Slots Etiquette

Slot machine play may not invite the same level of social activity as casino table games like blackjack or roulette, but other people are all around and a certain amount of decorum should be observed. Following the guidelines outlined below will help ensure that every trip to the slot floor is a pleasant one.

  • Sit Only When Playing – The chairs that are placed in front of the slot machines are there for the comfort of players who are actually betting, not for passersby to sit down and take a rest or chat with friends. Nor should empty seats be used to store personal belongings such as jackets, purses or shopping bags. And the chairs are certainly not footrests. If a non-playing observer is sitting next to a friend who is playing, he/she should be ready to offer the seat to others interested in playing and not block use of an unused machine.
  • Use Only Available Machines – If a player’s card is inserted in the tracking slot or any credits remain displayed on slot’s window, it may be a sign that someone is still playing that machine and may just stepped away briefly. Before sitting down, it is appropriate to ask nearby players if anyone is using the machine.
  • Abandoned Slots – When a player’s card is left in the slot or credits remain on the machine, and it is clear that the owner is not returning, it is best to call a slot attendant, who will take the card and/or cash out the credits. Should the patron later return, this action will avoid the possibility of being accused of “stealing” his/her game.
  • Reserve a Seat – Anyone leaving a machine briefly to take a phone call or go to the rest room can simply ask a player nearby or a slot attendant to keep an eye on his/her seat. Some players like to put an upside-down coin cup on their seat or drape a coat over the back of the chair to indicate a machine is taken. Coin cups, hats or handkerchiefs can also be placed on the handles of slots that have them as a way of reserving a machine.
  • Play One Machine – Although there is no rule against playing two or more slot machines at a time, and it may seem to cause no problem when plenty are available, courteous players stick to the one directly in from of them. Not only may someone wish to play the second or third machine being used, playing one machine is a safeguard. Thieves have been known to cash out one machine while a player’s attention is drawn to another.
  • Cell Phones Off – Many casinos actually prohibit the use of mobile devices for communication anywhere inside the gaming area. It would be embarrassing to be asked to leave the casino just for saying “hello” to a friend, relative, or colleagues, so ringtones should be set to silent or vibrate while on the slot floor. If a call must be made or taken, it is best to do so away from the machines.
  • Don’t Blow Smoke – Although many casinos do allow cigarette smoking, and some even permit cigars and pipes, it is a good practice to ask a staff member and make sure smoking is allowed before lighting up. As a common courtesy to other players who may be nonsmokers, smoking players should position their ashtrays directly in front them, rather than to one side or the other.
  • Don’t Forget to Tip – Tipping cocktail servers when they bring beverages is standard, of course, but tipping other slot staff is also customary when a big jackpot is hit, especially the attendant who hand pays the winnings in cash. In such cases, a proper tip is from $5 to $10 for every $1,000 won. It is also good manners (and much appreciated) to tip change attendants or cage cashiers a few dollars when cashing in after a big win.
  • Keep an Eye on Belongings – Slot players sometimes get so engrossed in their games that they forget to take simple precautions against purse or bag snatching. In long rows of slots, items placed between machines can be easily grabbed from behind, just as personal belongings left on the floor are an attraction for thieves. Whatever cannot be placed on one’s lap or the front edge of the slot should be wedged between the back of the seat and the small of one’s back. It may also be a good idea to wrap a purse strap around the chair arm or back, too.

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