- With casino credit, you qualify for a certain amount of money that a casino lends you for a short period of time.How much the casino will lend you is based on the average amount of money in your checking account (between 30 and 90 days) and your credit history as determined by your FICO or Vantage scores or, if you’ve previously established a record of casino credit, your Central Credit.
- For a typical weekend stay (Thursday to Sunday) here is what I recommend for budgets: Low Roller – $650 (including hotel) or $350 without hotel Mid Roller – $1,200 (including hotel) or $600 without hotel High Roler – $3,000 (including hotel) or $2,000 without hotel.
- Las Vegas Casino How Much Money You Should Have Sold
- Las Vegas Casino How Much Money You Should Have Made
- Las Vegas Casino How Much Money You Should Have Paid
- Las Vegas Casino How Much Money You Should Have Paid
- Las Vegas Casino How Much Money You Should Have Taken
The black-haired woman nervously thumbed through her purse as she took the end seat at the blackjack table. She pulled out three $20 bills and gingerly placed them on the felt, confessing to the dealer this was her first time playing the game.
Unsecured loans are difficult to obtain in Las Vegas. Many casinos will give you a credit voucher to gamblers who apply for a loan in advance of their Las Vegas vacation. Most large casinos have ATMS (automatic teller machines) where you can withdraw cash from your bank account or credit card account. What Almost No One Ever Tells You about Player Clubs. The first tip most gambling writers mention.
“No problem,” he assured her. This was a friendly table, he said, and he or the other players would be happy to help a novice. She put out the $10 minimum bet and was dealt a two-card 20 for her first hand. Her blackjack fling started with a victory.
“You know what you should do now?” the dealer asked, barely suppressing a smile as he prepared to deliver the punch line. “Run! Run for the hills while you're ahead!”
Many people making their first casino trip or trying out a new game are like that uneasy blackjack player. They want to gamble but they’re not exactly sure what to do.
Finding yourself amid the thousands of games, dealing with the noise, lights and other casino distractions, and ogling the vast amounts of money and chips can intimidate anyone.
Just bear in mind that you’re there to have fun. Casinos have evolved into one of the country’s premiere entertainment options. About 27 percent of Americans visit a casino at least once a year, according to the American Gaming Association, and that number grows as legalized gambling continues to expand beyond the traditional centers of Las Vegas and Atlantic City.
Casinos offer a variety of games to entice everyone from those dreaming of a life-changing jackpot to people simply enjoying a night out.
Whether you’re a beginner or a veteran, the most important fact about a casino is this: The house always has the edge, no matter what game you play. Sure, some players will win big. The vast majority won’t. Over the long run, the casino will win because of how the games are structured.
When you enter any casino for the first time, head to the players club booth and join. Use your players club card whenever you gamble there. The card makes you eligible for offers of discounted or free food, hotel rooms or other amenities based on the amount of your play. Slot players put their cards into the machine; table game players present their cards to the dealer.
The challenge for bettors is to find a game that they enjoy and that has a house edge they’re comfortable with. As a rule of thumb, the easier a game is to play, the higher the house edge.
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Slot machines are the easiest and most popular form of casino gambling. The process is simple: Push a button; win or lose; repeat. Casinos make more money from slots than from any other game. Slots can account for 70 percent or more of the money casinos make from gambling.
The house advantage on slots can vary by casino, but typically it’s about 10 percent. In other words, for every $100 put into machines throughout the casino, the machines return an average of about $90 over the long run. In the short run, anything can happen. You could hit a big jackpot or you could lose your buy-in within a few minutes.
Regardless of what you might hear elsewhere, there is no strategy for winning at a slot machine. It’s all pure luck, as opposed to skill games such as blackjack and poker. With slots, the outcome is determined by a computer program called a random number generator, or RNG. The RNG’s sole function is to spit out groups of numbers. Each number corresponds to a specific symbol on the display. The number combination generated at the instant you hit the spin button determines what symbols will be displayed and whether you win or lose.
Before you put money into a slot, check the machine’s display to see how much one credit is worth. That can range from a penny to several hundred dollars. Some machines let you choose the value of a credit, such as 25 cents, 50 cents, $1 or $2. A rule of thumb is that the higher the base denomination, the less the house advantage. Dollar machines pay out more than quarter machines, and quarter machines pay out more than nickel machines.
A penny machine is a misnomer. Although each credit is worth only one cent, players can wager as much as $3 a spin by playing multiple pay lines and more than one credit per line.
Slot machines appeal to people looking for a pressure-free way to pass the time. Slot players don’t have to worry about making the “right play” or doing something that could affect other gamblers. The machine itself is the entertainment. Slot manufacturers spend millions of dollars to make machines that entice people play longer. Many are tied to popular movies, TV shows or musical artists – think “Lord of the Rings” or “Pawn Stars” or Dolly Parton – or even games such as Wheel of Fortune, Monopoly and Battleship. In some games, all the players on a group, or “bank” of machines might share in a bonus round. Some games have surround-sound chairs for what manufacturers call “immersion” gaming.
Games with a low house edge include:
- Blackjack, if you take a few minutes to learn the basic strategy of when to hit or stand.
- Video Poker, if you make the effort to look for good pay tables and learn simple guidelines for which cards to keep and throw away.
- Baccarat, including the “mini” form found on the main casino form.
- Craps, a game that looks more complicated than it actually is.
Blackjack is the most popular card game by far. Those who follow basic strategy can reduce the house edge to 0.5 percent or less, making it the closest thing to an even-money game the casino offers. Many players mistakenly think the object of blackjack is to get a hand as close as possible to a total of 21 without going over. That’s not right. The goal is to beat the dealer. Players have the option of hitting or standing, while the dealer must follow specific rules — generally, he must hit if the total is 16 or less and stand with a total of 17 through 21. If you “bust” by going over 21, you lose even when the dealer also busts, because the dealer is the last to act. So if the dealer’s up-card is weak — especially a Four, Five or Six — it’s better for a player to stand on a “stiff” hand of 12 through 16 than trying to hit and get closer to 21.
One of the built-in advantages for a player is that blackjacks traditionally pay 3-to-2, or $15 for a $10 bet. Some casinos offer games that pay 6-to-5 for a blackjack. Never play them. At that game, the player with a blackjack gets paid only $12 for a $10 bet. Since blackjacks will come at the same rate at each type of game — once in about every 21 hands — playing at 6-to-5 table costs you about $6 an hour.
Many books and Web sites teach basic strategy for blackjack. A few favorites: www.WizardOfOdds.com, www.bj21.com, www.BJInsider.com, and authors Stanford Wong, Henry Tamburin and Arnold Snyder.
Casinos also offer a variety of “carnival games” that are variations of poker and blackjack. Those include Three Card Poker, Let It Ride Blackjack Switch and Spanish 21. They’re generally easy to learn and play.
Poker is popular, but it differs from all other games because you play against other gamblers rather than against the house. The casino gets its cut by collecting a “rake,” typically $4 or $5, out of every pot.
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One question all casino visitors ask themselves is how much money to take. The answer depends on your own assessment of how much you’re willing to spend for a night at a casino. If you go out for dinner and a show, you know how much that’s worth to you. Some folks are comfortable eating at a chain restaurant and catching a matinee. Some want a four-star restaurant and a live musical.
When you plan a casino trip, figure out how much you’re willing to spend for that night’s entertainment. A cynical adage holds that casino executives figure that whatever you bring through the door is theirs – you just happen to be holding it for the moment. Take what you are comfortable spending. Never bet with money you need for the mortgage or medical bills. You should be mentally prepared to lose it all.
However, that doesn’t mean you should just throw your money away on long shots. Smart gamblers find a game they enjoy and learn the strategies that reduce the house edge as much as possible.
If you find yourself ahead after a couple of hours of fun, then remember the dealer’s advice for the nervous blackjack player: Run for the hills!
Casino Tipping by Location
To make this guide as useful as possible, we’ve broken the casino host tipping best practice advice into a number of categories. First, we will describe the different overarching rules based on geography, so you can see easily if your location expects you to be tipping casino hosts or not.
Then, we’ll divide it down into the various types of casino games and the tipping expectations for each type of game. As you can imagine, this section will only be relevant to users in the ‘Do Tip’ locations, but it’s certainly interesting to read through the rules either way.
UK Casino Tipping: Do
Gamblers in the UK should expect to spend between 10-15% of their gambling budget on tips for dealers, hosts and wait staff. This is a relatively recent change to the expectations on UK-based gamblers, as until 2005 it was illegal for any casino host tipping to take place.
An amendment published in the Gambling Act 2005 made casino tipping legal, as long as the cash is collected and distributed in a ‘tronc’ – a tipping pool for all employees.
Meanwhile, those playing in any UK live online casinos are not expected to tip the online dealers. In fact, some developers of live casino software namely Evolution Gaming – explicitly ban players from making tips.
However, if the opportunity to tip in a live online casino game is available and you have received exceptional service – or won a significant amount of money – a tip could be a nice way to show your appreciation.
United States: Tips Expected
As with much of the USA’s ridiculous service industry, casino hosts are severely underpaid and require tips from patrons in order to make a liveable wage. Gamblers should tip casino hosts 15 – 20% of their buy-in, and you should also budget to tip wait staff, hotel staff, valets, and those making change for players.
This rule is enforced across any American land-based casinos, regardless of the state in which you are playing. Of course, the legality of gambling in the country is also state based, so there could be more important laws to consider before tipping etiquette is considered.
Australia: Don’t Tip
As will all service industry professionals in Australia, casino hosts in the country’s grand gambling establishments are paid a high wage and do not expect or require tips from patrons to make a living wage. While it is not illegal to tip, it is not expected in any restaurants, bars or casinos.
In fact, tipping in a casino host in Australia is somewhat frowned upon, as it can be considered to be bribery. Some of Australia’s land-based casinos do not allow patrons to tip individual staff, requiring all gratuities to be shared in a pool or be handed directly to management, raising suspicion that large tips are actually payoffs.
Monaco Gratuity Etiquette: Do
In Monaco, patrons are expected to tip 10% to dealers at table games such as blackjack, roulette and craps. However, this is only true at some establishments. Some locations have eschewed tipping in favor for an entry fee charged at the door.
Mainland Europe: Don’t Tip
For mainland Europe, tipping casino hosts is not expected. In countries like Spain, tipping would raise eyebrows and get you a lot of weird looks, it’s just that uncommon. In Western Europe, small tips are possible, especially on hitting a big win. However, culturally, leaving a tip larger than 5% would likely see casino hosts considering you a showoff. Casino tipping etiquette changes as you travel east, and the extra cash is more welcomed.
Tipping Etiquette for Games
Interestingly, there are different rules for casino tipping etiquette based on the different games you can play. Table games like blackjack, baccarat and roulette which require a live dealer to personally host your experience are clearly deserving of a gratuity. Many gamblers consider tipping their dealers to be good luck, and tossing a dealer some cash after a big win at a poker table is common.
However, playing video poker or slots, where there is often less personal interaction, may also require some tipping. For example, if you send a casino attendant to make change for you, you should tip them. If you win a large jackpot or a hand pay sum, an attendant or two will be required to come and personally hand you the cash prizes. They will also bring you any tax forms that your location requires.
General Tipping Advice
Not all actions deserve to be tipped, and you shouldn’t just go handing out cash for everyone and everything. You know who to tip based on the advice above, but here is a handy list of when a tip would be expected in Las Vegas, the most extreme example we can give. Anything more than this would be considered unnecessary.
When to tip:
- When asking for a host to make change for you
- When you win a large sum
- If you need an attendant for any reason
- If a Pit Boss comps you a free meal, drink or room
- When a dealer finishes a shift at your table
- If a waitress brings you a drink (even if it is free)
- If a bellhop carries your bags
How to Tip Casino Hosts
Okay, maybe now you know how much money you should be expected to tip each time you gamble all over the world, but how do you hand over the money without it being awkward? There are various options for when to tip and how to indicate who the tip is for.
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You can hand a dealer their total tip when you sit at a table, which has the benefit of getting it out of the way first thing. If you are in the UK, and aim to gamble £100, you can simply hand the £5 – £10 to the dealer immediately.
One problem with this method is that you can’t factor in whether or not that dealer will be working your table for the entire time you are there. To counter this, you may hand them a tip right as their shift changes.
If you’re more the type to consider tipping casino hosts throughout your experience, then you can tell the dealer how much cash to keep when exchanging cash for chips. You can also hand them back chips as a tip if they pay you winnings.
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Some dealers prefer to receive their tips in the form of wagers. To tip a dealer with a bet in their name, simply place a second chip on top of your own wager, slightly offset, and tell the dealer it is for them. They will receive the winnings from the bet, but not the bet money itself.
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If you’re still not sure, the best thing to do is ask the dealer directly. No professional dealer will ever make fun of a player for wanting to hand them money. Ask them what they prefer and how they prefer to receive it. Now that you know the correct expected values, you will know they are telling the truth.