Gambling: Watching but not playing

(NOTE: We received a couple of related questions this week, so we've lumped them together for an answer.)

Can I sit next to my friend at a 21 table if I am not playing?

(Tacoma, Wash.)


I'm going to Vegas with my 20-year-old daughter next month. Can she sit at the table with me while I gamble, as long as she doesn't play?


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The answer is very simple for Michelle: No, your daughter will not be allowed to join you at the gaming table. Nobody under 21 is even allowed to linger in casino areas, much less sit at a table. In practice she's not likely to draw much attention if she watches over your shoulder for a hand or two, but young-looking folks will eventually be asked for an ID.

Kelly, the general rule of thumb for you is also a no. Seats at blackjack tables -- and all games -- are meant only for players. Sit down and you'll be asked to either bet or get up... usually. If things are very slow in the casino -- early in the day, for example -- and there are only one or two players at the table, some dealers don't mind if a non-player sits for a little while. As soon as the table begins filling, though, you'll be asked to move.

4 responses to “Gambling: Watching but not playing”

  1. Steve the Texan said:

    I believe you're asking about slot clubs and the like, Patricia. Most casinos will have a sign-up booth somewhere fairly easy to find. If you can't locate it, ask a staff member and they'll point you in the right direction.

    Once you have a card printed up, just hand it to the dealer whenever you sit at a table to play or insert it in the card reader when playing a slot machine or video poker.

  2. patricia said:

    please tell me how i get loyalty points in las vegas ?

  3. Steve the Texan said:

    That's a good question, Mary. Here's how it's done:

    When you're ready to leave the table wait until there's a pause in the action, between hands at the blackjack table, then tell the dealer you're ready to "color out," then push your chips toward them. (IMPORTANT: Do NOT push your chips into the betting circle or anywhere else bets are normally placed. They may accidentally assume you're just making a giant bet.)

    The dealer will then collect your chips and convert the small denominations into larger ones, giving you a single 25-dollar chip for five 5-dollar ones, for example. This way you have fewer chips to carry.

    Now just look for the cashier's cage, which is usually somewhere toward the back of the casino. They'll take your chips there (or your printed voucher, if you've just cashed out from a slot machine) and give you cash.

    By the way, if you've had a friendly dealer you might want to tip them as you're leaving. You can do this by either placing one last bet and letting them know "this one is for you" or simply pushing a chip forward and saying thanks.

  4. mary crawford said:

    I am going to have a go at blackjack when I go to Vegas, how do I cash out (if I have cash left) do I take the chips to the cage or tell the dealer I want to cash out?

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