Odd Gambling Rules You Might Not Know
Do you know what the most popular games are in brick-and-mortar casinos? Taken together, slots and video poker are the game of choice, with 61 percent of all casino visitors playing them. Played by 19 percent of all casino visitors and 24 percent of younger visitors, blackjack is the second most popular casino game, followed by roulette and poker.
Whether you are new to casino games or you are a veteran gambler, it is important for you to know the rules of the games you decide to play. Even if you have played a given game for years, you might be surprised by some of the little-known rules that govern your game of choice.
While that is the case, there is one rule that applies to every game that involves a dealer, which is to tip your dealer. Although players are not required to tip their dealer, it is considered bad form not to do so, especially if you are winning. Remember, dealers generally make most of their money from tips, and they have no control over the outcomes of the games they are dealing. Whether you win, lose or break even, remember to follow one of the leading rules of gambling etiquette and tip your dealer.
Unusual Slot Rules
Slots is a game in which you do not have to worry about tipping a dealer. Slots pit you against a machine, meaning you do not play against the house or any other competitor, with the exception being progressive slots, where you do rival others for an ever-increasing jackpot or a portion of it.
It should go without saying, but cheating is never allowed when you are playing casino games. If you attempt to cheat in a casino, you run the risk of having your winnings getting seized, getting escorted off the property and possibly facing criminal charges. Are those risks worth any amount of money? No, they are not.
With this in mind, you should know rubbernecking is a big no-no in slots. “Rubbernecking” refers to any behavior that results in an attempt to cheat a slot machine. In many casinos, security guards are keenly aware of attempts to cheat slot machines, and they are swift to act at the first sign of suspicious activity. Whereas legitimate slot players look at their machines to see the results of each spin, people engaged in rubbernecking typically do not look at their machines because they have manipulated the outcome and know what the machine is going to do.
Other than not rubbernecking when you play slots, there are not many odd rules affecting the game. Instead, several superstitions influence how people approach slots. Here are a few of the more common ones.
- Playing with lucky objects: You will often see a wide array of lucky objects some slots players refuse to gamble without. These objects can range from a rabbit’s foot to a mini statue of a god-like figure, family photos or a horseshoe, to name just a few possibilities.
- Believing a slot machine is due: Some slot players contend if a slot machine has not paid out in a while, it is "due" to pay out, while others will tell you a progressive jackpot will not pay out again for a long time if it recently paid out. While these beliefs may add to the “strategy” some people use to choose the machines they play on, they are not true, because every spin on a slot machine is completely independent of every other spin.
- Touching the screen: It is not uncommon to see slot players touch the screen on the machine they are playing in an attempt to make it more likely that a certain symbol will land on the next spin or on a designated wheel. Although touching the screen may keep players more engaged in their game, it will not influence their machine’s outcomes in any way.
Weird Blackjack Rules
Even though the rules for blackjack are generally pretty straightforward, there is one rare rule that can impact the game if it applies in the casino where you play blackjack: the “Charlie” rule.
If the Charlie rule is valid at your table, a person who ends up with a certain number of cards in front of them without going bust automatically wins, regardless of the total of the individual’s hand. The number of cards a player has to accumulate to win under the Charlie rule is ordinarily five or seven. If the number is seven, the Charlie rule is a “seven-card Charlie.”
When the Charlie rule is active at a blackjack table, it influences the house edge. Here is how the five-, six- or seven-card Charlie rule affects play at a blackjack table.
- Seven-card Charlie rule: 0.01 percent
- Six-card Charlie rule: 0.16 percent
- Five-card Charlie rule: 1.46 percent
Unusual Roulette Rules
You may commonly hear people call roulette "the Devil’s game," but that is not because it has a lot of odd gambling rules you might not know. Roulette’s nickname stems from the fact that when you add all the numbers up on a given roulette wheel, the result is 666. This is true regardless of the variant you choose to play.
While there may not be many unusual roulette rules, that does not mean the game lacks rules you might not be familiar with. One rule that can vary by casino governs when you can place bets. If you are playing in a brick-and-mortar casino, the game’s standard rules dictate you should place your bets before the ball gets dropped.
In some cases, you might be allowed to place bets even after your croupier drops the ball, however. If you are permitted to place wagers after your croupier drops the ball, keep a close ear out for the words “no more bets,” which will signal players that they cannot make additional wagers.
When you visit a casino, you will often see people enjoy beverages at the tables where they are playing. What you will rarely see are people playing roulette with drinks in their hands or on the rail. Even if you are new to roulette or you have only observed the game, you have probably noticed roulette is a very physical game with joint celebrations and shared losing spins occurring frequently. Even at subdued roulette tables, people still have to manually place their wagers, which can mean leaning over the rail and stretching.
Because roulette tables normally involve plenty of physical activity and they often get crowded, it is unwise to play the game while drinking a beverage. In fact, doing so is widely considered bad form, no matter how careful you might be with your drink, because of the potential for a spill. If you develop a thirst while playing roulette, follow the oft-unspoken rule and step away from the table to quench your thirst.
Strange Poker Rules: The Flop
Out of the top four most popular games in physical casinos, poker has the most unusual rules. Since poker has the largest number of odd rules, we will break our discussion of them into three categories, based on how the community cards get dealt in Texas Hold’em. With that said, you will quickly see some of the rules you are about to read about relate to other variants of poker.
If you play a lot of tournament poker by the rules that govern the World Series of Poker, there is one rule you need to be aware of — you must bet the nuts on the river if you are last to act in the final round of wagering in Texas Hold’em. If you have an unbeatable hand and check in last position after the river gets dealt, you can end up incurring a penalty which will require you to sit out one hand or more.
This rule against soft play is in place to prevent players from colluding with one another. The rule applies equally to players who soft-play their hand intentionally or inadvertently.
The rule forbidding a player who holds the nuts from soft-playing their hand when they are the last to act in the final round of betting applies even when someone else raises. Merely calling a raise with the nuts in last position is not acceptable if you have enough chips to re-raise or go all-in during the final round.
It is important to note that if you hold the nuts and you are sitting anywhere but the last position in the final round of betting, you are free to play your hand any way you wish. And you do not have to worry about getting hit with a penalty if you choose not to play your hand as aggressively as you might have had to if you had been last to act.
Weird Poker Rules: The Turn
If you have played poker long enough, you know how common split pots are. What you might not know is how a dealer determines who gets the extra chip when a pot does not divide equally among the winning players.
The World Series of Poker and the Poker Tournament Directors Association have the same rules that govern situations when pots can get evenly split to a degree, but not entirely. Here are their rules:
- Regarding board games with at least two high or low winning hands, the odd chip goes to the person in the first seat to the left of the button.
- In stud, stud hi-lo and razz games where there is a minimum of two high or low winning hands, the odd chip goes to the person holding the high card, as determined by suit, in the best five-card hand.
- In hi-lo games, whoever wins the high hand will get the odd chip.
As you can tell from the second rule just discussed, there are instances in which the ranking of suits matters when it comes to determining the outcome of something, such as who gets an odd chip, even though they are irrelevant when it comes to hand value in poker. The value of suits runs alphabetically from worst to best in the following manner:
Just like suit rankings may matter when determining who gets an odd chip in a split pot, they also matter in certain poker variants, because they identify the person who has to initiate the action by paying what is called the “bring-in.” In seven-card stud and seven-card stud hi-lo, the person holding the lowest-ranked card must pay the bring-in. When two players tie for the lowest-ranked card, the suits of the cards will be the tiebreaker, with the person holding the lowest suit having to pay the bring-in.
In razz, the person with the highest-door card must pay the bring-in. Similarly, if there is a tie when determining the player who has to pay the bring-in, the person holding the higher suit loses and will have to initiate play by paying the forced bet.
Little-Known Poker Rules: The River
Have you ever been all-in during a game of No-Limit Texas Hold’em with several other players, but no one made a move to show their hand? If so, you know how uncomfortable it can be, especially if you are not sure you made the right move by shoving your chips in the middle. While you might be familiar with that awkward feeling, you may not know there is a rule in place that dictates who is supposed to show first, second, third and so on in situations like the one just described.
If everyone checks in the last round of betting, the order in which players should reveal their cards begins with the small blind. If the small blind is out of the hand, the person who was first to check their hand during play should be the first to reveal their cards, with the action continuing in a clockwise direction. If you are in a later position and realize you cannot win the hand, you can fold your hand face-down instead of revealing your hole cards.
If everyone is not all-in during the last round of betting and someone bets or raises in the round, the final person who takes an aggressive action, meaning the last person to bet or raise, is required to reveal their hand first during a showdown. From there, the action proceeds in a clockwise manner, beginning with the player on the left-hand side of the final aggressor.
Make Plans to Stay and Play at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino
Now that you are familiar with some odd gambling rules you might not have known before, it is time for you to try your luck in our welcoming casino. When you play at Dover Downs Hotel & Casino, you will see our staff members are always willing to answer any questions you might have. If you are unsure about a rule, all you need to do is ask to get a friendly, informed response.
While you are always welcome to play at our inviting casino, we hope you will do more than that. We hope you will enjoy a stay at our AAA 4 Diamond hotel as well. As our guest, you will enjoy top-notch service, sought-after amenities and plenty of opportunities to relax when you are away from our casino.
Whether you are coming to play or play and stay, make plans to visit Dover Downs Hotel & Casino today!