Your Questions About How To Play Poker At A Casino

John asks…

Do I have to enter a tournament to play poker at a casino or how does it work? Do I need an appointment?

Is it like blackjack, where you walk to the table, sit down and change some money for chips?

admin answers:

There are two kinds of tournament that you might find in a live casino. One that is held at a specific time of the day, and one that operates as a ‘sit and go.’

In a regular tournament (often advertised by casino in the back of Card Player magazine), you find out when it will be held, and buy a ticket to the tournament. The ticket will give you a seat and table position. At the allotted time, you locate your seat give the dealer your ticket, and play.

In a sit and go, you go to the host stand and sign up. As soon as the required number of players have signed up, the tournament will begin.

Finally, cash games are very common too. You can go to the host stand and ask what games are available. You can select a game with an open seat or put your name down on a waiting list. When the seat is open, a member of staff will direct you to your seat.

I’ve never seen a casino where you just sit down like Blackjack.

Laura asks…

is playing poker at the casino 2x a week considered a gambling problem?

boyfriend heads to the casino like once or twice a week to play poker. I have told him my concerns and he says that he isnt playing against the casino so its not considered gambling??? I dont get it.. is that not considered gambling? He claims that is how he makes his money and he has won so much in the last few years that he is just good at what he does …. PLEASE.. any advice or opinions on this?????– also should i marry a guy who goes to the casino that much???? thank you!!!!!!!

admin answers:

There are many, many people who depend on poker to pay the bills. Poker is a game of mainly skill, with less luck, and the house (casino), has no advantage. You are only playing other players, the house only takes a small rake per pot for thier services. I do not see why playing twice a week is a gambling problem unless it affects finances a lot. There will be some variences in poker, and there will be some losing days, but in the long run, if he is a winning poker player, then there is nothing wrong with it. If he loses a lot of money, and does not stop, or at least drop down in stakes because of his ego or something, then there is a problem.

I do not have any casinos within a 3 hours drive, or else I would be playing more than twice a week, but I do play on a daily basis online.

My girlfriend realizes that this is how I pay some of my bills ( not all, I do have a part time job until I can afford to play poker more seriously.) and she is very supportive. She helps me not tilt when I take some bad beats, and does not mind. I would recommend letting him play, and being supportive. One thing my girlfriend did was make a face anytime I told her I lost money in a session, wether it be $2 or $200. It happens sometimes, but do not be upset or say anything about it, the best thing you can do is tell him he will just win it back next time.

I would suggest, if he doesn’t already, keep track of all his wins and losses, and see his long term results. I use a simple website called, and it gives you charts and graphs of your long term results. Like I said, if he is in the black, then let it be. If he is in the red, then he should consider quitting playing for a while, study his playing, and move down in stakes until he is ready. Good luck!

Susan asks…

How do you get in a POKER TOURNEY/SEAT at ATLANTIC CITY or any CASINO?

i kick azz at poker and know id be taking home a nice profit everyday if i played at a casino ( been playing for while now but never at a casino)

so what exactly do you do when you take a trip to atlantic city or any casino when you wanna play poker

each step like

1. where do you buy the chips.. at the table or cashier?

2. where are the poker tournements at in the casinos.. im thinking they have theyre own section but are they usually out on the floor or in the back somewhere?

3. how do you buy in.. do you just sit down at any availible seat? or do you have to register somehwere

4. what kind of tourneys can you play sit n gos? or ring tables?

5. and during the game how do you know how much stack your opponents have .. do you ask em during the game?.. seem like it be hard to tell if they have a large chip count

6. and anything else id need to know when i go to play poker at a casino for the first time

admin answers:

1. Where do you buy the chips.. At the table or cashier?

The Cage/cashiers window or at the table in cash ring games.

2. Where are the poker tournements at in the casinos.. Im thinking they have theyre own section but are they usually out on the floor or in the back somewhere?

Most casinos have poker rooms now. You will have to register for tournaments at the cashiers window or at a special window/area set up for that tournament.

3. How do you buy in.. Do you just sit down at any availible seat? Or do you have to register somehwere. There is usually a table where there is a waiting list of people waiting to get into the different available games. Sign up and wait if there are no openings

4. What kind of tourneys can you play sit n gos? Or ring tables? Go to the casino web site for info on whether they have daily tounaments, SNG games etc

5. And during the game how do you know how much stack your opponents have .. Do you ask em during the game?.. Seem like it be hard to tell if they have a large chip count

If you want to go all-in you can ask your opponent apprximately how much they have or ask for a chip count.. Most casinos hae a rule that in no limit games players must keep their large denominaton chips up front so that others can guesstimate their chip counts

6. And anything else id need to know when i go to play poker at a casino for the first time

It sounds like you need to read up a little more before you go. Playing online is a lot different then live games. Good luck to you!

Maria asks…

How old do you have to be to play live poker at a casino in the US?

I know it is 21 to play slots, but what about poker?

Also, how old do you have to be to play in Canada?

admin answers:

Depending on the casino it may be 18, 19 or 21. There is a chart giving the minimum ages by state at

but even if the minimum age for a state is 18 some casinos where booze is served will set a minimum age of 21.

For Canadian Indian casinos the minimum age is either 18 or 19 according to the chart at

Almost every casino has a toll-free information number you can call, so it is best to check before you go.

Robert asks…

I never played poker at a casino id like too though?

Im talking about playing at your local casino. How much are buy ins. Is it difficult your first time? What to exspect? Ive read books on poker and played small home games with friends, ive also played online. I think i have enough skill to win in a casino. And id like to atleast try.

admin answers:

Many poker rooms will have house rules posted clearly on the wall somewhere. One common rule is ‘no string bets’, which means you can’t add chips to the pot and then go back to your stack to add more…all chips need to be moved in at the same time. While it’s not always strictly necessary to announce whether you’re raising or just calling, it’s usually considered polite table etiquette to do so. Most rooms also prefer you get your initial buy-in chips at the chip counter rather than at the table (so as not to exhaust the dealer’s supply of chips too quickly.) Additional chip buys can usually be made at the table however (either from the dealer or by a floor walker) – just make sure you only do so between hands…trying to buy more chips during a hand is a HUGE no-no.

Most rooms have a check-in booth (many with computerized screens scattered about the area) showing what tables are running, the blinds/buy-ins at each and the current waiting list for each (as well as ‘interest’ lists for table combinations not currently running but which might have a dealer assigned to open one if enough people sign up.) A room will almost always have several different table combinations going at any given time (with varying bet types, blind amounts and/or buy-ins.)

One thing to make sure you ask about is the site special payoffs (bad-beats, high hands, etc.) and the rules for each. One thing to definitely avoid is making the table miss out on a potential jackpot by trying to squeeze a couple of extra bucks out of a pot. For example, if you flop a straight flush in a $1/2 limit pot, don’t raise the other players out of it if the high-hand jackpot requires the hand to go to showdown.

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