I’m sure at some point in your life you might take it upon yourself to journey to the Las Vegas and spend you earnings away at the slot machine, the black jack table, or in hand after hand of Texas hold em.
You win some and lose some, or for some, lose everything—that being said, there are some rules you should follow to try to make the most out of your time there.
Many movies portray characters having to learn this the hard way. In the hopes that you don’t ever end up being the star of your own gambling movie, and for the sake of making your trip to the casino more enjoyable instead of riddled with consequence, here’s a list of five things to never do when gambling in a casino.
Don’t Gamble Under the Influence
This is a big one, and one that has brought many a gambler to their knees time after time. It would seem obvious to an outsider—alcohol is one of the first things that will be handed your way when you walk into a casino. Definitely not a coincidence.
What does alcohol do to a person? Well, it doesn’t take an intelligent person to figure that out. Let’s just say that you’re not at the top of your game when it comes to decision making. Your ambitions are increased. You can have a tendency to overdo it. You can make a fool of yourself. You can say the wrong thing. I could go on and on and on.
When it comes to gambling while drunk, well, it’s just not a smart idea, and sometimes hard to avoid when you’re getting handed free drinks and really trying to get the most out of your time on your first trip to Vegas.
Try to not take advantage of the free drinks to the point that you become drunk.
Happy and mildly intoxicated is fine, but drunk to the point of losing judgement…not so good.
You might gamble away all of your money or savings, make a fool of yourself, and can even run the risk of getting kicked out of the casino or even worse, permanently banned from it.
Don’t Take Losses Out on the Dealers
This is one that you’ll see at just about any casino: players blaming the dealer for their loss or accusing them of a conspiracy or cheating, or even more crazy—that they’re or out to get you or something nuts like that.
In a surprise to no one, the dealers aren’t out to get you—they’re paid by the casino to play by the rules and will literally lose their job if they mess around. The reason you’re losing is that you’re playing a game of luck—that’s it.
The house always wins, and every game has a house advantage built into it. They wouldn’t be profitable otherwise.
If you lose, it’s definitely not the dealer’s fault, and freaking out on them will most likely lead to unfortunate consequences for you. Many players are blacklisted from casinos after making a scene at the blackjack table, throwing their cards at the dealer and screaming.
Do not be this person.
The cards are random for the dealer, just as they are for you. Joking with the dealer is okay, but if you feel legitimately enraged, please do yourself and everyone else a favor and just walk away from the table.
The dealers have to spend time with a slew of emotional and belligerent people. They are not paid a lot—like most Americans working in the service industry. They rely on tips, so just be mindful of all of these things when you decide to walk up to a table.
Don’t Go on “Tilt”
“Going on tilt” means losing control due to heightened emotions. One of the problems with this is that, because you’re emotional, you bet more and more money over time.
This is something that’s super common in the gambling scene and can happen to people that haven’t even been drinking. You’re having a bad streak and think that if you keep betting all of your money, that maybe eventually you’ll win.
Many walk away in serious debt as a result of this kind of behavior.
The sad reality is that the more and more money you bet the more likely you are to get seriously behind.
Casinos are intentionally set up this way, so know this when you decide to start throwing you bills on the table—think of it as an entertainment expense, not a real way to make money.
In most cases, we see tilting happening when things are not going well for a player, but there are those rare instances when a person is winning and they try to greatly increase their winnings by throwing more and more money on the table.
There are things you can do to avoid this—one is to just try to stay mindful while you’re in the Casino. Set your intention before walking through the gate to not let emotion get the best of you. If you feel it’s happening, step away for a few moments and just try to focus on your breathing. Anything to help keep you grounded and in the present moment.
The environment in a Casino can make this challenging, so again, know this before walking through the doors.
Don’t Use the ATM
This is could be a costly and dangerous mistake—you walked into the casino with a set budget, you promised your husband or wife or partner that you would not go over that limit, you go to the ATM once, twice, three times—and all of a sudden, you come to the horrific realization that you are now completely broke.
I had a friend who was trying to build a house go to a casino—he ended up withdrawing from the ATM. The bank saw this and ended up giving him all kinds of trouble over it and actually wanted to increase his rate for the monthly mortgage payment.
That right there is a huge reason in itself not to do this. I had never considered this angle before and was pretty surprised to hear it, but it does make sense.
With ATMs creeping up everywhere nowadays, nowhere are the rates higher than what you will find at a casino—you might pay up to $7.50 for a withdrawal under $500. Some charge a flat rate on your withdrawal—anywhere from 5 to 7 percent of what you take out.
Be financially prepared when you decide to go to a casino, and at all costs, avoid putting yourself in a situation where you’re going to leave empty handed.
There are of course so many factors that play into this, but remember that one poor decision can result in a huge mess. Be mindful, be responsible, and if you run out of money, it is probably time to go back to the hotel.
This is without a doubt the most important rule on this list—don’t cheat at the casino.
Don’t even try it.
There are plenty of movies out there that show what happens when the guys watching the security cameras catch a cheater. Depending on the severity of your cheating, the films can portray some pretty severe consequences, sometimes even violent.
Setting Hollywood aside, there are some pretty nasty things that can happen to you if you do get caught cheating at the blackjack table. If you get caught cheating at a Nevada casino, there’s a high probability you’ll get charged with a felony.
Along with having a felony on your record for the rest of your life, a convicted cheater can also get charged with fees that can exceed $10,000. Not only will you have a massive fee hanging over your head, you also risk the possibility of having to spend 1 to 6 years in jail, along with getting to pay restitution to the casino.
Sounds like a lot of fun huh?
Other common consequences: your winnings could be taken away. That is almost guaranteed. You’ll be banned from the casino forever, and if you do decide to risk returning, you’ll more than likely be escorted out in hand cuffs and taken to jail.
There was a time back in the day where casinos would actually inflict physical abuse to the cheater, but that’s one consequence that doesn’t really happen these days… that being said, it’s not really a risk worth taking. People are unpredictable.
If you are new to gambling and are planning a trip sometime soon, I hope your read this short list and stay aware of what you’re getting yourself into. If you’re still not sure if gambling is for you, you might want to consider just playing at safe online casinos instead—there’s a lot less hassle in many ways.
Make good choices, and walk away when the going gets rough!
Anything we left out that you think a new gambler should know? Let us know in the comments!