When it Is and Isn’t Okay to Ask Casino Dealers for Advice

Casino Etiquette Rules: Asking the dealer for casino advice.

Asking the Dealer for Casino AdviceCasino etiquette is extremely important in the land-based gambling realm. No one wants to act like a fool, or make a dumb-ass move in public. Those who do usually suffer from nothing more than a sheer lack of experience. They just don’t know any better.

Today, we’ll be discussing one of the most common mistakes made by novicere players, especially at the blackjack tables. This isn’t just a land-based casino mistake. Many players have done this at live casino blackjack; a version played online via live-streaming video and audio.

I’m talking about knowing when it is and isn’t okay to ask the casino dealer for advice.

Asking the Dealer for Casino Advice

Time and again, I’ve seen this tip posted in beginner guides to gambling. They tell you that, if you’re not sure what the right move is, just ask the dealer. Blackjack dealers know the odds, and are fully capable of delivering sound advice. That’s 100% true. But is it good etiquette?

Unfortunately, it’s not. Asking the dealer whether you should hit, stand, split, double, or take insurance is not considered good casino etiquette. It’s not that they’re going to steer you in the wrong direction. Like I said, an experienced dealer knows the probabilities of the game, and they aren’t gunning for players to lose. In fact, they love to see players win. It creates a positive atmosphere, and often leads to good tips in their pockets. But it can also lead to a high-stress environment when probabilities don’t pan out.

If you ask the dealer whether you should hit 12 against their 5, they’re going to say, “No”. That’s a bad move. You should definitely stand. But if the dealer takes a card, gets another 5, and beats you with 20, what’s your reaction going to be?

Most people would just snap their fingers and move on, but not everyone. Some players may get angry, even belligerent, accusing the dealer of causing their loss. “If I’d hit, I would have gotten that 5 and stood on 17. This is your fault!”

I’m certainly not saying you would do this, but a dealer doesn’t know you from Adam. They don’t know how any player will react, and the last thing they want to do is deal with a hostile customer. Thus, it’s not fair of you, or anyone else, to put them in such a position.

When it’s Okay to Ask Casino Dealers for Advice

There is one particular situation where it is perfectly acceptable to ask for gambling advice. It’s not just acceptable, but expected from novitiates to the game. I’m referring to the game of Pai Gow Poker. In Pai Gow, player’s must set 7 cards into two hands, and each hand abide by specific rules (the 5-card hand must beat the 2-card hand).

In this game, there are even deeper rules to hand setting known as the ‘House Way‘. The dealer is required to abide by these rules, but players are not. If a player wants to comply with house way rules, they are welcome to do so. However, if they aren’t certain what the dealer would do in any given situation, they are perfectly welcome to ask. The dealer will oblige, and have your cards all set within a matter of seconds.

In this way, asking the dealer for casino advice is perfectly acceptable. If the player loses, it’s no harm, no foul. The dealer gave them the best odds of winning, for better or worse. As for any other game, it’s bad casino etiquette, so don’t do it. Learn the rules, build your own strategies, and figure it out for yourself.

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