group of people playing craps

First Time at a Casino? | Here Are Some Tips

Casinos are one of the top entertainment options in the U.S. According to the American Gaming Association, approximately 27 percent of Americans visit a casino at least once a year. That number is sure to grow as legalized gambling continues to expand far beyond Las Vegas and Atlantic City.  

Casinos offer a wide variety of games for all skill levels, making them attractive to those dreaming of a life-changing jackpot as well as those simply intent on enjoying a night out. If you’re planning on gambling for the first time, here are a few first-time casino tips you should know before you go:

Consider the casino odds

You’ve probably heard the phrase “the house always wins.” People say it a lot, but it’s not entirely true—if it was, you’d never hear news about people winning huge jackpots and prizes at local casinos. However, the “house” does have a mathematical advantage, allowing them to earn a small percentage of each bet you make. That’s why it’s a good idea to start with casino games for beginners or games that have a lower house edge, including Blackjack, video poker, baccarat, and craps. If you choose to play riskier games such as Keno, roulette, or slots, consider walking away once you hit a decent win.

Manage your bankroll

First-time casino visitors are typically unsure about how much money to bring with them, but there’s no easy answer other than “no more than you can afford to lose.” Everyone is on a different budget, so what seems like a minor bankroll to one person could be a small fortune to someone else. The best way to figure out your budget is to think about how much you’d be comfortable spending on a fun night out that offers nothing in return aside from a few hours of entertainment: $50? $100? $500? Let that number be your bankroll, and once you decide on an amount, stick to it!

Use a Player’s Club cardgroup of guys happy playing blackjack

Many casinos offer additional perks to patrons through a Player’s Club program, so it’s a good idea to get a club card first thing when you visit a new casino. Every time you play a game, inserting the card will track your play and reward accordingly. Perks can include game credits, free meals, tickets to concerts or comedy shows at the casino, and even hotel room comps at resort casinos. That means even if you burn through your bankroll on a night out at the casino, earning rewards on the Player’s Club card gives you something in return beyond a good time.

Practice games online

Casinos are very welcoming to gambling newbies, with friendly dealers and staff ready and willing to help you learn how to play different games. However, if you’d feel more comfortable going to a casino for the first time already knowing how to play, you can practice beforehand online. There are many online sources of casino games that don’t actually involve any money—you can play and practice for free as much as you want, so you can enter the casino with confidence.

Don’t forget to tip!

Almost everyone working in or near the casino industry relies on tips to make a living, so don’t limit your tipping to the casino restaurant or bar. A good rule of thumb is to plan on using 5-10% of your bankroll for tips to the dealer. Some players tip during the game, while others tip when they leave the table. And of course, don’t forget to tip the cocktail waitress who brings you free drinks while you play—tip at least a dollar per drink, which is still a deal considering how much cocktails cost at the bar.

First-timers welcome at Golden Acorn Casino

If you’re trying out gambling in a casino for the first time, you’ll love it at Golden Acorn Casino. We have hundreds of slots and dozens of table games to choose from, and our friendly staff will be happy to answer any questions you have. Also, Golden Acorn Casino is conveniently located right off the I-8, about an hour from downtown San Diego, making it the perfect destination for a fun night out with friends. Come see us! We’ll show you a good time.

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