TIPS: In the Casino
Don't take photographs without permission in the gaming area of a casino.
Most casinos have a "No Cameras" policy as a consideration to those at the game tables and the slot machines.
Don't do anything in a Las Vegas casino that you wouldn't want captured on camera.
Las Vegas casinos are heavily armed with hidden cameras. Although the expression is, "What happens in Vegas, stays in Vegas," be mindful that someone is always watching.
Don't be careless with your chips or personal belongings in a casino.
Women especially, keep your purse on your person at all times. Unfortunately, there are people who work the Vegas casinos preying on unsuspecting tourists who are too tired to pay attention to their belongings.
Do stack chips with the higher denominations on the bottom.
Any thief walking by will always go for the chips on the top of the stack, because they are more accessible. The thief won't realize that he has snagged a chip worth little to nothing until after he has walked away.
Do color up your chips to make them easier to carry and keep track of.
If you're having a lucky night at the table and need to leave for any reason, color up your chips. A common expression in Vegas, it means changing the value of the chips to a higher denomination. For instance, instead of leaving with 20 $5 chips, you'd convert them to 1-$100 chip. This process allows you to avoid losing chips on the way to the cashier's cage. Plus, if you'll be returning to the table, it's easier for the dealer to keep track of how much you are leaving behind.
Do ask security if you wish to be escorted to your car or need assistance.
If you feel uncomfortable for any reason, whether it's because you won the jack pot or have a funny feeling about an individual, approach a security officer or hotel or casino employee for assistance. They will be glad to help you.
Don't pass up the chance to take whatever the casino and hotel offers.
Aside from free drinks, the casino offers coupon books that entitle visitors to discounts in the hotel shops, restaurants and other amenities. Also, don't miss out on the slot club membership. Each hotel has their own club with benefits and rules. It's said to be one of Vegas' best bargains. When you arrive at your hotel visit the rewards center. Use your slot club card to accrue points for your comps or complimentary items. Comps can be anything from food, hotel rooms and show tickets. The great thing about the comp system is that visitors don't have to do anything except play and bet.
Don't expect to receive big comps if you're not betting big.
Earning comps is based on your average bet and the length of your play. Want to get the most out of your buck for the time you're playing? One of the highest for comp earnings is roulette, because you're giving up more to the casino.
Do use your comps before they expire.
If you don't use all your comp points while you're in Vegas, the points will last for 18 months, after which they expire. Each casino operates differently, so know the rules before you leave.
Do study the games and learn their basic strategies.
Know the game before you enter the casinos, or take a lesson or two before or once you arrive. The last thing you want is to be at a game table of experts who are ready and willing to take your money.
Don't bring books or your computer to a blackjack table for help making decisions.
It's illegal to use and have on the casino tables, books, computers and even purses that might contain information to help with the game.
Don't try to predict the outcome of a gambling event by what's happened in the past.
Don't assume that because you won the first hand, or lost the second hand, that the third outcome will be the same as the last. It's called the "gambler's fallacy."
Do play maximum coins in the slots.
Play the most coins for the biggest bonus. Play a machine that lets you put in the maximum amount of coins, as opposed to a higher-limit machine or a higher-denomination machine, which permits you to put in only one or two coins. You put in a little, and you will get a little back.
Don't hand money or chips directly to a dealer.
Money or chips should never be exchanged hand-to-hand while at the game table. To avoid impropriety in the casinos, players are asked to lay all money in plain sight of the cameras on the table.
Don't play any slot with a jackpot over $1,199, unless you're prepared to pay taxes.
Yes. Uncle Sam lives in Vegas too. If you win a jackpot of $1,199 or more, be prepared to fill out the paperwork to pay taxes on your winnings. A W-2G for gambling wins is issued to anyone who wins a single slot-machine jackpot of $1,200 or more. Don't worry: table games like blackjack and roulette are usually not taxable. If you win $50,000 playing blackjack, it is normally not a taxable transaction. Check the rules before you play.
Don't be surprised if you're asked to stop playing if you're winning big.
In Nevada, the casinos have the right to bar anyone from the premises for any reason, including winning. Called the Right to Refuse Service law, it is used often by casinos to keep out advantaged players.
Don't count on winning.
The majority of visitors to Vegas leave with their pockets empty. Come to Vegas with the expectation that you're going to have a great time: if you win, great; if not, no worries. The games are designed to the advantage of the casino, not the player. Remember to manage your money carefully. When you're losing, place smaller bets than you would if you were winning, and get in the habit of walking away from a game you're losing.
Don't bet more than you can afford to lose.
Go to Vegas for entertainment purposes, not to make money. If you win, terrific. But remember that your real job awaits you back home.