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Best of John G. Brokopp

Gaming Guru

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Minding Your Casino Manners

5 December 2001

My task was simple and straightforward: Prepare an article about good gambling etiquette.

So, borrowing from the pages of the legendary "Maven of Manners", Emily Post, I came up with the following rules:

  1. Refrain from putting your elbows on the Blackjack table.
  2. Don't give instructions to the Craps dealer with your mouth full.
  3. Say "Please" and "Thank You" at the Roulette Wheel.
  4. Don't slouch while seated at the Caribbean Stud poker table.
  5. Politely greet your neighbors to the left and right when playing slots.

Then I realized the rules of good etiquette in restaurant and other social settings do not necessarily cross over to the casino world.

With a new focus, I got down to business. Allow me to present "rules to play by" the next time you visit a casino. They aren't necessarily just for casino novices, although they will be the principle beneficiaries of the advice. Newcomers to any field of endeavor are always self-conscious about saying or doing the wrong things, thereby making themselves the objects of unwanted attention, snide comments, or icy glares.

The following tips and advice are also meant for the "silverbacks" of the green felt jungle, those journeyman players who may have forgotten good casino manners along the way or are just in need of a little refresher course.

Today I'll give you the top five rules to remember when playing slots and video poker. Next week I'll cover blackjack and roulette.

Ready? O.K., let's go! So sit up straight and pay close attention to the rules of Basic Casino Etiquette:

SLOTS-VIDEO POKER

  1. Don't be a Machine Hog. Certainly when the casino's crowded it's common courtesy to restrict your play to one machine. Nothing's more irritating than to see a player reaching to the left and to the right, dropping coins into neighboring machines while there are patrons walking around shopping around for just one machine to play.
  2. Use caution when you go "machine hopping." Sometimes in less crowded situations when there are lots of open machines, you see players walking around dropping in a coin here and a coin there. Before you play a machine, always check to see if there are any coins in the tray, credits on the meter, or a player's card inserted. The machine could very well be in use and by intruding with a play the scene could be set for a lot of commotion.
  3. If you are fortunate enough to hit a hand-pay jackpot and the attendant who takes care of the transaction is especially prompt and courteous, always consider giving that person a tip. Dealers count on tips and so do slot workers. Ten or twenty dollars, depending on the size of the jackpot, is always very much appreciated.
  4. Don't use the vacant chair next to you as a foot or leg rest. The slot and video poker areas in casinos are for people to play, not lounge. Show courtesy to your fellow players by getting up from a machine that you are not playing, have no intention of playing, or are finished playing when an interested slot or video poker player walks by.
  5. It is accepted protocol that a slot or video poker player may "save" his or her machine for bathroom breaks by leaning your chair against the machine or placing a plastic coin bucket over the handle. But keep the break to no longer than five minutes. Players will respect your territory, and it's just plain rude and inconsiderate to leave a machine reserved for any length of time when there are other people who'd like to play.
John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp

John G. Brokopp
John G. Brokopp's gaming column appears in Chicago Sun Times (Chicago, Illinois), The Times (Northwest Indiana), The Quad City Times (Davenport, Iowa), The Courier News (Elgin, Illinois), The Gazette (Southwest Suburban Chicago) and Senior Wire (Denver, CO). He's also a regular contributor to The Colorado Gambler, Midwest Gaming & Travel, Casino Player and Strictly Slots. John possesses 28 years of experience as a professional handicapper, publicist, freelance writer, and casino gaming correspondent. He is also the author of two very popular books, The Insider’s Guide to Internet Gambling and Thrifty Gambling.

Books by John G. Brokopp:

> More Books By John G. Brokopp