Luck Be a Lady: A Gentleman’s Guide to Gambling
One of the first I did upon turning 21 was going to a casino. You see, while you can start officially going to bars and the such when you turn 21, alcohol doesn’t really taste any different, and well, c’mon, we don’t really have to get into underage drinking do we? Anyone with a fake ID and knows of a bar that doesn’t care where they get their money can get the bar experience. Or, y’know, if you’re a girl, wear a low cut top. That will also take care of having to pay for drinks.
But, gambling. Now, a fake ID will not cut it at the casino. There are severe repercussions for that, and you just don’t want to deal with that type of heat. Now, I love cards, my dad has been teaching me card games since I could count. Naturally, I was attracted to casinos and when I turned 21, a bunch of my friends and I scraped up what money we could find, and we headed to Atlantic City.
The casino is an interesting place to observe human behavior. I’ve met nobodies, celebrities, people with money to burn, and people who really shouldn’t be gambling, often times all at the same table. Gambling has a weird way of equalizing the most differing sorts of circumstances, and more often than not, unites them in circumstance, with luck being the determining factor. From all my times in various casinos, I’ve seen all types of behaviors and outcomes and I’ve come up with a quick and easy guide not to be a jackass when it comes to being a patron of a casino.
1. Don’t be a Dick to the Dealer.
Let’s make this very clear. The dealer does not choose what card comes out next. I’ve seen incredibly awful things said to the dealers when the wrong cards have come out, and guess what, since the dealers can’t go anywhere, they just have to take it. It’s not right, and don’t be a jackass. It’s their job to deal the cards, not to deal with your bullshit, and trust me, for karma’s sake, you want the dealers to like you.
2. Always Tip.
This goes for both the waitresses and the dealers. They make their wages off of tips. I understand if you lose that you won’t exactly be in the tipping mood, but keep some money aside for this purpose. Also, don’t bet your tip for the dealer. If you ask them, some casinos require dealers say that they prefer their tips be bet, but honestly, all that does is put the tip at risk. Just give it to them and let them put it in the tokes box.
3. If You Smoke, Use an Ashtray and Be Courteous.
I personally enjoy a cigar every once in a while, but I never smoke at the table. If you do smoke, first, never, ever blow it in a dealer’s face. I can’t even tell you how much of a dick move that is. Also, be aware of the non-smokers at your table, don’t blow it at them either. I can’t tell you how much I despise non-courteous smokers. Asshats.
4. Don’t Give Unsolicited Advice.
Everyone who gambles has their own theory on what makes them win. That’s fine. What’s not fine is the ‘advice’ that these so-called geniuses spew forth accosting you for your decisions when you don’t ask for such, which leads me into my next piece…
5. It’s Your Money, So It’s Your Call.
Want to double down on that 20? Want to fold that full house? Sure, go for it. It’s dumb, but go for it. It’s your money. Same goes for the people you’re playing with. When you play with your chips, play it how you want to play it. When other people play how they want, keep your comments to yourself. Not your money, not your call.
6. When a Lady is at the Table, Watch Your Mouth.
Gambling for the most part, is a pastime that is dominated by men. As such, the conversation that takes place when sitting behind the green felt of the table can be a bit, how shall we say, uncouth. When a lady sits down, act accordingly. Be a gentleman, and adjust your behavior accordingly. This goes for dealers too.
7. There’s a Difference Between Banter and Harassment.
There’s a reason why casinos serve alcohol for free (or cheap). They want you to be socially lubricated and more inclined to have a good time. As such, it’s really easy to start ribbing your gambling compatriots or even the dealer. But, there’s a line, know it, and abide by it, especially if it involves the opposite sex.
8. Expect to Lose.
Casinos aren’t built by winners. Every game, hell, nearly every bet offered at a casino has a long term negative mathematical expectation. You have to know this going in, and you have to know that unless you spend time learning how to beat the system, you will lose over the long term. If you go to a casino, treat it as entertainment cost. However, note I say long-term, you can still win in the short-term, this obviously, is called luck.
9. You’re a Gambler, Not a Thief.
Dealers are human, they make mistakes. When they make a mistake in the house’s favor, you’re quick to correct them, but when they make a mistake in your favor, correct them too. You’re playing a game, and the game has rules. And guess who has to pay for the mistake when they catch it on cameras? The dealer. Honor works both ways.
10. Honor Your Debts.
Simple, always pay up. Always always pay up. Never gamble more than you can lose, and always pay up on time. A gentleman always pays his debts.
11. Don’t Play Slots.
There is nothing masculine about playing slots. Nothing.
Other than that, go have fun. Most importantly, luck be a lady.