.

As the night continued, the alcohol kept flowing. Now, I cannot claim to be free from my own drunken mistakes (please don’t ask me about my thirtieth birthday), but I was amazed at how quickly things took a turn from here.

Matt’s girlfriend was the lightweight, so she was the first one to start showing signs of inebriation, but she was just giggly. I’m sure that all of her laughter kept the staff paying more attention than usual, but none of us noticed.

A few drinks later, Matt was pretty close to as drunk as his girlfriend.

Matt was a little more obvious with his drunken behavior, especially in combination with his gambling. Each time he won a hand, he would passionately kiss his girlfriend. No one wants to watch other people make out at the blackjack table, but it was worse when he lost.

When he lost a hand, he would let slip a few curse words and blame the player next to him for taking his winning card. The first couple of times, the dealer gave him a warning to watch his language and be polite.

And then everything changed in just one hand. Matt played a significant amount and won the hand. He then started yelling, making sexual gestures toward his girlfriend, and making some obscene statements to the dealer.

My husband and I were laughing and didn’t think anything of it until the pit boss came over.

We were told that we needed to leave.

Matt tried to put up a fight, but my husband was able to calm him down and convince him that we needed to go respectfully. I held Matt’s girlfriend as she stumbled out while my husband calmly talked with the pit boss who was physically helping Matt exit.

Thanks to my husband’s calm demeanor, the manager of the casino came to offer us comped meals to help Matt and his girlfriend get under control. They were also kind enough to cash out our remaining chips for us.

Later that night, my husband and I talked the whole situation over. I was mortified that we had been behaving badly enough to get kicked out, but he assured me that it wasn’t that.

He explained that the pit manager had told him he just didn’t like how much Matt was winning, in combination with his drunken behavior. We both admitted that we probably should have reminded Matt to have a few glasses of water, but none of us had done anything explicitly wrong.

Matt apologized the next day by buying everyone’s brunch with the money that he had won. He also promised to slow down on the drinks and curb his enthusiasm the next time.

I have been back to the same casino with Matt since then, and he was welcomed back without any issues and was far more well-behaved. He apparently learned his lesson.

Why You Should Not Be like Matt

There are several reasons why you should learn from Matt’s mistakes. They all boil down to not ruining the night for anyone. Several people were impacted by his behavior that night, including his friends, the dealers, other gamblers, and himself.

I am certainly not holding a grudge against Matt for everything that happened that night, but I can confidently say that he ruined our night. It was just before 11:00 when we were finally asked to leave, so we were only able to gamble for two hours.

I guess I should be thanking Matt for not letting us lose any more money that night, but we had intended to be there for a little while longer.

Instead of staying up late gambling, I spent the wee hours of the morning worrying that we were terrible people who would be blacklisted from all casinos forever.

I know that I have a habit of making things worse than they are, especially when I am tired and tipsy, but it was not how I wanted to spend my evening. I am sure Mr. Greer didn’t enjoy spending his night trying to calm me down, either.

Matt didn’t cause the casino staff to have a pleasant night, either. He wasn’t tipping much on his bets, he was swearing at them, and he was being downright disrespectful. His behavior wasn’t entirely offensive for us, but the casino staff was sober, and it is safe to assume that it was far more uncomfortable for them than it was for us.

Similarly, the other gamblers who didn’t know Matt were probably more troubled by his behavior than those of us who know him. As I said, no one wants to watch people make out at the blackjack table, and he was rude to the players ahead of him.

A couple of players got up and left our table before we were removed, and it likely had more to do with Matt than I initially thought.

When we were eventually kicked out, Matt definitely caused a scene. I’m thankful that my husband was able to calm him down as quickly as he was, but it wasn’t before many players had paused their games to see what was happening. Several players watched us the entire way out of the casino.

No one wants their game delayed because someone is acting like an imbecile.

Lastly, Matt was incredibly disappointed with himself. He apologized profusely to all of us over brunch the next day. By the time we finished brunch, we had heard him say that he doesn’t usually act like that and he didn’t know what had gotten into him at least ten times.

It was evident that he was deeply ashamed of the whole situation. His girlfriend didn’t seem to see what the big deal was, and they even got into a fight over the incident.

If the possibility of ruining everyone else’s time isn’t enough motivation for you to behave, you should also be aware that casinos have a right to ban you from their premises forever. Matt was lucky that night, but I know other friends who have not been so fortunate.

Casinos also share information with other casinos about people they have thrown out, so you can’t just go to the next-closest casino to continue gambling.

They will refuse to let you enter the building if they know you were misbehaving at another casino.

So, please do yourself and everyone else around you a favor, and don’t do what Matt did. Celebrate your winnings calmly, bet consistently, and handle your liquor appropriately. And for the sake of human decency, don’t swear at your dealers or make out with someone at the table.

Conclusion

While I was initially horrified by the events of that evening, I have come to see it as a learning experience. I now make sure that I keep myself to only a couple of drinks, with waters in between them.

And when I invite friends to the casino for the first time, I talk with them beforehand about how to celebrate without getting rowdy, and I remind them throughout the evening to slow down on their cocktails as well.

Casinos have the right to kick anyone out whenever they please, but as long as you are being polite and keeping your composure, it is unlikely.

It doesn’t hurt to make sure that you are tipping the dealers well, either. I hope that your next trip to the casino is as lucky as Matt’s wins, without the humiliation of being removed.

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