Preparing to go to a casino for the first time...

mstprod1

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Looking for some advice, and friend and I who have played a ton of games at home and are looking to give a first shot at playing in a casino. We're thinking we might take a day or two and go to the MGM Grand in Detroit and buy-in for $100 and the 1/2 no-limit table. Figure we gotta start somewhere. Any advice/recommendations/tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
 

juankay20

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Looking for some advice, and friend and I who have played a ton of games at home and are looking to give a first shot at playing in a casino. We're thinking we might take a day or two and go to the MGM Grand in Detroit and buy-in for $100 and the 1/2 no-limit table. Figure we gotta start somewhere. Any advice/recommendations/tips would be greatly appreciated!

Thanks!
Buy in for the max (usually $300 for the $1/$2 games), start off slow until you get a feel for the table.. unless you get some monster starting hands :D
Trust your instincts (should be a given)
And otherwise, just try to have fun!
 

colter ripton

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I was Super nervous the first time I played in a casino too. You'll figure out pretty quickly though that most of the players there arnt all that great.

At 1/2 especially I wouldnt expect the average skill level to be much different than your home game. Just play tight until you get a feel for the table.

You might win or lose your first time, just be aware that the results of a single session or even multiple sessions won't tell you all that much about how good a player you are. Over time you will get more comfortable at the casino and start to understand where you need to improve your game. I think I won like my first 5 or 6 sessions in a row when I first started playing at the casino. I thought I was the next phil Ivey until I lost the next 5 or 6 straight. Lol
 
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Consider the money lost and just enjoy yourselves.

For a first timer in a casino I would not buy in 150bb deep as it amplifies bad decisions pre- and post flop.
2 young guys on their first trip to a casino should just have fun, buy in low, play tight to get a feel for all the differences to their homegame and get as much play time as possible out of 1 or 2 bullets. Next time you'll come back and know about the "1 high chip is just a call, unless announced otherwise"-rule and many others and then you can go full ham with max buyin and outplay them all.
 

RichMahogany

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At 1/2 especially I wouldnt expect the average skill level to be much different than your home game. Just play tight until you get a feel for the table

This, 100%.

I don’t get the chance to play casino/card room poker often but the players are mostly awful. Our home games are much tougher than the $1/$2-$1/$3 cardroom games I’ve played in
 

Silver_Fiend

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If you sit down, and all the players seem like old friends and they all the know the dealers that sit down.... get up and walk. Youre the fish and they will have an unspoken agreement to fillet you.
 

Highli99

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My advice is to be extremely careful about giving off tells. Avoid table talk during hands you are playing. If you are asked questions, whether weak or strong remain silent and don’t look at the questioner. Anything clever you think about saying....don’t. I promise it will not be original and experienced live players will see right through it.
 

Frogzilla

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Buy in for however much you want. $100 is fine. Depending on how “casual” your home game is, you will want to know the rules about gameplay because they are standardized at the casino. 1-chip is automatically a call, no string betting, never make change for yourself, straddles, etc. bring what you’re prepared to lose, pay attention, and enjoy it
 

ekricket

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My advice is to be extremely careful about giving off tells. Avoid table talk during hands you are playing. If you are asked questions, whether weak or strong remain silent and don’t look at the questioner. Anything clever you think about saying....don’t. I promise it will not be original and experienced live players will see right through it.
++1 this. Later you may find it useful, but unless you luck out and get Doyle Brunson next to you and he announces he wants to mentor you your better off keeping to yourself for a bit.

Dont ask the players anything about the game, talk to the dealer.

Doesn’t matter if the question is about your neighbors chips, ask the dealer. The dealer is your friend here, just ask them for clarification of anything. If you ask the table your going to get 12 different opinions, three from one guy that contradict each other.

talk to them about politics, religion, racism, anything like that, but if it comes to how the game works or procedure question just ask the dealer straight out.
 
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When you get to the Casino, get a Mlife or rewards card (the dealer will ask for it and clock you in when you get on the table with the card if you have one). Approach the podium at the poker room. Ask for your name to be put on the game list for 1/2. Buy your first set of chips in advance from the cage or the desk depending on the casino. Act in turn. Make sure to tip your dealers on your winning hands (at least a buck - they work for tips). (Thats my biggest issue with new players is them not tipping at all) If you do all that you will look like you know what you are doing and nothing to be nervous about. Good luck.
 

Sambukan

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Dont let yourself get intimidated by the other players talking/bragging. I dont remember with how many wannabe bracelet winners i was playing small stakes poker at a casino :)
 

Highli99

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Dont let yourself get intimidated by the other players talking/bragging. I dont remember with how many wannabe bracelet winners i was playing small stakes poker at a casino :)
This is so true seems like half the $1/2 table “normally plays $5/10” or is “only losing because they forgot how to play stake this low”. Please.....
 

Nanook

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I agree with a lot of what has already been said. A couple little things that I don't 100% agree with.

A couple guys say buy in for max buy. I'm not saying I disagree with this strategy for an experienced player with a good bankroll. For a young guy that has never played in a Card Room or Casino, I'm not sure that is the best advice. If you are a little short on cash and playing a little "scared money" (typical for a young player that has never played in a card room) then buying in a little short so you have a few bullets might be better. For example let's say you have $300 max that you are willing to put in play & max buy is $300. In your situation I think you might be best to buy in for $100 & that way you have 3 buy ins, rather than just 1. If you have $1000 in your pocket, then sure buy in for max if you want.... just sayin.

If you sit down, and all the players seem like old friends and they all the know the dealers that sit down.... get up and walk. Youre the fish and they will have an unspoken agreement to fillet you.
I agree with this, however I will say I have never yet seen a full table of even decent players in a live 1/2nl game. I have seen this plenty in bigger games, but not in a 1/2nl

............
Dont ask the players anything about the game, talk to the dealer. ........

talk to them about politics, religion, racism, anything like that, but if it comes to how the game works or procedure question just ask the dealer straight out.
Once again this is mostly good advice, but with a slight adjustment. The poker table is not the place for any of the 3 topics brought up here. Roughly half of the people at your table are going going to disagree with whatever your position is and whenever these topics come up it makes for an uncomfortable and contentious vibe. Talk about whatever you want with the exception of Politics, Religion and Racism.

Mostly, just try & have fun!
 

ekricket

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I agree with a lot of what has already been said. A couple little things that I don't 100% agree with.
Once again this is mostly good advice, but with a slight adjustment. The poker table is not the place for any of the 3 topics brought up here. Roughly half of the people at your table are going going to disagree with whatever your position is and whenever these topics come up it makes for an uncomfortable and contentious vibe. Talk about whatever you want with the exception of Politics, Religion and Racism.

Mostly, just try & have fun!
You are wrong. The poker table us the only place to talk about these things.

next up, the definition of joking. Everybody in the world knows those three topics are taboo ANYWHERE social. Maybe you think you have unique knowledge and are helping set us straight, but we pretty much know this. Sorry for injecting some humor, and thanks for killing it before it got out of control.
 

surfik

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Get a good night sleep.
Don't drink alcohol (at least not much).
If you are smoker get a gum (I do Big Red when playing).
If you nervous get laid or go to the gym night before.
 

mstprod1

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This is all really helpful and great advice, we'll be sure to consider it all! I'm not sure when we'll wind up going, but I'll be sure to report back after!

Thanks!
 

Lil Tuna

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For what it’s worth,
Go to have fun and use this first trip as an experience to build on for possible future trips. Don’t have any expectations except to learn. I’ve spent countless hours playing in casinos and there’s almost nothing I haven’t seen happen at a poker table in a casino.
First and foremost, don’t buy into a $1/$2 NLHE game for $100, always buy in for at least $300. You will project a more serious image to the players already siting there and not come off as someone trying to hit and run or just trying to pick a spot to shove.
Pay very close attention to the other players even if your not in a hand. You can pick up many subtle things on an opponent watching them play. In a relatively short time you should be able to determine the more solid players from the looser players which will in turn guide you on how to proceed against them.
As you get comfortable with the table, it’s perfectly fine to converse with another player about anything that your comfortable speaking about. I typically try to avoid getting in between any players arguing or any conflicts that may arise, the dealer or floor person will usually settle any disputes.
Set a limit either way for yourself and stick to it. If your loss limit is $200 and you lose it, then calmly get up and leave. If you win a certain amount that is close to or more than you’d be happy with for the session, be disciplined enough to walk with it.
Hope this is helpful, basic and something to build upon if you decide casino poker is for you going forward. Ultimately just try and enjoy the experience.
 

tabletalker7

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There are two rules for a newbie going to play live in a casino.

Rule 1. Have fun. Always have fun. You are there to play a game. Enjoy it.
Rule 2. If you are not having fun - LEAVE. Trying to gut it out when you are miserable not only doesn't work, but will forever give you a bad taste in your mouth when it comes to playing. If you enjoy the first half hour, then it gets boring, leave. If you are still having fun 3 hours into it, COOL! Always have fun, then leave.
 

JStew

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Ask about any room specials: high hand, aces cracked, etc. Was playing 1-2 limit in Fresno CA once and mucked pocket aces at showdown only to find out later in the night they had either $50 or $100 for aces cracked.
 
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