So it’s a weekend night, and you are relaxing at home, not thinking about your mundane 9 to 5 job. A commercial comes across the television of a swanky guy with a swanky girl clinging on to his arm as they step foot into a casino. Lights blaring, people laughing, everyone is having a good ole’ time gambling and winning. So you decide to take a trip to your local casino hoping at least for a chance to win some money and maybe meet some swanky person to have next to you while you are sipping on those free martinis. Next thing you know, you drove yourself to this place, open the doors, and it’s nothing like the commercial. The whiff of cigarette smoke is the first thing that hits you as you open up those doors. The second thing you notice is the zombie-like people at the slot machines, not laughing and winning as you saw on television. You don’t see much swanky people, and you come to find out that alcoholic drinks, are not free. (This holds true in the state of Pennsylvania-unless you’re a high roller, and by high roller, that means you lose more than 3 grand a month which entails you to get a higher rewards card-hence free drinks.)
You decide to not run away scared. Since you drove all this way, might as well make the best of it. Now, here are 5 things you should know NOT to do while you’re there.
Number one, if you haven’t done this before stepping foot in a place like this, turn back around, walk to your car, and leave all your credit and debit cards in the glove compartment! If you’ve been to a casino before, you know to only go with the amount you can afford to lose and only bring that! If you don’t feel like walking back to your car, then make sure you tell yourself you have none of your cards with you. It’s very easy and the casino entices you to take a trip to the ATM once you lose what you only meant to spend to begin with. Consider the casino a horrible store where you spend money and leave with nothing.
The second thing not to do in a casino is to never tell the person you sit next to what you do for a living. Keep the friendly chatter to a minimum. I’ve come across plenty of people trying to get to find out what you do for a living. If it’s a decent living, consider them your friend for life, or anytime you step foot in there. They will eventually give you a sob story, in hopes you will be nice enough to “give them some money to play with to pass the time”.
The third thing never to do is don’t pay for food or sodas and coffee with your own money. If you can help it, get a rewards card. Play the money you brought first, and if you win, great, if you lose well at least maybe you racked up enough comps to get a comped meal. Usually in any casino nationwide, sodas and coffee are free to begin with. The way to rack up points or comps is to insert your rewards card in the slot machine before you throw money in there, or present your card to the dealer when sitting down at any table game. This card “tracks” what you spend and there is some magical math the casinos do that adds up to what your points/comps will be.
The fourth thing is to never, ever draw attention to yourself. If for some miraculous reason you do hit for a substantial amount of money, or on a winning streak, don’t jump up and down and laugh out loud screaming “OH MY GOSH I WON A GAZILLION DOLLARS”, like you would see in those not-real-life commercials. Keep it cool, enjoy the win, and make sure no one follows you out to your car!
The last thing never to do while you’re at a casino. Don’t leave angry. If you find you lost all your money, don’t leave angry thinking if you come back next week, you will win it all back. With that kind of attitude, you are more prone to getting addicted. Also, more prone to losing even more money! Instead, think of this trip as just that, an entertaining trip. If you can afford to go, it’s harmless. If you can’t afford to go, then you know it’s a problem! Just like you would see on the back of those rewards cards- bet with your head, not over it!