Playing Poker At The Casino For The First Time

Posted by Nick Niesen on October 28th, 2010

After you've been playing poker for a while, you will inevitably want to get your feet wet and head down to your local casino or card room to play some live casino poker. Along with this desire comes a certain level of anxiety or nervousness about going down to the brick and mortar for the first time.

This is perfectly normal!

But don't worry! There really isn't anything to fret about, as playing poker at the casino is one of the most fun forms of playing the game.

Despite my reassurances, however, I'm sure you still have some reservations about going, and are probably a bit worried about what to do when you get there, what stakes you should play, etc.

The good news is that this article should explain a lot of the questions you have about playing at the casino. After reading the following tips you will be ready for the live casino poker game, allowing you to relax and really do what you came to the casino for in the first place - to win money!

The first thing you'll want to do upon arriving at the casino is to talk to the front desk area in the poker room and have them either assign you a table, or place you on a waiting list to be seated. You'll have to decide what stakes you wish to play. Normally most casinos will have a low stakes limit game ($4-$8), a low stakes no limit game ($1-$2), and maybe some mid-high stakes games.

After you are assigned a table, the floor person will likely point you toward the cage to get some chips. I would recommend buying in for at least 20 big bets (so $160 for $4-$8) if you are going to play limit holdem. If you are going to play No Limit, then typically buying in for the maximum or close to it is optimal.

Now that you have your chips, sit down - the fun is about to begin! Soon enough you will win your first hand... what a rush. There's nothing like the feeling of winning a big pot and stacking up your chips.

One thing to remember in the casino though after winning a hand is to ALWAYS TIP THE DEALER! This is common courtesy just like tipping your server at a restaurant. Usually in low limit games I will give the dealer any $0.50 chips that they give me from making change for the rake. If I don't get any chips that size, then I will generally tip $1.00. This is completely up to you though, and I would suggest anywhere from $0.50 to $2.00 is more than acceptable, although you may wish to tip more if you win a large pot.

As you play more and more at the casino, there is bound to be a time when you have a question about the way a hand was handled, or you feel that a mistake was made. Always keep your cool in these circumstances, and point it out to the dealer first. If they aren't handling it to you satisfaction, call a floor person over - but ALWAYS give the dealer a chance to make things right. Dealers are people too, and no one likes it when someone goes over their heads. That said, if the dealer isn't doing anything about your problem, certainly ask for a floor manager.

These quick tips should get you ready for your first trip to a live casino poker room.

But one more thing!

Remember the most important rule of all for going to the casino - Have Fun!

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Nick Niesen

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Nick Niesen
Joined: April 29th, 2015
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