Mastering Etiquette in Casinos: A Guide to Playing by the Rules

Updated: 208

Get your poker face ready & learn how to behave at the casino tables! Grasp the do's & don'ts of casino behaviour. Know when to pocket your phone, how to drink sensibly & what to wear.

Mastering Etiquette in Casinos: A Guide to Playing by the Rules
Steve Madgwick Editor-In-Chief

Editor-In-Chief with 20 years experience covering the betting angles to breaking news stories. Daily slots player, Portsmouth fan and League Snooker Player

When stepping into a casino, one can feel the electrifying atmosphere and anticipation that comes with the prospect of what's in store. However, it is important to remember that amidst the excitement, there are certain rules and etiquette that must be followed which would not apply at an online casino Taking the time to understand and adhere to these guidelines can greatly enhance your casino experience and ensure a smooth and enjoyable gambling adventure.

OLBG Editor-In-Chief and Casino Expert Steve Madgwick, who coaches etiquette and behaviour in casinos said

“There are certain no gos which will be common sense to most casino visitors such as excessive drinking, touching someone else's chips or trying to cheat. But there are also a number of frowned on behaviours that many people wont be aware of such as putting your drink on the table, having your phone out and touching your cards at the wrong time or in the wrong way!

These rules and guidelines are for land based casino visits, of course, you can play in your underwear at an online casino if that is your preference, but if you are planning a visit and what to know what to wear and conduct yourself, read on!

What the Expert Says

Many people can find their first visit to a casino a bit intimidating as it feels as though everyone else knows exactly what to do. As 74% said in the survey, you don’t need to know everything before you enter a casino to have a good time.You will find casino croupiers to be very friendly and happy to explain how everything works as long as it isn’t at a really busy time. If you are apprehensive, perhaps make your first visit at a quieter time so you can ask any questions you may have.

How many visits to a casino did it take for you to feel comfortable and that you knew what you were doing?

We asked 500 casino-goers how they felt about etiquette when they visited casinos, and specifically:

Visits before feeling comfortable% of contributorsNumber of players
0 - I was never unconfortable22%109
N/A I am not comfortable/don't know what I am doing18%90

Whilst a good number of people 22%, were quite happy with complete comfort visiting a casino, this leaves 78% still unsure and requiring at least second visit or more to settle in.

35% of those question either required 5 visits or still feel uncomfortable with the experience.

Mobile Phone Etiquette in Casinos

Mobile phones must not be used at the tables, so keep yours in your pocket and turn it off. This is not just to stop you from disturbing other casino goers, casinos may be worried that you are using your phone to count cards. Other electronic, mechanical or computerised equipment are completely banned. Taking pictures and filming is also a no go, some have been evicted for attempting to film slot machines with the aim of analysing them.

What, to you might be an innocent selfie to show off to your friends on social media that you are having a great night out, could to a casino pit boss be a concern.

🚫📵 Casino Etiquette: Keep your phones packed!

🎰🔇 To avoid distracting others or suspicion of card-counting, power down before playtime. No 📷 or 🎥, it might cost you your night of fun. What feels like a harmless selfie could worry a pit boss. Play safe, play smart! 🎲

Mobile Phones in Casino Tips

  1. 📱 In land-based casinos, use of mobile phones are generally discouraged due to the potential for manipulation in favour of the player.
  2. 👮‍♂️ Security measures in casinos include guards, surveillance cameras and restrictions on mobile phone usage. 
  3. 🚫 The restriction of phones in physical casinos is for precautionary reasons. Phones can be used to cheat games like poker, access betting guides or communicate with other players.
  4. 📸 Mobile phones also pose a privacy risk, as they can be used to take photos of gamblers or the casino itself, violating privacy norms.
  5. 🔒 Privacy concerns have led many gamblers to opt for online casinos from the comfort of their homes.
  6. ⚠️ Many casinos take measures against mobile use, such as jamming networks, or may require you to switch off your phone while in the casino.
  7. 🎲 Some casinos may allow phone use during games of luck like slots, but prohibit them during table games. Some even allow calls and texts at specific times.
  8.  🗂️ Always ask for the rules regarding phone usage, as they are often not widely displayed.
  9. 📴 While not illegal, you should still exercise courtesy when using your phone, making sure it doesn't disturb other players.

Regular Casino Players Don't like Mobile Phones

42% of the respondents to our poll frowned upon Mobile phone use by other customers at tables

Interestingly, Mobile Phone usuage was more tolerated in London (31%) than in any other Region, with the least tolerance being shown in the North East and Scotland (52%)

Drinking in Casinos

Those lovely green baize or the speed cloth used for casino table games are expensive to repair and if the cards get covered in your favourite beverage, that could ruin the game! If you knock your drink over, the table will have to close and everyone will need to move to another table. If someone is having a good run of luck at that table which doesn’t carry on at the new table, they may well blame you! So keep drinks off the playing table.

Not to mention, the effects of alcohol can affect your judgment and mixing casino play with a beer or two is never a good idea. This is one of the reasons the UKGC brought into law in 2005 with the gambling act, the restriction of casinos offering free drinks to customers in UK casinos, which, if you've ever been to Las Vegas, you will know is common practice there for players.

🥂Casino Wisdom: Keep the drinks off the table, folks!

Repairing green tables isn't cheap & a spilt drink could ruin your & others' game night. 🚫 Drink to warm up or wind down, but let's keep our gameplay sober & fun!💡

And of course, a few too many and not only is your own [financial] safety at risk, you could be become too loud for other players concentrating on their games. So have a drink to warm up before you go, or to celebrate or drown sorrows when you leave, but leave the bevvies outside the casino.

  1. 💸 Repairs on the lovely green tables are costly.
  2. 🥤 If cards get wet from your drink, it can ruin the game.
  3. 🙅‍♂️ If you spill your drink, everyone needs to move to another table.
  4. 🍻 Alcohol can impair judgment, not a good mix with casino play.
  5. 🚫 UKGC banned free drinks in UK casinos in 2005.
  6. 🎰 Go to Vegas if you want free drinks in the casino
  7. 🔊 Too much to drink can risk your finances and you may disturb other players.
  8. 🥂 Drink before you go, or after to celebrate or soothe disappointment, not while you're there.

Card Game Etiquette

The less obvious rules to be aware of are when you are playing card games. You can't just touch your cards when you want to or how you want to! Whilst this may come as a surprise, the rules are very simple and brief.

  1. 🃏👀 If the cards are dealt face up, don't touch them. Absolutely everyone should be able to see them.
  2. 🃏🔽 If the cards are dealt face down, you can look at them, but only with one hand! This rule prevents card swapping and cheating.
  3. 🃏🖐️ Be careful with the cards. Don't bend them or you could be accused of marking the cards.
Best Casinos for Card Games and Most Popular Types of Game

Best Casinos for Card Games and Most Popular Types of Game

What to Wear to the Casino

Don’t be put off attending the casino thinking that you need to dress up like James Bond.

Casinos around the UK and those along the strip in Vegas typically have a smart casual dress code which most will follow during the day, but come the evening you’ll see more people in formal business attire.

Whilst beachwear and sportswear aren't normally appropriate at any time, neither do you need to go super smart. Somewhere in between and you will blend in nicely.

👔 Casino Chic: Think you need the full Bond-look to hit the casino?

Think again! 🚫👙 Be it UK or Vegas, smart-casual is the day code & formal business for nights. Just avoid beachwear & sportswear! Find the smart middle ground and you'll fit right in! 😎🃏

What to Wear in a Casino

Casino dress codes are more relaxed now, but still follow guidelines. Avoid flip-flops, dirty clothes, and dress formally at night. Options include casual, white tie, black tie or business formal. Check the casino website to meet the dress code and avoid embarrassment.

The higher status the casino, the more likely more formal attire will be a minimum requirement for entry.

  1. ✨ Dress codes in real-life casinos have become more relaxed and permissive in recent years.
  2. 👀 Before visiting a casino, check its website for specific dress code rules.
  3. 🚫🩴 Some general guidelines include avoiding flip-flops or trainers, not wearing dirty or torn clothing, and dressing more formally at night.
  4. 🎩 The higher the status of the casino, the more formal your attire should be.
  5. 👔 Different dress codes include casual wear, white tie (full evening dress), black tie, business formal, and semi-formal wear.
  6. 👗 Black tie is suitable for nighttime events or VIP lounges and includes elegant dresses and tailored suits.

Conclusion: Time for a Great Casino Night

The proper etiquette at casinos involves understanding and following rules regarding mobile phones, drinking, card games and dress codes. Phones should be switched off to prevent disturbances and cheating concerns. Avoid consuming alcohol when gambling to maintain a clear head and avoid disrupting games. Be mindful of card game rules and treat cards with care. Dress codes range from smart-casual to formal, depending on the casino's status and time of day. Always check casino rules in advance.


OnePoll  conducted a survey of 500 adults who had visited a casino with questions about their comfort with etiquette, play habits and more

Date Carried out - 21-26 September 2023

Respondents - 500

Demographic - UK Adults who have visited a casino

Contributor Information

Steve Madgwick


Steve is our esteemed casino aficionado at OLBG. With an extensive background in the online gaming industry, he was instrumental in launching our casino content. Steve's critical and thorough examination of hundreds of casinos highlights his expertise and experience in the field. He has an undeniable soft spot for roulette, slots, and the rapidly evolving online casino market in both the UK and the US. Steve's comprehensive reviews and industry insights are invaluable to our readers and his opinion is often consulted externally to OLBG.

- Steve Madgwick, Editor-in-chief

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