Stepping into a casino for the first time can be daunting. Whether you're planning to play with the big boys in Vegas or heading to the Atlantic City casinos, it's not unusual to experience a little first-time nerves. Maybe you're worried about looking out of place amongst sharply dressed businessmen, or taking the lucky slot machine from a regular player. Whatever thoughts run through your mind, you came to the casino to play a little and have a little fun — no one else knows whether it’s your first time or if you’re tonight’s big-time personality people will be talking about for weeks. Use this six tips to build your confidence and swagger, and maybe even your coffer.
1 Take a friend
Ideally someone who's a little more affiliated with casino etiquette than you and can guide you through casino dos and don’ts — such as counting your money discreetly, and never taking a seat at a table if you don't intend to play.
2 Dress to feel your best
Whether that's up to the nines in your favorite suit and tie, or dressed down in your best tee and jeans that are just on the right side of smart — what we wear affects our confidence — wherever we are.
Check or ask your travel partners before arriving whether the casino has a dress code — if there's anything that's going to knock your confidence it's walking into a room filled with suits worthy of James Bond and gowns that could be straight off the red carpet, while you're sporting your scruffiest sneakers and favorite misshapen tee. That said, don't be afraid to dress well while dressing to stand out — you can still look smart with a statement tie or shoes, while letting your unique personality shine through.
3 Learn the ropes before you go
Another no-no that's sure to kill your confidence in the casino is sitting at a table and asking the shark next to you what to do.
Serious players won't (usually) have the inclination to show you the odds on a Roulette table, or when you should 'hit' at Blackjack. Learn how to play the tables before you go, either online or with an experienced group of players in your network of friends.
4 Decide how much to play with
And stick to it. If you don’t hit that hot streak, take a break and enjoy the casino atmosphere. Walk around a little, cheer on players at a table that’s getting some action, and then return to your game (or a different game) with a fresh mind and renewed confidence. It’s a lot harder to hit it big when your confidence flounders, especially for newer players. If lady luck isn't with you, enjoy your time, soak up the atmosphere, and exit gracefully.
5 Become best buddies with the dealers
Or at least, be nice to them — say hello and use their name. Dealers love to make small talk and are hired for their outgoing, engaging personalities. The stories they have! When you're winning, be sure to throw your dealer a tip. And when you're losing, never take it out on them!
Can a dealer help you win? Of course not, but treating your dealer like a friend is one guaranteed way to boost your confidence in the casino.
6 Don’t overindulge on the complimentary beverages
It can be tempting to accept the server’s offer of a free beverage while you play. But know your limit. You need to maintain your focus and concentration — take a cue from the serious, high-stakes players who you’ll see drinking water, sodas, or casually sipping a cocktail.
There's no doubt that a little bit of booze can boost your confidence, but it's vital you watch the wines so you can still play with a clear head.
However despite these six great tips, perhaps the easiest way to boost your confidence is to remember why you're in the casino in the first place — to have fun! Try not to take anything too seriously — just relax and enjoy yourself and your inner confidence will naturally shine through, disguising whether this is your first casino visit or the playground of a seasoned pro.