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Slot Machine Etiquette All Players Should Know

Upon walking into a land casino almost anywhere in the world, you will be greeted by rows and rows of slot machines. They draw players in with their flashing lights and sound effects, and while the games themselves may be easy to learn, there are some unwritten rules that all newcomers should know so that they can enjoy the games safely and without disturbing their fellow players.

Entertainment Value

On a busy night, you will find flocks of people around the slot machine aisles. They have the broadest appeal; being simple to play with quick rounds and a flashing jackpot that is irresistible to most. Despite having some of the lowest odds amongst the games you can try at the casino, you do have some of the largest payout to bet ratios. With this in mind, if you have not played many slot machines, then it is useful to know that most of the time you will be losing money, but it only takes one jackpot to make for a successful night.

For this reason, it is important not to act out or frustrate other players, as everyone is there for the fun and the adrenaline, here are some silent rules that you may not know.

Using Multiple Machines

If you are new to slots, you probably will not start by playing musical chairs with multiple machines. While it is allowed to play on more than one device simultaneously, it can only be done when there are multiple free machines, so other players can also play their games.

Taking Breaks

Slot machines do not require large deposits; this is why some people can play on machines for several hours for their entertainment. When going for a break, if you expect to come back and play, then you must signal that the machine is not free and you will be back shortly.

In the past, when slots were played with coins, then there used to be a coin cup in which you collected your winnings. One method of signalling an occupied machine was to put this coin cup on top of the machine. However, nowadays most machines are cashless and therefore only offer tickets, making the coin cups obsolete to modern slots.

To make up for this, players sometimes leave personal items on the screen to say they are coming back. If there are neighbouring machines at which people are playing, you could also ask them to mind your place.

If the seats are not fixed in place, then you may be able to tip them onto the slot machine for the same effect.

Some machines offer a pause break, whereby the game will be stopped and the screen will close for up to twenty minutes; however, most casinos do not like this function as it can slow game time thus reducing revenue.

If you do have to take a break, make sure you do not go for an extended amount of time, say over half an hour; this not only prevents others from playing but also gives you a bad reputation with the casino, as they lose revenue during the time that the machine remains inactive.


The seats at slot machines are usually comfortable and are ergonomic. This is because casinos know that slots can be played for several hours, therefore the comfort and health of the gamers is paramount; chairs with lumbar support and that prevent fatigue are used.

For those not playing, the seats are free to be used so long as no one wants to play. If you are seen sitting at a slot machine for a longer period of time without any interest in playing then you may be asked to leave the seat. If you want to relax then you should probably head to the lounge, where you can take a break from the games.

Lost Personal Items

If you find that someone has left a personal item, like a club card, you must report this to the staff or leave it on top of the machine where it is in clear sight.

Club cards are the most common lost items, as you will only need them on entering and perhaps when you want to cash out your tickets. If you have ever experienced losing yours then you already know how much of a nuisance it can be and you should try to prevent it from happening to other casino goers.

Table Manners

It probably goes without saying, but you should behave in a way that does not disturb others. While it is more frequent to have disputes at tables, at slot machines you can also find players who, for example, stick their feet too far out or leave their drinks too close to your space.

Be mindful not to distract or irritate players by playing too loudly or spilling your drink on their machine or onto them as you may be cautioned or asked to leave. You can strike up casual conversation with gamers but do not give out advice or bother them during play.

Smoking is allowed in some casinos, so if you are offended by the smell make sure you look out for machines where smoking is permitted and avoid them. If you are a smoker, there are ashtrays at certain machines but be mindful not to blow smoke in the direction of the other players.


The staff are there to provide you with help should there be a problem with your machine. Problems could include faulty operation, freezing or sometimes players think their winnings are not displayed properly. If you experience any of these problems, seldom as they are, you can look to the personnel on hand who can fix it for you.

Most players tip slot machine attendants after winning a jackpot, especially when the jackpot is high. For smaller winnings, you are able to cash out a ticket or money from the machine, but on a successful jackpot or larger payout, you will need a slot attendant and possibly a security guard to collect your prize.

It is with these larger prizes that players leave a 2% tip; i.e. 20$ for every 1000$ they win. Tipping the security guard or splitting the tip between them is possible only if you ask the security guard whether he or she is allowed to accept tips. In some casinos, there is a policy where security guards are not allowed to collect tips.

If they are joined by an executive, do not feel compelled to tip him or her. They would only be there to congratulate you and possibly try to point you to some other games where you can spend some of your fresh winnings.


Now that you have brushed up on your slot machine etiquette, you can go and play at your leisure. Be wary of players who are disrespecting or distracting others and if they go too far, alert the staff. It is always important to keep a safe environment in casinos, as failure to do so could lead to cautions, suspensions or even lifetime bans. Slot machines are not renowned for being the places of dispute or aggression, probably as a result of being single player games. If there is any discord, it is far more likely to occur at the tables. However, no problems should be allowed to escalate, as damaging property or any criminal offence may result in the police becoming involved.

That said, it is a rarity to find real disputes in casinos. So next time you are at a casino, feel free to check out the slots and remember to hold on to your club card and make sure you signal when you want to take your break.


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