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When in Rome2 April 2000
Many Koreans do not wear outdoor shoes inside the house. When you visit their homes, you take off your shoes out of respect for their customs. Orthodox Jews do not mix milk and meat so when you visit their homes, you don't ask for a hamburger smothered in cheese and chased with a milk shake. And God help you if you say "grace" before dinning at the National Atheists' Convention.
Etiquette is the art of doing the right thing at the right time in the right manner. The casino has its own etiquette for buying into a game, conducting oneself during a game and for exiting a game. Follow the rules and you'll be a casino citizen; disobey them and you might find yourself ostracized by your fellow players. Casino games etiquette can be broken down into three phases: the buy in, the playing procedures, the cash out.
THE BUY IN
When you sit down at a table game such as blackjack, Let It Ride or Caribbean Stud, do not put your money down until the deal and the decisions are reached. When the dealer is about to deal a new round, he will signal you usually with a nod of his head. Place your money on the felt. Remember that in all casino games, you cannot hand money (or chips or anything else) directly to the dealer. You must place it on the layout. The dealer will then announce what you're buying in for by saying, "Changing $100." He'll then give you the appropriate amount in chips. Do not reach over and grab the chips. Let the dealer push the chips to you.
At craps, you cash in when the dice are in the middle of the table, usually in control of the stickman. Put your money down and say: "Change only." Again the dealer will take it off the layout and exchange it for chips.
THE PLAYING PROCEDURES
At blackjack in multiple-deck games that are dealt face up, the players cannot touch their cards. Your hitting, standing, doubling and splitting decisions are all made through the use of signals. These signals are for the benefit of the dealer and for the eye-in-the-sky so that in cases of a disputed signal, the pit boss can go to the video tape. If you want to take a card, tap the table with your finger. If you want to stand on a hand, wave the dealer away. If you want to double or split, put out an extra bet. If the dealer isn't sure whether you want to double or split (say you have two fives), he'll ask you: "One card?" You just hold up one finger or answer him verbally.
In single-deck games that are dealt face down, the players get to hold their cards. Use only one hand to hold the cards. To indicate a hit, scratch the cards on the felt. The dealer will lay a card down for you. Do not pick it up! If you are finished with your hand, slide your cards under your chips. If you want to double, place your cards together face up on the felt and put a second bet up. If you want to split, put your cards on the felt but separate them and then put up a second bet. From this point on you will use hand signals to play out the split hands.
Finally, never give another player advice on how to play his hand unless asked for. Even then be wary. It's always best -- when asked -- to offer advice this way: "Well, I always stand on my 20s but you have to do what you think is best."
The game that requires the most knowledge of the rules of decorum is craps. Woe to the neophyte craps player who violates the incredibly rigid code of conduct! Here are the 10 Commandments of Craps:
The etiquette for the machines is rather simple. Don't hit the machine with any blunt instruments or sharp instruments. Don't punch the machines. Don't offer other players advice on how to play their hands at video poker. When you are finished playing at a machine, clean up after yourself. Don't use the tray as an ashtray and don't take the unwanted ice from your drink and put it in a coin bucket. Don't use the coin bucket as a spittoon.
THE CASHING OUT PROCEDURES
When you are finished playing, win or lose, you stack up your chips and either take them with you or say to the dealer: "Color me up." You have a right to take your chips with you if you so wish but the casino prefers to color you up. Coloring up means that all the smaller denomination chips are exchanged for larger denomination chips. For example, a five-dollar player who has just made a killing at the craps table might decide he'd like to get some black ($100) chips for his piles of red ($5) chips. If you've been at a friendly table, it's also nice to wish your fellow players good luck when you leave. And also say good-bye to the dealer.
Learn the etiquette of casino games and you'll feel right at home after awhile.
For more information about blackjack, we recommend:Best Blackjack by Frank Scoblete
The Morons of Blackjack and Other Monsters! by Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Blackjack! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
For more information about craps, we recommend:Beat the Craps Out of the Casinos: How to Play Craps and Win! by Frank Scoblete
The Captain's Craps Revolution! by Frank Scoblete
Sharpshooter Craps Audio Cassette Tape (60 minutes) with Frank Scoblete
Winning Strategies at Craps! Video tape hosted by Academy Award Winner James Coburn, Written by Frank Scoblete
This article is provided by the Frank Scoblete Network. Melissa A. Kaplan is the network's managing editor. If you would like to use this article on your website, please contact Casino City Press, the exclusive web syndication outlet for the Frank Scoblete Network. To contact Frank, please e-mail him at email@example.com.
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