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Gaming Guru

Jeff Simpson

Jeff Simpson Offers Some Common-Sense Behavior Guidelines for Casinos

15 August 2006

LAS VEGAS, Nevada -- We love our casinos in Las Vegas. Whether it's going out to eat, catching a movie, watching football games or playing video poker, many of us head to a nearby gambling hall to have some fun.

Although most longtime Las Vegans understand how to behave in a casino, it's clear that some don't. With thousands of new valley residents arriving each month, many of them new to the casino's unique position as a cultural hub, I'd like to share a few do's and don'ts for casinogoers.

DO tip. Whether it's at the buffet, the gaming tables or the valet, tokes are the way hard-working food-servers, dealers and parking attendants earn most of their pay. I'm not saying you have to reward poor service or a bad attitude, but I see way too many folks who take their free drink from the cocktail server or scoop in a poker pot without tipping. That's poor form.

DON'T take your drink glasses and beer bottles out of the casinos and leave them on the ground in the parking lot or parking garage. Broken glass is bad for tires. Don't be too lazy to throw your bottle away or leave your drink glass in the casino.

DO keep your eyes on your kids when you go to the casino. I see too many unsupervised young children and teenagers hanging around outside movie theaters, arcades and fast food joints while their folks are playing blackjack or video poker. The casino is not an appropriate place to let your kids run wild.

DON'T stick your hands into the serving trays at a buffet. Use the spoons, forks and tongs that are provided. I don't care if you washed your hands - sticking them into the food is gross.

DO be friendly and have a good time when you are playing table games. Smile and be nice to the folks you're seated or standing next to. Even if your luck is bad, no one else wants to hear about it. Keep your chin up and smile in the face of adversity.

DON'T blame the dealer when you lose. Dealers don't control the outcome; so blaming them or getting angry at them is just plain stupid. Dealers know that winning players are more likely to tip; so they want you to win. I've seen players throw cards at poker dealers and curse at dealers at every type of game. Nothing makes a player look like a moron more than cursing a dealer. When you win, thank the dealer and occasionally tip. When you lose, keep your chin up and remember that it is not the dealer's fault.

DO drive carefully in the parking lot and parking garage. I don't know why many drivers are so reckless in casino parking lots - alcohol and losing money may be a factor - but you should be extra careful when you are parking at or leaving the casino.

DON'T be a know-it-all and tell other gamblers what they are doing wrong at the blackjack, craps or poker table. Some blackjack players berate folks at their table who hit or stand when basic strategy suggests they should do otherwise, and some poker players like to tell the players who beat them how stupidly they played their hand. Don't be one of these big mouths.

DO treat casino employees with respect. Even if you're not having a lucky day, be nice. Don't leer at the cocktail waitresses or make suggestive comments. Be kind to your food servers, bartenders, dealers and change attendants. Courtesy is contagious.

DON'T drink too much. You'll regret it, as will those around you.

DO wash your hands before you leave the bathroom. Some may find it amazing, but I bet about half of the people leaving the men's room don't. And that's disgusting.

DON'T blow your cigarette or cigar smoke on other patrons. The air purification systems are pretty effective, particularly at the newer casinos, but they won't get a chance to work if you blow your smoke right at other people.

Jeff Simpson is business editor of the Las Vegas Sun.