To give you an idea of how many people play, the World Poker Tour (WPT) estimated that there were about 60 million players in the U.S. as of 2021, and that was just for online players. During the COVID-19 pandemic, players shifted away from brick-and-mortar casinos and turned to online gaming.
Thankfully, the worst of the pandemic is behind us now and many casinos have opened back up. Players are eager to get back into the real scene, as a casino is always vibrant and exciting. But if it’s your first time going into a casino to play, it can be intimidating and even a little overwhelming. There are many rules to remember as well as proper etiquette, and if you make a mistake, it could be embarrassing. So, if you’re a newcomer to all of this, you may need some guidance and that’s what we’re going to help you out with today.
1. Bring Enough Cash
Casinos usually only accept cash as a form of payment, so make sure you bring enough money. The recommendation is to bring enough for as many buy-ins for the games you’d like to join. You can check the casino’s website for the typical costs and buy-ins. As an example, if you plan to play $1/$2 cash games with a buy-in of $200, make sure you bring at least $600. While casinos usually have ATMs for convenience, the fees charged are often exorbitant and beyond reasonable. So, come prepared with enough cash so you can double-down when you feel confident.
2. Master The Basics
When it comes to poker, there are many variations of the game like 5-Card Draw, Omaha Hi, and Texas Hold’em, among others. There’s no point in playing poker if you don’t understand the game – that means knowing the poker hand nicknames and understanding different terms and variants. If someone says “I’ve got Korean Airlines,” and someone else responds “I’ve got American Airlines,” if you don’t know what the phrases mean and try to high-five the wrong person, it could be an embarrassing moment.
Some games in casinos have the same actions, but completely different meanings. For instance, in Texas Hold’em, to start the turn and river, a player taps the table; but in Blackjack, when a person taps the table, it means “give me another card.” Having a basic understanding and knowing the difference before you enter any game can help make your casino experience enjoyable
3. Practice Proper Etiquette
Aside from mastering the rules, proper etiquette should be practiced to keep everyone happy at all times. The most important one is to always follow the actions and act only when it’s your turn. In other words, never act out of turn because it will annoy all the players, and you could be accused of cheating.
Another etiquette that must be followed is to never string bet – say or do one thing, and immediately change it. If you verbally say “Call” and attempt to raise, players will get upset. If you put $200 into the pot, and try to change it to $100, players will get upset. Verbal and physical actions are binding once said or done.
Lastly, don’t slow roll, which means take an incredibly long time before making a decision, especially if it’s an easy decision! It’s irritating to players when a person pauses for an entire minute before calling an all-in bet when they’re actually holding an extremely strong hand. Slow rolling is considered an egregious breech of poker etiquette, so don’t do it!
Playing poker in a casino for the first time can be intimidating, but so long as you properly prepare, you’ll have an enjoyable experience! Bring enough money, be knowledgeable, be polite, and have a great time!
We hope these suggestions will help you, and for more articles like this one, please check out our guide on playing the card game, Egyptian Rat Screw.