Top Casino Gaming Tips

The flashing lights, the sounds of spinning pokies, the possibility of winning lots of money… entering a casino for the first time is definitely exciting. But it can also be intimidating if you're not sure what to do or how to act. To play the pokies or bet on roulette with confidence, follow this guide full of useful tips.

Know before you go

Understanding a few basic facts before you head into a casino will make sure you're well prepared for the fun and excitement. While there's usually no entrance fee to casinos in Australia, you do have to be at least 18 years old to bet on the games. And while most casinos are open 24 hours a day, not all games are accessible round the clock, so check your casino of choice ahead of time to make sure the games you want to play will be open when you're there.

Learn the lingo

Few things makes you look like a beginner quite as much as not knowing the right jargon when you go to gamble. When you don't know the difference between calling and raising a bet in poker, it can literally cost you money. So brush up on your jargon before you play your first hand or place your first bet, so you know what you're doing--and sound like it.

Know your games

There's no shortage of games in a casino to try your hand at, and knowing the types of games and the rules of each will mean making smarter bets. There are main types of games in casinos: table games and gaming machines, or pokies. Table games include card games like poker, baccarat and blackjack, and games of dice and chance such as roulette and craps. Machines include slot machines, video poker, and keno. If you haven't already played games in an online casino, brush up on the basic rules of each using online resources so you're in the know to play smartly.

Understand odds & limits

If you're in it to win it, you'll want to make sure you play games that have the best odds to get the most for your money. Although you're welcome to try a variety of games, the ones played at tables generally have better odds of winning than machines, so take a chance on blackjack, baccarat and craps, where you bet only against the house. And before you sit down to play, find out what the limits, or minimum and maximum bets, are for the table or machine. That way, you'll be able to plan your bets--and you won't spend your whole budget on one hand or play.

Observe proper etiquette

You won't need to know the rules of high society to gamble in a casino, but understanding a few behavioural rules of thumb will help your experience go more smoothly--and make you look and feel like you belong. There's no rule book, but try the following:

  • Dress appropriately. There's no set dress code for casinos, but dressing on a scale of casual to "a night on the town" is generally appropriate and helps you feel like a winner. Obey any posted signs for dress requirements to be safe.
  • Tipping is a no-no. Don't tip the dealers or security guards--they aren't allowed to accept them.
  • It's ok to start with cash. Bring bills to the table and the dealer will exchange them for chips at the right time.

Work the perks

To keep you gambling, casinos offer lots of incentives, including free drinks, complimentary hotel rooms and more. Pick up a rewards card to gain bonus perks as you play. Enjoy the perks, but remember to keep a clear head. Staying sober will help you make smart choices to prevent you from gambling over your limits.

Stay within your limits

Gambling is fun, and it's easy to get caught up in the excitement and overspend. Avoid getting yourself into a financial bind by choosing an amount of money you can afford to lose ahead of time and stopping when you hit that limit. It's easy to keep chasing your losses, trying to recoup the money you've lost by continuing to play, but that's usually a foolproof plan for losing more money. You'll enjoy gambling more if you stay within your limits and enjoy the ride.