Casinos Around the World
Live poker is now available at many brick and mortar casinos throughout the world. Texas Hold'em in particular is popular at casinos, whether they be in North America, Europe, or Australia. The primary differences between casinos around the world are the result of the etiquette pertaining to the casino, not to the poker game. While the rules and etiquette of playing poker are the same, the dress codes and tipping practices differ in various countries. If you are going to be doing some traveling, here is what you can expect from brick and mortar casinos in a few various countries:
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Brick and mortar casinos are present throughout the United States. The more well-known casinos with poker are in Vegas, California, Atlantic City, and Connecticut (Foxwoods Casino). At almost all of these casinos, no dress code is required. Poker players commonly just wear whatever is comfortable, ranging from business casual to t-shirts and jeans.
The dealers generally expect tips at these casinos. A typical tip is $1 for each hand you win. Most dealers do not expect a tip if you just win the blinds. If you win a huge pot, consider a larger tip.
Registration is almost never required at the casino. Most players walk in and go straight to the poker area of the casino. If you look young, the casino may ask for ID. Accepted ID is a US driver's license or a passport.
The typical German casino has two parts. First is the slot machine only section, which does not have a strict dress code. The second section is the tables games area, where the poker tables are also present. The table games section of a German casino is quite fancy and has a very strict dress code. Most German casinos require its customers to wear a jacket and a tie. The casino may have jackets and ties available for players that forget to bring them.
Registration is required at the casino, though is generally easily done the day of arrival with a passport or German driver's license. The casino also will charge a small entry fee into the table games section, typically about 2-3 euros.
Though the rake is often steep in the poker games, dealers still expect a tip occasionally. Since the games are often played without 1 euro chips, an occasional 5 euro tip is nice. One 5 euro tip for every 5-10 hands won should probably suffice, depending on the game's stakes you are playing.
While the German casinos are significantly fancier than American casinos, they generally have the same minimum bets for casino table games, such as blackjack. On a weekday night at a German casino, the typical minimum bet is10 euros. While moderate stakes may be available for casino games, the poker games tend to be played for middle to higher stakes. Most poker games have a minimum buy-in of 250 euros or more.
A British casino typically has a moderate dress code. Most require something along the lines of a collared shirt, pants, and decent shoes (no sneakers). British casinos require registration, typically done with a passport or British driver's license. They generally do not have an entry fee at the door though.
Tipping is forbidden at British casinos, so that's one thing players don't have to worry about. Most British brick and mortar casinos do not have poker tables available, though some, like the Grosvenor Victoria, have an extensive poker room.
Australian casinos are similar to British casinos, though the dress code tends to be more relaxed at these casinos. Like British casinos, tipping is forbidden and no entry fee is required. Since Joe Hachem's WSOP victory, poker is more popular in Australia and more games will likely be available.
A different form of rake is also sometimes taken in Australian casinos. For example, at the Star City Casino in Sydney, each player pays a certain amount of rake per hand. At the pot-limit/no-limit games, a rake of $1 AUD is taken per hand (about $.70 USD). This amounts to an extremely large rake, since up to $7 USD is taken per hand
even if a player just steals the blinds! If the rake is this high, it is difficult, if not impossible to win at the game in the long run.