Roulette EtiquetteSo it’s your first time heading to the casino, and you are feeling a little apprehensive about approaching the roulette table.

Or perhaps you have recently visited a casino and managed to upset someone by not following the proper roulette etiquette, and you don’t want to make the same mistakes again.

Understanding and adhering to proper etiquette is more important than you might think when playing roulette, because gambling is an emotive business. People might be going through a losing streak and not in the best of moods, and the dealer has a whole table to manage, so the last thing they want is a player messing things up and upsetting everyone.

Following roulette etiquette not only ensures a pleasant experience for everyone, but it also shows you have respect for the game and its traditions – it dates back to 1765, after all.

In this guide, I’ll explain roulette etiquette, covering everything from table manners to interacting with dealers and fellow players.

How to Approach the Table

How to Approach a Roulette Table

Approaching a roulette table doesn’t need to be overcomplicated, but it does require some finesse and situational awareness.

As you approach, observe the game in progress, take note of who at the table is actually playing rather than observing, and be sure to avoid disrupting ongoing play.

If the table is crowded, wait for a natural break in the action before joining. Alternatively, politely ask the dealer if it’s acceptable to join the game. You might have to wait if the table is too busy, so you can either join when someone else leaves, or head to a different table with fewer players.

This demonstrates respect for both the flow of play and your fellow players’ space.

Don’t be the guy who pushes in or gets to close to someone who is trying to focus on the game, and think twice before striking up a conversation with the person next to you. Not everyone wants to talk so use your judgement. I got this very wrong once, and the atmosphere was so awkward I cashed in my chips and left.

Oh, and keep your phone in your pocket while at the table. Casinos don’t want people recording in them, and anyway, you’re there to enjoy yourself, you can check Facebook after you leave.

How to Buy Chips and Place Bets

How to Place Bets and Buy Roulette Chips

Before placing bets, you will need to exchange cash for chips at the roulette table.

Be mindful of the posted minimum and maximum bet limits, or you could end up looking rather foolish when the dealer pulls you up on them, and purchase an appropriate amount of chips for the limits at the table.

In other words, buy enough chips so that you aren’t asking for more every two spins of the wheel. That’s just annoying.

When exchanging cash for chips, don’t hand the money directly to the dealer. It might seem like the natural thing to do but it’s not the correct etiquette.

Instead, place your money on the table within the reach of the dealer, allowing them to acknowledge and exchange it for chips in a professional manner.

This is for everyone’s safety, because the cameras and everyone else at the table can see how much you have put down, and accusations of cheating or not getting a fair exchange are lessened.

When placing bets, wait for the correct time to do so. The dealer will invite players to place their bets and will also announce when betting time is over. Never bet outside of these times.

Furthermore, ensure your chips are neatly stacked within the betting area you are targeting. Avoid reaching across the table or interfering with other players’ bets to fit yours in. You can also ask the dealer if there isn’t space for the bet you want to make.

Finally, once your bets are place do not touch them, especially not once the wheel is in motion, as this could disrupt the outcome of the spin. If you need to make a change while betting time is open this is possible, but try not to do it too often. Again, this is to avoid suspicions of cheating.

How to Talk to the Dealer

How to Talk to a Roulette Dealer

Dealers aren’t just the people spinning the wheel and collecting the losing chips, they are also the facilitator of the game, ensuring it runs smoothly and batting away potential issues before they arise.

You should treat them with courtesy and respect throughout the game, even if you are losing, and especially if they are new to the job. It’s not their fault you are losing, they aren’t ‘against’ you, and they can’t control where the ball goes. They are also under pressure from the management team who watch them as closely as they watch you, so it’s not in their interests to manipulate the game in any way.

Avoid making demands when you need something from them, just ask politely, and do so at a convenient time, i.e not when they are trying to count someone’s money. They are usually happy to talk to a degree, but excessive conversation during spins probably won’t be welcomed. They need to concentrate.

If you have questions or need their help with something, wait for an appropriate moment to ask without disrupting the flow of play. If you are good to the dealer they will treat you with the same respect in return.

If you think a dealer has been professional and done a particularly good job, or if you have had a big win and simply want to share the love, you can tip them.

Tipping dealers is customary in casinos in some countries, although less so in the UK, but while it’s not mandatory, tipping is a thoughtful way to thank a dealer for their work.

If you do choose to tip, do so discreetly where possible. You just need to make what you are doing  clear to the dealer, which is easy when the table is quiet, but can be more challenging at busier times. In the latter scenario, it’s best to announce what you are doing by placing the tip to the side of the table and saying something along the lines of “This is for you”.

How to Handle Winnings and Losses

How to Handle Roulette Wins and Losses

As I have already said, roulette can be an emotive game, but overly animated patrons aren’t welcome in most casinos.

There are exceptions of course, so use your best judgement, but in the main, whether experiencing wins or losses, try to keep your composure and avoid excessive displays of emotion, however excited or upset you might be feeling.

That means no whooping and hollering if you win (especially not if you have only won £20, that’s just embarrassing), and no swearing or hitting the table if you lose.

Respect the outcomes of each spin and handle winnings or losses gracefully, with respect for everyone else at the table and the tables around you.

If you win, you should wait for the dealer to push your chips towards you before attempting to pick them up, do not reach across onto the table and take them yourself. Let the dealer control the flow of the game.

You should be mindful of the pace of play too, and avoid delaying the game by taking ages counting or sorting chips after a win or loss.

If you need to skip a round to sort yourself out or reassess what to do next, that’s fine, but don’t keep everyone else waiting. Don’t stop playing for too long either, as there might be someone else waiting to play.]

What to do if you Make a Mistake?

What to do if you Make a Mistake in Roulette

Even the most seasoned players can make mistakes at the roulette table.

Whether you misinterpret a betting option, forget the rules, or accidentally disrupt the flow of play, it’s probably not the end of the world, so following the advice in this list will more than likely be enough to get you off the hook.

  • Stay calm – If you realise you’ve made a mistake, firstly, stay calm and composed. Panicking or becoming flustered will only escalate the situation and potentially disrupt the game further.
  • Acknowledge the error – If your mistake affects other players or the dealer, acknowledge it and apologise. Taking responsibility is the mature thing to do, and people will respect you for it.
  • Accept the consequence – In some cases, mistakes may result in losses or missed opportunities. Accepting the consequences gracefully is part of the learning process.
  • Learn from it – Every mistake is an opportunity to learn and grow as a player. Take note of what went wrong and use it to improve your knowledge for future games.
  • Move on – Once the situation has been resolved, move on and continue playing with a positive attitude. Over apologising or dwelling on mistakes will only detract from your enjoyment of the game. Deal with it and get on with your game.

Really then, it’s just a case of being a decent human being and a responsible adult. Don’t lose your temper or try blaming someone else, just hold your hands up and carry on.

I know it might be embarrassing to make a mistake in front of other players, but you won’t be the first person they have seen get something wrong at the roulette table.

Everyone else is focussed on their game, so they will have forgotten your error almost as quickly as it occurred.

Remember, everyone makes mistakes from time to time; it’s how you respond to them that truly matters.