How to Survive Your First Casino Visit: Tips and Tricks


Whether you just turned 21 or recently celebrated your 50th year, your first trip to a casino is sure to be an exhilarating sensory overload. The bells and whistles of the slot machines mingle with the excited shouts of high rollers at the craps tables. The flashing lights glint off of the sequins on the dress of every cocktail waitress. Rich aromas of prime rib and fresh-baked bread waft out of the buffet, and the free alcoholic beverages taste stronger as the night goes on.

Your first casino visit can be a tad overwhelming, and if you let yourself be swept along unchecked by the sheer euphoria of it all there might be a big cliff waiting for you at the end. Here are a few simple tips and tricks that will help you survive the adult wonderland that is the casino.

Have a Budget and Stick to It

Gambling in the United States is a $40 billion dollar a year industry. Money can be spent quickly in a casino, and your first visit won’t be much fun if you spend too much, too soon.

Before you go decide how much you will take to spend and withdraw the cash. Put the cash in your pocket and leave your credit and debit cards at home. There is simply too much temptation in the casino, and don’t feel bad if you can’t resist it. Many people can’t. A good rule of thumb is to spend no more than one week’s paycheck on your first visit.

Expect to Lose

A casino is first and foremost a business. It exists to make a profit. It makes a profit by allowing you to compete with it for money on games which give the casino an advantage. Here’s a simpler explanation: the casino can only make a profit when you lose, and you will do exactly that most of the time.

This isn’t meant to rain on your parade or discourage you. It is very possible that you could win a small amount of money on your first trip. The advice here is to temper your enthusiasm and focus more on having fun than making a killing. If all you expect is to have a good time, you can control the fulfillment of that expectation. A win will be a nice bonus.

Choose your games wisely to increase your chances of winning. Carnival games like Let it Ride might seem like more fun, but the odds are far worse than those of video poker.

Wear a Watch

One of the first things you will notice in a casino is the absence of clocks or windows. Time in a casino is a bit like an alternate reality. It has no real essence. The truth is, the casino doesn’t want you watching the clock on the wall. Every hour that you spend inside its doors offers the casino a greater opportunity to take your money.

If you don’t keep track of time, you are likely to stay too long. This is especially true if you have been sampling the free drinks given to the casino’s guests.

Remember That You Are a Guest

Casinos don’t really discriminate. They will allow anyone to come in and spend their money. But, just as you control who enters your home and how long they stay, the casino reserves the right to remove anyone that becomes unwelcome. A casino is essentially a private club, and the casino will eject you if you don’t behave.

Emotions run high when people are gambling, drinking, and otherwise surrendering their inhibitions to the glitzy night. Don’t let yours get the best of you. If you suddenly can’t handle losing three hands of blackjack in a row, maybe it’s time to call it a night and leave with some pleasant memories.

The outcome you want most from a first casino visit is a trove of memories. Mardi Gras Casino said, “Soak in the entire experience rather than focusing solely on gambling.” See a show. Eat a great meal. Get a massage or facial at the spa. To leave the casino unhappy would be a major downer, so use good judgment and enjoy yourself responsibly.