If you don’t have much experience in land-based casinos, the whole experience could be somewhat scary. You get in there, see a lot of people running around, others screaming and laughing, and all sorts of noises, really.
The beginning could be quite stressful, especially for people who have played mostly online. Table fright is actually a thing, but it’s only natural. We are programmed in a way that makes us nervous when we try something new, especially when there are other people involved.
To be honest, my first time in a casino didn’t start well. There were some weird people there, and I felt like I wanted to go home. I somehow kept it cool and stayed. An hour later, I felt like I’d been in casinos all my life.
I can’t say I followed some particular tips back then. However, I now know some ways to avoid the nervy start. Here are my tips for the best 3 ways to overcome table fright at the casino.
One of the main reasons table fright exists in the first place is because the whole experience is unknown to you. This could be confusing and stressful, so it’s a good idea to be prepared before you actually go to a casino.
You can start by reading the important rules of the casino games you intend to play. Check what the possible actions are and what to expect from the dealers and the other players. Make sure you won’t fall into an awkward situation that would trigger potential table fright.
A good example would be the hand signals in blackjack. If that’s the game of your choice, make sure you know how to hit, stand, and double with your hand. This will make your life easier. Pretty much every game out there has a similar set of actions you can find on the internet with just a couple of clicks.
On top of the written rules, there’s also a casino etiquette you should get familiar with. Stuff like how and when to tip the croupiers, waiting your turn, what you can touch, and what you can’t touch on the table is crucial. This will help you behave properly and avoid scandals, or at least raised eyebrows.
The other type of preparation you have to do is the mental one. For a start, no one in the casino really cares about you. The dealers and the rest of the personnel are being paid to make you happy. As for the other players in the casino, they are focused on their own game and are trying to beat the house.
This is why you shouldn’t care either. Yeah, you could make a mistake every now and then. Someone might get a bit annoyed. At the end of the day, this happens all the time in every single casino. There are clueless tourists, drunk people, and all kinds of situations.
The regulars and the dealers have seen everything, believe me. You can’t really impress them. Simply stay calm and keep doing what you intend to do, even if you make a mistake.
Socialize with Other People (Mostly the Dealers at First)
Even if you follow my initial advice and prepare well, it’s always possible to get table fright at some point. You shouldn’t be too worried about it and let it go through the roof.
One of the ways to contain your emotions and get distracted would be to talk to other people. Yes, unlike online gambling, there are real people in the casino. Take advantage of that and start some small talk. This will help you keep your mind occupied and quickly find a way out of the table fright.
However, it’s a good idea to pick the people you want to talk to. Your best bet is the dealer on the table. It’s part of their duties to be friendly. Give them a chance to earn their tip.
Of course, you could try talking to other players, too. Most of the ones who are willing to engage in a conversation are easy to spot. In fact, they are often the initiators, so you could take full advantage.
It might seem too obvious, but sharing that it’s actually your first time in a casino and that you feel a bit of nervous is not a bad idea, either. The personnel will instantly try to make you feel comfortable, as it’s their job. Other people may share their experience and so on.
Simply put, use the social environment in the brick-and-mortar casinos to your advantage. It’s one of the reasons many people prefer them to online rooms.
Take a Break and Go to the Bathroom
Okay, so you have prepared, and you still got nervous. You tried to overcome it by talking to the dealers and probably the players. It didn’t work. The table fright has taken over, and you’re in full panic mode.
When this happens, it’s time to use one of the oldest tactics know to human beings – retreat. Of course, I don’t encourage you to run away screaming. A much better choice would be to simply take a walk around the casino or visit the bathroom for a second.
Drink some water, wash your face, and take your time. No need to rush. Calm down and return to the table when you are ready. There’s absolutely no shame in that, and people often need a break every now and then.
Fortunately, the casino is a place where no one would actually want an explanation later on or judge you. You can rest assured that the other people in the casino won’t even notice your absence. Simply take the time you need without hesitation.
At the end of the day, the experience in a real casino is not for everyone. There are plenty of people who don’t like it, even if they are calm and experienced. The atmosphere might be too glamorous for some; others will find other people annoying.
However, you should at least give it a chance, and don’t quit because of table fright. I don’t want to get too serious, but that probably applies to everything in life. Face your fear and learn to manage it. It’s a satisfying experience.
In the case of brick-and-mortar casinos, it has added value, too. You might end up liking it and finding good opportunities to make some money at the tables. Poker players, especially, will be pleasantly surprised how bad the opposition is compared to the online tables.