Slot Machines Etiquette
Slot Machine Manners
Having been victim of the antics of more than a few rude slot players, I can confirm that how you behaving while playing a slot machine is as important as how your winnings are coming along.
When playing at any casino, it is important to realize that your behavior can seriously impact the kind of experience you have. Who wants to get tossed out of a casino and ruin an otherwise fun weekend of slot play? Some people don't realize that there is such a thing as slot machine etiquette. They simply drop coins and play the slot machines with no understanding of what kinds of behavior are expected at slot machine banks.
Sitting at the Slots Etiquette
For starters, if you are not playing the slot machines you need to stay out of the chairs by the slot machine games, this is good slots etiquette. Chairs in front of gaming machines were put there for players and customers, not for people to rest on. The casino sees you resting and not putting money in the machine and realizes this is a seat that could be filled by a customer -- someone may want to play the game and cannot because you are there. You also do not have the right to spread yourself across the other seats. Purses, coats, pets, children, or whatever other crap you bring with you to the casino cannot be left on the chair next to you. Have some class people – gaming chairs aren't footrests.
Some hints for common problems playing slots – if you have to run to the bathroom or leave your gaming seat for any reason and wish to return to your game, about the best you can do is to ask people to save a slot machine for you. In my experience, slot players are friendly to one another and casino people will usually comply with a friendly request. If you are a loyal customer sometimes the casino will close one for you until you get back – who knows, you might be earning them enough money to keep the seat warm.
Etiquette on Live Money Slots
Okay, so you've got your coins and your beverage and you're ready to pick a machine -- take a look at a slot machine before you plop down to play it. For one thing, you should always be wary of payout schedules – check to see if you want to play this machine before you decide. Then, if it still has money loaded on it, someone is assuredly using it. No casino player will walk away from live money. You can see if a player's card is in it, or check the credit meter – either way, or if you are unsure that the person is done for the day, call over an attendant so that they can cash out the slot machine before you begin playing. This way if they do return they can get their money back. This is a big rule of etiquette, and I have personally seen fistfights over matters of lost or misplaced slot moneys.
Smoking Slot Machine Etiquette
To smoke or not to smoke? Smoking is a controversial subject and I won't pretend to be a moral guide for casino players – but I think it is common decency to consider those around you before you decide to light up. If you are a smoker and you're in a casino that allows smoking then whenever it is possible you should position your cigarette or ash tray in a manner so your smoke is not annoying another player at a machine next to you. I often see rows of smokes positioned away from rows of non smokers – why would you want to ruin someone else's experience just to get your nicotine fix?
Tipping at Slot Machines
Another common question from the slot etiquette FAQ – tipping. This is always a personal decision that is usually determined by the service you receive. I tip everywhere I go, even when I receive less than satisfactory service, because I've worked for a living many times in my life and depended on tips. You may feel differently. Here are some guidelines: when you have a jackpot that requires a hand pay by the attendant it is customary to tip them when they bring you your money. Again this is based on the service received. If the jackpot was paid quickly than a tip is certainly in order. Usually the ½ to one percent of the jack pot is considered fair so you might give five or ten dollars on a thousand dollar jackpot. This is not mandatory and really is not a big chunk of your winnings when considered against other high percentage tips like waiters and bartenders. Many trips to Vegas have resulted in me getting, say, a $1,000 hand pay and I am given nine hundred dollar bills and five twenty dollar bills. The attendant is usually hoping I will just give them one of the twenties – this is how they earn their money, don't be surprised when it happens. Heck, just give them a twenty. If the service isn't up to par, keep some smaller bills on hand for tips. Just please, treat the staff with respect.
Multiple Slot Machine Etiquette
As for playing multiple machines – another question I get often -- if the casino is empty it is not a big deal to play more than one slot machine, but if it is a crowded floor, as the bigger ones usually are, it is considered rude to play more than one machine at a time. Do not lean to your left or right to play the games on either side of you, let the casino do its business one customer at a time.
Have fun playing slots. As a general rule, play them as if your mother were looking over your shoulder.
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