Casino Etiquette: How to Place Bets and Play Casino Games July 2024

Players must practice proper casino etiquette regardless of whether you are interested in playing online or in-person casino gambling games.

In this comprehensive guide to casino etiquette we will be looking at tips to know before your first casino game, basic casino manners, etiquette for specific table games, what not to do at the casino, popular games available to US players, legal states for gambling, how to find the best casino games online and much more.

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What to Know Before You Start Casino Gambling

casino slots etiquette

Before you start casino gambling either in-person or online there are a number of casino gambling basics you should be aware of. Remember that the most important thing is for you to have fun, casino games are a form of entertainment and should always be played for enjoyment and not as a means of making money.

Players should know that the house is always going to have an advantage regardless of the game you choose and it is important to set limits to your play which you stick to and never chase your losses or gamble when you are not in the right headspace.

You should also make the most of any available bonuses or promotions, maximize rewards for continued play and your loyalty and always conduct yourself with polite behavior and good manners.

Why is Casino Etiquette Important? 

To have the best time possible when trying out new games and to 'fit in' on the casino floor at brick-and-mortar casino venues as well as online, you must be respectful and aware of your surroundings.

New players should conduct their own research into games, bet types and strategies, always be aware of any house rules and take note of specific things such as odds, RTP (return to player percentage) and house edge before playing a game. It is always very important to practice responsible gambling which includes setting and sticking to limits, never chasing your losses and not playing under the influence or behaving badly.

The consequences of not following basic casino etiquette could lead to tension or an unpleasant atmosphere, a negative impression of you at a casino, disqualification or even ejection, strained relationships with other players and missed learning opportunities. Also, never forget to be mindful of the gambler's fallacy.

10 Tips to Know Before Your First Casino Game

We understand that it can be daunting stepping into a land-based casino or playing online for the first time, therefore we have outlined 10 tips to know before your first casino game below to help alleviate any anxiety and enhance your confidence in playing.

  1. Watch a game before you play: Observe a casino game in action before joining the table, making yourself aware of how the game works, the different bet types, odds and minimum and maximum wager amounts.
  2. Ask the dealer questions: Dealers and croupiers are not just there to deal cards or spin a roulette wheel, they can be a useful resource if you have any questions about a game.
  3. Get free game lessons from the casino: Good land-based casinos will provide free game lessons for new players or those trying a new game out so make the most of those opportunities.
  4. Don't be afraid of the odds: The more you understand about a game and its odds the less daunting they will seem.
  5. Compare casino games and options: Take note of how different games operate and pick one that you feel comfortable with.
  6. Get your chips: You'll need to get casino chips or make a deposit in your online account before you start playing.
  7. Know your way around: Walk around a casino or navigate an online site for a while before you start wagering to familiarise yourself with your surroundings.
  8. Dress the part: We will touch more on this later but if you are going to a land-based venue make sure you dress appropriately.
  9. Respect your fellow gamblers: Everyone wants a good casino atmosphere and practicing good sportsmanship helps create a positive environment for all. Engaging in friendly banter is encouraged but never overstep the mark.
  10. Maintain your composure: Regardless of whether you win or lose it is important to keep your cool and stay in control.

Personal Play Rules for Casino Gambling

casino etiquette

In this section we will recommend several personal play rules we encourage you to follow when deciding to play casino games for the first time:

  • Set a wager/time limit: Decide how much you are willing to lose as well as how much time you want to spend gambling and stick to both.
  • Be aware of game rules: Know and understand all the rules of a game before you start playing and don't be afraid to ask the dealer for help.
  • Limit alcohol consumption: Some casinos will give out free drinks and while you might see others drinking while playing we recommend you abstain from alcohol or at the very least don't do too much drinking until you are comfortable playing games.
  • Practice patience: Some players may take longer to place bets than others so be sure to avoid rushing or pressuring others when playing.

Basic Casino Manners

In this section we will outline basic casino rules and proper etiquette for players to implement when playing games in-person and online:

  • Tip dealers and servers: This is usually customary as dealers take time out to teach you the games and servers are there for your off-table needs. Offering gratuity lets dealers and servers know you appreciate their efforts and will also ensure you are well looked after. A natural time to tip a dealer is when you are leaving a table or after a substantial win.
  • Limit phone use: Not only are most games fast-moving and require your full attention but overly using your phone could be seen as a negative. Some players may find it rude if you keep looking at your phone, while casinos could interpret it as a form of cheating. Most casinos will not let you have your phone out while you are at a table, while security may intervene if you take pictures or film anything. We recommend you just switch your phone off or at least put it on silent when gambling.
  • Dress appropriately: Smart casual attire is usually fine, but some upscale areas and high-roller rooms may have a stricter casino dress code you'll need to follow. Many casinos across the US have a relaxed attitude towards dress codes, but you can always check their website before arriving. 
  • Don't sit at a table unless you intend to play: Table seats are for players only and while you can always view a game if you want to, make sure you're seated behind the players if you do choose to sit down. Usually those simply observing stand slightly away from the table and watch.
  • Keep your possessions off the table: Never put your personal belongings like your wallet, bags or anything else on the table when you are playing. The same goes for any drinks, as there will be shelves or cup holders below the table to keep them out of sight during play.
  • Be aware of your chips: It's important to know the chip procedures for the game you're playing so that you purchase and touch your casino chips and cards at the right time, as those table decisions are final. Similarly never touch a dealer or croupier.
  • Treat the dealer with respect: As well as tipping dealers and croupiers be sure to treat them with respect, always asking if it is okay to sit down when you approach a table and thanking them when you leave. Don't be rude or arrogant during play and any bad manners toward staff will not go down well.
  • Buy in and cash out correctly: Don't hand money over to the dealer when you want to buy more chips, simply lay the cash on the table and if required gently slide it towards them. Also pick the right table limits for your bankroll and ask the dealer to change your chips into bigger denominations before you stand up when leaving.
  • Don't tell other players what to do: Never tell other players how to play their hands or what to bet, even if you are trying to help them. If you are asked for advice then you are free to give it if you would like, but for the most part it is best to just focus on your own game.

Etiquette for Specific Table Games 

You should be aware that some table games have different variants and rules which can result in specific etiquette. Similarly, different areas of the casino such as the high-roller tables or VIP-only sections may also have different rules and dress code.

In this section we will outline the casino etiquette for specific table games like blackjack, poker, roulette and craps.

Blackjack Etiquette

When playing blackjack at blackjack tables you can only touch your chips if you are going to use them, don't pick up or hold your cards and be respectful of the dealer and staff.

Mastering hand signals goes a long way when playing blackjack as you can use gestures to indicate your decisions for hit, stand, double down or split, which ensures smooth gameplay and reduces any verbal confusion. Also place your bets in designated areas at a blackjack table and be mindful of fellow players' space.

Poker Etiquette

During poker games there is a rhythm to play that should always be respected, so avoid any unnecessary delays or holding up play and make timely decisions to maintain the flow and momentum.

Always treat your cards and chips with care, ensuring they are neatly stacked and visible to the dealer and your fellow players. Always pay attention to what is going on during rounds even if you are keeping your poker face on and refrain from discussing the hand that is currently in play.

Roulette Etiquette

Be sure to get your bets in on time to maintain the flow and order of roulette games but never throw your chips onto a roulette table or carelessly place your bets. Avoid ever touching other player's chips and don't touch your own when the roulette wheel is spinning.

Stack your chips neatly for the dealer and other players to see and always cash out correctly before you leave the table, exchanging your roulette chips for generic cash chips if necessary.

Craps Etiquette

When playing craps don't break in or interfere with a shooter's roll and don't pause your own roll to check your phone or grab a drink. Never touch the casino staff or other players, even when celebrating big wins.

Bad craps behavior includes buying in during the middle of a roll and superstitious craps players may frown upon using cash to buy in at the table, so consider buying in at other table games before starting dice games. Don't say the word "seven" at a dice table either or put your hands in the way of the dice.

Hand Signals in Casino Game Play

Just like at auctions specific hand movements and signals on the casino floor or during table games have significant meanings. Be sure to master them all to feel confident when playing:

  • Hit: Tap the table next to where the cards are dealt or make a scraping movement on the table towards you.
  • Stand: Wave your hand over the cards while being parallel to the table in a stopping movement.
  • Double Down: Place another bet equal to the first one next to it and place one figure out.
  • Split: Place another bet equal to the first one and place two fingers out which signals two hands.
  • Insurance: Place half of the first bet on the insurance line on the table when the dealer starts with an Ace.

What Not to Do at the Casino

We have already outlined many things to know before your first casino game, personal play rules for casino gambling and common casino courtesy, but in this section we will include more examples of what not to do when playing at a casino:

  • Avoid disruptive behavior: Don't make loud outbursts or behavior that detracts from the casino experience for others. Even if you lose keep your composure always act with consideration for the dealer and others.
  • Don't touch other players' chips or cards: This could cause confusion and discomfort and may even see you removed from the table.
  • Don't interfere with dealers: Avoid interfering with the actions or routine of a dealer or croupier or risk being ejected from a table.
  • Avoid offensive language: Refrain from using inappropriate language or swear words to foster a positive environment.
  • Lose gracefully: Don't display a bad attitude or blame others if you lose.
  • Don't take phone calls at the table: This is frowned upon and can be disruptive to the dealer or other players as well as break your own concentration.
  • Respect betting limits: Gamble responsibly by remaining within your betting limits and not pushing the financial boundaries of yourself or others.

Popular Casino Games Available to US Players

In this section we have outlined the most popular casino games available to US players, their basic rules, what makes them so great and how to win when playing them.


Slot machines and online slot games come in a wide array of different types and themes, from classic fruit machines to progressive jackpots featuring all types of characters and symbols. You usually win by matching symbols on the grid. 

If you ever need assistance on a slot machine at a land-based casino you can get help from slot attendants, while 24/7 live chat support should be available at all good online sites. 

Slot games are completely down to chance and don't require any strategy to their play, although their variance and RTP (return to player percentage) help indicate how frequently you can expect wins. Online casinos will often provide free spins for slot games.


A classic casino game favorite, regular blackjack table games pit you against the dealer in a bid to get the closest to 21 as possible with your hand without going bust. 

Players can implement a number of different strategies such as using blackjack charts, learning betting systems or even card counting to improve your chances of success. 

There are a wide array of blackjack variants to choose from with the main ones being American Blackjack and European Blackjack which come with slightly different rules, as well as Single Deck Blackjack, Blackjack Surrender, Blackjack Switch and much more.


Another casino favorite, roulette is one of the oldest casino games where players bet on where the ball will land on a roulette wheel that gets spun. 

There are a large number of different variants of the game with the main three being American Roulette, European Roulette and French Roulette, which offer varying house edges and slightly amended tables and layout. 


Perhaps the most recognizable casino game, poker either pits you against the dealer or also other players with the winner having the best hand possible.

There are a vast number of poker variants with some of the most popular games including Texas Hold'em, Omaha Hold'Em and Five Card Draw. You can get involved in poker tournaments at regular casinos or online.


An increasingly popular casino game online and a staple of land-based venues, in baccarat players bet on one or more of three outcomes - player banker or tie - with hands aiming to get to as close to 9 as possible.

There are many variations of the game including Mini Baccarat, Punto Banco, Chemin de Fer and Baccarat Banque.


A lottery-like gambling game played online and in-person, players wager by selecting numbers ranging from 1 through to usually 80. Does come with a large house edge.

US States with Legal Online and In-Person Casinos

Online casino gambling is currently legal in seven states across the USA, with players required to be physically within state lines to use their sites.

In-person gambling is legal in almost all US states as long as you are over the age of 21, but in this section we will focus on legalized online gambling states in more detail:

  • Connecticut: Online gambling became legal in the Constitution State in May 2021 when Governor Ned Lamont passed legislation officially legalizing online casino gaming, poker and sports betting.
  • Delaware: One of the first states to adopt online gambling when Governor Jack Markell legalized wagering back in 2012 with sites going live a year later, overseen by the Delaware Lottery.
  • MichiganAn early adopter of online casino play following Governor Gretchen Whitmer signing effective legislation in December 2019, although sites were delayed going live due to the coronavirus pandemic. On January 22, 2023 Michigan's iGaming market officially launched with a host of online platforms operating in the state all managed by the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
  • New JerseyOnline casino play was legalized back in 2013 in the gambling-friendly Garden State that is home to Atlantic City. They have plenty of options for players to choose from, which are all overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
  • PennsylvaniaFollowed Delaware and New Jersey by launching online casino gaming with Governor Tom Wolf signing a bill on October 30, 2017. Nearly two years later the first online sites launched in the Keystone State, which now boasts one of the most extensive iGaming markets in the country. The Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board is the regulator.
  • Rhode Island: Recent addition to the legalized online casino gambling landscape following Governor Dan McKee signing it into law in June 2023, having seen the success of fellow northeastern states Connecticut, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The law came into effect on March 1, 2024 interestingly with all online table games required to have a live dealer.
  • West VirginiaPassed online casino gambling and online poker into law in 2019, a year after they legalized online sports betting. Gambling regulation is provided by the West Virginia Lottery Commission.

How to find the best Casino Games Online

Having an account at a casino can be beneficial online and in person. You will be able to access the best casino games online and play for real money, with a generous welcome bonus and ongoing promotions offered by almost all sites.

Most casinos will also reward you with a range of benefits and prizes for your online play that can be used at their land-based casinos such as free casino play and access to different venue spaces on your next visit as well as complimentary and discounted hotel stays, dining offers, tickets to converts, room upgrades and much more.

To become a rewards member you will need to register for an account, which is usually a simple and pain-free process.

Why Should I Try Gambling at Casinos?

In this section we have outlined some reasons why you should try gambling at casinos, such as:

  • Game selection: You can play an array of different games at casinos online and in-person such as slots, blackjack, roulette, poker, baccarat, keno and more.
  • Curated experience: Land-based casinos want to provide a great experience for players.
  • Camaraderie: Players enjoy the socializing involved in gambling whether at a table in a brick-and-mortar casino or at live dealer tables online.
  • Friendly dealers: You can chat with dealers and croupiers and learn more about the games in person as well as interact with them via live chat online.
  • High roller treatment: Players who wager a lot both online and in person will be given a range of bonuses and rewards for their loyalty and continued play.
  • Challenge: Players love the challenge of skill-based games like blackjack and poker and can take part in tournaments and leaderboards.
  • Enjoyment and excitement: Playing casino games for real money can be a thrilling experience, with players enjoying the adrenaline rush a big win brings.

Frequently Asked Questions about Casino Etiquette

Do you want to learn more about casino etiquette and the best ways in which to play your favorite games? Then read these common questions and answers we've compiled below.

How do you learn casino games?

You can watch other casino goers in action or play during free lessons offered by casinos in person, as well as play free demos or read up on strategies online. When you are ready to play games of skill make sure you understand the rules and choose quieter tables until you feel comfortable.

What are the rules of a casino?

There are certain casino rules to be aware of when visiting most casinos in person and particular casino etiquette to practice, such as following the dress code, limiting your phone use, tipping dealers and servers, buying in and cashing out correctly, not telling other players what to do and not drinking excessive amounts of alcohol.

Is there a trick to playing casino games?

With games of chance such as slots and roulette there is no trick to playing as the outcomes are entirely down to random luck. With skill-based games like poker and blackjack how you play has a huge impact on your chances of success.

How do people gamble in casinos?

To gamble in casinos regardless of whether you're in Las Vegas or your local bingo hall, you will need to dress appropriately and practice good casino etiquette. Either start spinning the reels at a vacant slot or join a table for games like blackjack, roulette or poker. We recommend beginners avoid alcohol and set a budget for your play.

Which game is the easiest to play for casino beginners?

Roulette is a good choice for casino beginners as the rules are easy to pick up and understand, you can choose from a range of stakes and bet small if you don't have a large bankroll. Slots are also easy to start with as they are also completely down to chance so don't require any specialized knowledge.

What do you do if it's your first time at a casino?

On your first casino visit set a budget for play and stick to it. We recommend starting with slot machines and moving to roulette, as you can wager small amounts on both and learn. Your first experience should be focused on being comfortable, practicing casino etiquette and landing a few wins.