What You Need To Know For Your First Casino Visit

min read
A lit-up casino sign.
BetMGM Jan 29, 2024, 8:04 AM

So, you’ve been playing online casino games for a while now, and you’re looking forward to your first visit to a brick-and-mortar establishment. As exciting as the idea of stepping onto the bustling casino floor may be, you’re probably wondering what the experience will be like and how you can make the most of it. Read on for some expert tips on choosing a casino, etiquette when it comes to various casino table games, and when, who, and how much to tip. 

How To Choose the Right Casino

If you’ve been invited to an event at a casino, then this decision’s out of your hands. But if you haven’t decided which casino to visit, here’s how to choose. 

First off, think about which casino games you like to play. While your favorite online casino may offer everything from online poker to Slingo, brick-and-mortar establishments might not provide many of the options you’re used to accessing online.

A simple online search will help you quickly figure out where to go to play the casino games of your choice. Also, remember that many people visit casinos for reasons other than simply winning at the tables. If you’d like to spend at least some of the time on activities besides gambling, find a place that offers excellent restaurants and shows. Always read reviews on third-party websites, like Google and TripAdvisor, for unbiased insights into the experiences that await. 

If you want to make your first traditional casino visit memorable, why not head to a city renowned for its gambling culture, like Las Vegas or Atlantic City? That way, you get to travel to a new destination and experience the glitzy gambling lifestyle to the max. You could also consider booking yourself a cruise. Most reputable cruise lines, like Norwegian Cruise Lines and Royal Caribbean, boast impressive onboard casinos packed with slot machines and popular table games. If a cruise isn’t quite your style or you don’t have time to travel, opt for something a little more quaint and closer to home in the form of a riverboat adventure. Riverboat casinos have a rich history and have drawn in hundreds of thousands of gamblers over the years. Maybe it’s time to find out why. 

Understanding Casino Etiquette

As in most areas of life, rules or etiquette take the guesswork out of what’s expected of you in a given situation. It’s no different at casinos. The rules allow gambling businesses to operate their floors in a pleasant, fair, and orderly fashion with as few surprises as possible. For this reason, one of the most important things you need to do for your first visit is to familiarize yourself with the rules in play at the establishment of your choice. You can usually find these on the casino’s website.

While information about casino etiquette might not be as easily accessible as a casino’s rules, there are many general things to be aware of that apply to most gambling establishments. For example, when playing casino table games, instead of handing cash directly to the dealer as a tip, you should place the chips you’re using to tip directly on the table. The dealer will then exchange these for cash tips. This way, the floor’s security cameras can see every transaction, and the dealer is protected from any accusations. 

Another bit of etiquette that holds true at most establishments is never to count your cash at the table; this is for two reasons. Firstly, it has been seen as impolite (or a bit too eager or even desperate) for decades; secondly, in the past, counting your cash at the table might have drawn the attention of thieves and pickpockets to your bankroll.

Most importantly, respect the space and concentration of other players. Avoid being overly loud or boisterous, and keep your emotions in check, whether winning or losing.

Creating a Casino Gambling Budget

This is another crucial piece of advice — create a bankroll even if you plan to spend only a few hours gambling. Even the best chance-based casino games are more enjoyable when managing your bankroll responsibly. Here’s how to do it:

  1. Figure out how much money you can comfortably afford to lose and put this aside.
  2. Settle on the percentage of your bankroll that you’ll bet on a single game (experts recommend no more than 5%).
  3. Make sure you’re disciplined enough to walk away when you’ve bet your limit, no matter how lucky you feel.

The Lowdown on Tipping at a Casino

Figuring out how much to tip any service provider can cause stress – after all, you don’t want to offend by tipping too little or more than is necessary. As a general rule, plan to put aside about 5% to 10% of your bankroll for tips. It’s polite and shows your appreciation to people who are often on their feet all day, making sure your visit is as enjoyable as possible. 

Common practice in most casinos is to tip croupiers and dealers around 10% of a win (it’s perfectly acceptable to tip during play, or when you’re ready to leave the table, though again, it’s best to familiarize yourself with the house rules). If you want to impress your friends, you can place a bet on behalf of the dealer. This is often done, particularly at the blackjack table.

For wait staff, play it by ear. It’s acceptable to tip a couple of dollars to the person who brings you a beverage. Still, the person delivering a full restaurant table service deserves about 20% of the value of your bill.

It’s just human nature; staff are more likely to go out of their way to make your visit a particularly enjoyable one if you’re willing to show your appreciation with a tip.

Don’t Get Hung Up on Betting Systems

There’s no shortage of so-called betting strategies that some gamblers will swear by, but don’t get drawn in to these. Unless you’re an exceptionally skilled poker player, all casino games rely heavily on chance. A successful gambler is someone who understands you’re unlikely to win big, but you’ll almost certainly get plenty of enjoyment when you play for the entertainment value and spend time bonding with friends. 

So, go ahead and try out the Martingale Betting Strategy or apply the Fibonacci method to your next bet, but remember that none of these strategies have ever been proven to work.

How To Dress at a Casino

If you’ve been playing online slots or online poker tournaments in your PJs on the living room couch, you’ll need to up your game a bit when it comes to dressing for your first visit to a casino. Just don’t worry too much about it. Casinos are filled with people from all walks of life and different tastes in fashion. Keep these tips in mind, and you won’t go wrong:

  • Casual clothes are acceptable in most U.S. establishments, but avoid leisurewear like sweatpants and vests. 
  • Avoid clothing that displays offensive images and messages, and don’t wear anything too revealing. 
  • You won’t need to don an evening gown or tuxedo unless you’re attending an evening gala event. 

If you’re unsure about what to wear, don’t hesitate to consult the casino’s website or call them directly for more details regarding their dress code guidelines.

Play at BetMGM Whenever You Choose

Now that you’re armed with advice for your first casino visit, you can relax and enjoy the experience, whether it’s at Bellagio, MGM Grand or any number of MGM Resorts-owned properties. Until then, why not play  online games at BetMGM Casino? Explore live dealer casino games, live casino poker tournaments, jackpot slots, and much more, wearing whatever you like at any time of the day or night, so long as you’re in a BetMGM Casino jurisdiction. It’s simple and easy to join in the fun by registering at BetMGM online.

Actress Vanessa Hudgens flipping casino chips next to the text "The King of Casinos"
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Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.

Our BetMGM editors and authors are casino experts with a wealth of knowledge of the online casino industry at all levels. Their coverage includes company news, game reviews, how-to instructional articles, strategy guides, and editorials showcasing BetMGM’s superior product and game library.