The casino scene has developed at a tremendous rate over the last few years. Case in point, 2021 saw the value of casino gaming equipment reach $11 billion, with expectations for its growth to hit $13.2 billion by 2027. With such a thriving market, more companies have looked to open more casinos with different gaming options such as roulette wheels, slot machines, and video poker machines, to name a few.
Las Vegas, in particular, is one of the greatest places in the US to play poker as it is home to a wide variety of casinos. Aside from tourists, many big names in the poker scene come to the state to visit well-known casinos like the Aria and Bellagio. It’s no wonder how Nevada’s casino industry set an all-time high revenue of $13.4 billion in pre-tax gaming figures.
Before going to Vegas, it’s best to brush up on your skills in poker and familiarize yourself with casino systems, available games, and your buy-in budget. If you’d like to know what else you can do, here are four tips to get you comfortable with playing on the felt:
Learn poker etiquette
Casinos often have unspoken rules revolving around poker. Although it’s not required for you to follow them strictly, a good competitor adheres to these norms. Basic poker etiquette reflects the good manners we value in society. For instance, it’s incredibly important not to disrupt the action, particularly when players are in a hand. In big Las Vegas casinos, it’s also important to tip the dealer, servers, and staff you encounter as they depend on these tips for their livelihoods. If you’re not sure how much or when to tip a dealer, you can ask your fellow players for advice. Being gracious and kind can go a long way as a poker player.
Don’t use your money on other games
If you came to Las Vegas just to play poker, stick to your plan. There are many opportunities for you to spend money beyond poker, and it can be especially tempting to try out the different table games or machines located throughout. You can opt to factor this in your plans and set aside a designated budget for other games, so you don’t overspend.
Take advantage of poker room comps
Most casinos in Vegas offer “comp”, or “complementary”, things like food or discounts. Comps are based on the amount of time you spend playing. Depending on the poker room, you may get comp rates of up to $2 per hour on cash games. For example, based on the aforementioned rate, playing at a poker table for seven hours can let you redeem a $14 meal. Bigger comps like hotel room discounts can also allow you to spend more time at the casino, and enjoy the sights in Las Vegas.
Don’t be afraid to ask
For a first-timer, navigating the casino space can be confusing. Don’t hesitate to ask a staff member if you’re not sure about anything — be it where the card room is, how long you have to wait for a seat, or even how to enter a game. Even during the poker game itself, you may also ask the dealer about certain rules to ensure you’re not doing anything incorrectly. However, do make sure you stay polite and not interrupt anyone’s hands.
When playing in prominent casinos in Las Vegas, put your best foot forward. Although there are many professional players who come to play, even beginners can start in casinos without much difficulty. If you’re interested to learn more about where else you can travel and how to prepare for your trips, you can check out our travel articles before going on your next vacation.