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Mind Your Manners

How we deal with other casino gamblers is important

By Frank Scoblete


In just about all areas of life we are confronted by how to properly handle our relations with other people, our culture, others’ cultures and just the dos and don’ts of this or that situation.

For example, if someone is grasping onto the overhead strap on the subway so he doesn’t fall, it is considered wrong to break the person’s fingers in order to get a good grip on the instrument yourself. If you are at a movie and someone is eating popcorn next to you, someone you do not know, it is wrong to put your hand in the bucket, root around and pull out a handful of the person’s popcorn.

The same holds true for your behavior patterns in the casinos. There are certain rules to be obeyed and then there are certain manners that, while not laws, are still the proper way to act in the temples of Dame Fortune.


The Rules

Every game has a method for how it is played. All dealers at that game will play it the same way and the player is expected to follow the format.

In roulette you must wait for all the bets to be taken and then the winners to be paid before new bets can be placed. Players are not to move other players’ chips when they are putting down their bets.

In craps, you must wait for the dice to be in the middle of the table before you place your bets. This rule is often disobeyed by some players who throw in bets here and there without realizing that when the shooter has the dice, nothing is to take place except his shooting. Some bets can be made directly by the players; other bets must be given for the dealer to place them.

In blackjack where the cards are dealt face up out of a shoe, players are not allowed to touch the cards. The dealer handles everything except for the player adding more chips for double downs and splits. When the player is allowed to hold his or her cards, it can only be done with one hand and the cards are not allowed to be brought off the area of the table.

There are plenty of other rules but you get the idea—when in the house of Lady Luck you must follow how she wants her games played.


The Manners of Playing and Being in a Casino

The biggest problem in the casino (can you guess what it is?) is other players. The second biggest problem is those who do idiotic or stupid things when they aren’t playing. Here are some things not to do in the world of the casinos:

Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell: You might be getting into an elevator, or leaving a table or slot machine, and a total stranger will ask, “So how are you doing today?” This is the equivalent of asking someone you don’t know how much they are making at their jobs. Bad form all the way. You can smile and make polite conversation but keep the wins and losses out of the discussion.

If someone insists on finding out how you are doing, just say, “Haven’t played today.” Or say, “I lost a little.” Or say, “I don’t talk about my wins or losses.” Or say, “I won enough to buy an island.”

The corollary to this is never to go up to a stranger and brag about how much you’ve just won or are ahead for your trip. They don’t want to hear it, especially if they have been hammered recently by bad luck. Small talk is fine if the other person starts it; otherwise, have a friendly demeanor but say nothing.


Stop Whining: Nobody likes to lose. Certainly I don’t and certainly you don’t. Yet sometimes you are getting your head handed to you and you want to whine like a two-year-old about how unfair everything is. Please don’t do that. Other players are not involved in your monetary problems or successes. They are concerned with their own bets. If you are the type of person with an explosive temper, why not consider a pastime where your temper won’t irritate others.


Don’t Get Drunk “If”: If you are a drinker and enjoy the buzz alcohol gives you, fine. You are an adult and you are allowed to drink. But if you are the type of person who gets drunk and becomes nasty or sarcastic to other players and casino personnel or one who suddenly considers himself a stand-up comedian entertaining everyone at the table or the slot machines near you, please—cease and desist.

Nasty drunks should not drink in public. Why should others have to tolerate their ill temper? Besotted comedians should save their material for their bathroom mirrors or for Thanksgiving with their families.


Keep Your Hands to Yourself: It is fun to cheer at some games—craps comes to mind—but some people don’t want to be patted or slammed on the back by a stranger. “Hooray!” is fine, but let me slam your back until your heart explodes out of your chest is not fine.


Be Friendly to the Staff: The dealer is not responsible for the cards you receive or whether you are having a good time or a bad time. The same holds true for the cocktail server. Treat everyone as you want to be treated and that makes casino play a lot easier for you and everyone around you.


All the best in and out of the casinos!


Frank Scoblete’s books are available at, kindle, Barnes and Noble, e-books and at bookstores. Visit his website at

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