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MANNERS, PLEASE

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Players often violate those unwritten rules. Stop it!

By Frank Scoblete

 

When I was a kid and the adult would lecture me on my manners. I always thought, “Doesn’t she [or he] have something better to do?” Men generally told me how to be a man and women told me how to be a presentable man. Presentable meant neatly dressed and clean and well-mannered. Being a man meant being tough and unafraid and someone willing to tip big. I grew up in Brooklyn where “my cousin Vinny” was actually my cousin Vinny.

Seriously, I think I failed both recommendations.  I was tough enough to play sports and box (where I got destroyed in my last fight which ended my hope of becoming the white Muhammad Ali). I was never a spiffy dresser; I’m not one now. But I am always clean so at least I don’t have the acid scent some of my fellow older folks exude. And I tip.

Still, the above isn’t enough for me now. I realize that manners transcend just cleanliness and toughness; manners dictate – or should dictate – how we behave in many situations.  And the lack of manners bugs me when I am in a casino or a casino hotel. I am not at the stage (yet!) where I give my unsolicited advice to perfect strangers about what they are doing wrong and what they should be doing to be right. But inside me I feel it.

Let me share with you my annoyances.

Players who do not know how payoffs are made at craps irritate me. “You didn’t pay me yet,” one will say. “Sir,” says the dealer. “I’ll get around to you.” How can you play a game and not know how the game is played? How do you not know the order of the payouts?”

“Sir, you didn’t pay me for my hard eight,” says another. “You don’t have a hard eight,” says the dealer. A big commotion ensues. Why doesn’t the player just look at his bets on the table as the game progresses? Is it really that difficult to know that you do or don’t have a hard eight on the layout?

When I am shooting and having a decent roll, I really don’t want someone pounding me on the back and shouting his garlicky pleasure into my nose. Clapping is fine but I don’t want to do high fives or hug a stranger who might smell like acidy-chicken-soup.

I am also annoyed by players who violate the unwritten rules of the game such as hanging their arms over the layout when a shooter is shooting or throwing out bets when the shooter has the dice in his hand or criticizing the shooter or any other player for whatever reason. Don’t get me wrong; I like cheering when things are going well but I do not like the overboard players who try to entangle everyone in their excited madness.

At blackjack I don’t like players who consider themselves authorities and constantly criticize other players who don’t make the “right” decisions playing their hands. Often such experts actually have little idea of how to play the game correctly based on the computer-derived “basic strategy” but that doesn’t stop them from barging into another player’s choices with their criticisms.

Now I have to say that most dealers are just fine and do a truly bang-up job at their profession, but certain types of dealers are folks who should consider another line of work. Dealers who pry too deeply into players’ lives can be annoying and dealers who speak to other dealers in their own native language so no one knows what they are saying can cause discomfort to the players. “Are they talking about me?”

I do not like dealers who refuse to say “thank you” to players who tip them. That is a courtesy to the tipper and it is also an ingredient in the dealer’s salary. I am also not happy with dealers at craps who “cross-talk” over the game. They are not there to talk about their lives or opinions as the action occurs. It is discourteous.

At blackjack and other card games some players will take a little longer to make a decision on how to play their hands. Unless the player is taking close to a minute, the dealer and the other players should show some patience.

At roulette, one of the most annoying displays of bad manners concerns a player pushing his or her way to get a bet in by toppling some of the other bets on the layout. The dealer can make sure your bet is laid perfectly. The unmannered players don’t have to bomb the layout with their bets.

You are in the elevator going up to your room and a couple joins you as they engage in heavy petting activity. They are only a few yards from their room; they should calm down. I also don’t enjoy people on the elevator who ask “how you are doing?”

Okay, maybe I have become somewhat grumpy as the decades have passed. But I am still right!

All the best in and out of the casinos!

Frank Scoblete’s web site is www.frankscoblete.com. His books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble, Kindle, e-books and at book stores. You can get Frank’s articles in your email by signing up at his site.

 

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