What Dress Sense Says About Gamblers
Just as in almost every walk of life, how an individual dress to attend the casino can say a lot about them. The casino presents an excellent place to people watch or to invent backstories for the characters that pass by. For many folks, it needn’t go any further than that. However, for others, outfits can be a precursor to a “tell”. In the right game, these tells can actually mean the difference between a winning and losing session.
In the following article, we’ll introduce the concept of style tells and show you exactly how you can benefit from them in the casino. This isn’t a guide intended to teach you how to behave when playing at a casino. Rather, it is intended to demonstrate how you can glean more information about your fellow players. You can then use this information to exploit them.
Why Style Tells Can be Important
In almost every game in the casino, an individual’s attire is largely irrelevant. Sure, it might influence who you do and do not want to sit with, but in terms of your bottom line at blackjack, it really makes no difference.
This is because players play against the house, not each other. If the guy to the left of you at the roulette table is rich or poor, smart or a bit slow, drunk or stone cold sober, it doesn’t matter. It’s entirely irrelevant to your own decisions during the game. In games like blackjack, roulette, slots, casino poker, and craps, the outfits of your fellow players might make a talking point, but they don’t really matter anymore than they do elsewhere.
The one game that turns this entirely on its head is poker. Poker, either cash or tournament style, pits individual players against one another. There’s a lot of luck involved but you can also be both good and bad at the game. A good player will want to surround themselves with bad players and having some clue as to who’s likely to be a fish at a table can be the difference between a winning and losing session.
There are different types of bad players too. There are those that fold much too frequently – described by poker players as “tight”. There are those that leave a lot of money on the table – termed “loose”. The dressing styles of your opponents can give valuable clues about whether they’re likely to play too many hands or too few. It can even hint at how aggressive or passively they might play back at you too.
Let’s look a little closer.
Common Dress Styles in the Casino and What they Might Mean
The Weekend Warrior
The weekend warrior is a player who frequents the casino only at the weekend or when they’re not at work. You’ll find this individual dressed pretty smartly but not over the top. Think smart trousers or jeans, shoes, and a shirt. Going to the casino is a big deal for these guys. It’s part of their social life so they like to get dressed up a bit. However, they’re unlikely to don a full dicky bow and tux.
The weekend warrior likely spends a lot of their time talking about gambling. They probably love to play all the games in the casino and will happily punt on horses or football too. Their favourite game is poker because you can be good at it. That’s not to say they are particularly savvy at the felt though. That said, they will know enough for them not to be your most lucrative opponent.
The weekend warrior has read a poker book but only understood 50 percent of it. They’re going to be too tight and will likely fold to well-timed aggression. They will play a generally tight and aggressive style, which might actually beat the biggest fish in the room – hence the overall sense of superiority you will find with weekend warriors.
The Night Out Overflow
Our next choice will be dressed up slightly fancier than the Weekend Warrior. However, their once immaculate outfits might be a little more crinkled and creased, perhaps with a few stains on, following a night on the tiles.
This type of punter will be wearing clothing fit for a full night out. The guys will stink of cologne and the girls will have a thick layer of makeup. They’re often intoxicated, there for a good time, and more than happy to chat nonsense into the early hours. They also probably won’t mind losing a bit to you whilst they wait for a taxi at some ungodly hour of the morning.
These guys and girls are usually still thirsty and, truth be told, the casino is the last place they’d like to be on a Saturday night. However, the other bars have stopped serving and a casino is often open all night.
They’re here for the love of alcohol and nothing else. Usually drunk and without their head in the game, those that ended up at the casino for a final nightcap are often amazing opponents for better gamblers. They’re likely to be reckless with their money, even if they might not have masses of it.
Came for the Game, Stayed for the Action
Given that casinos often show televised sporting fixtures and host their own sportsbooks, some of the folks you’ll encounter around the poker table will have been there for the big game, rather than the roulette. These folks are easily identified. They’ll usually have their team colours on, jeans, possibly trainers. They’ll usually be working class and really enjoy both a gamble and a drink.
For the skilled player, if such sports fans make their way over to the poker felt, it can be a serious pay day. Still intoxicated from the endless alcohol they lubricated themselves up with during the game, they might be looking to take back some money they lost at the sportsbook. Alternatively, they might have just watched their team beat the best in the league and are feeling untouchable.
Either way, these folks are usually not skilled at playing cards when completely sober. Pour over 10 pints of strong lager and they’re likely to be loose aggressive. Our advice is to sit to their left and to pick them off by hitting strong hands and letting them hang themselves. These folks probably aren’t made of money but that won’t stop them blasting it off incredibly quickly.
The High Roller
Next up is another opponent you want to be playing behind at the poker table. The high roller is all class. They’re incredibly wealthy, probably own businesses and, to them, playing cards isn’t about the money. It’s about the game, a bit of excitement, and spending time in a competitive, masculine environment.
High rollers distinguish themselves with their elegance. Don’t be paying attention to tuxedos and the like though. This isn’t a Bond move. The wealthiest folks at the casino will likely be dressed reasonably modestly. That is, until you see the labels on their garments.
Look out for high end sunglasses, shirts, shoes, nice jewellery – that kind of thing. You might also be able to pick up on some mannerisms that give them away. If them losing what seems like a colossal amount of money to you barely registers with them, you might well be dealing with a high roller.
The Card Shark
All the other style stereotypes from the casino we’ve looked at have been how to identify a bad player. Obviously, you want to win and playing cards is all about exploiting other players’ weaknesses. These weaker players have plenty of holes in their game and savvy players can use these to their advantage.
One type of player you want to be wary of in the casino is the card shark. The card shark isn’t at the casino for a social call, nor are they wasting time that they could be spending on the golf course. These folks are here for profits.
Card sharks usually learn online these days. As internet players, they like to keep themselves to themselves and may employ various tricks to help them keep a stoic poker face. These might include headphones, hoods, or sunglasses. By hiding their face as much as possible, these solid players are seeking to give as little away as possible. Truth be told, if they could play hidden behind an avatar as they do online, they probably would.
As sharks, these players usually aren’t short of cash. However, they are also used to spending mammoth sessions playing cards. Their uniform is therefore more likely to be high end sports gear or anything that they can remain comfortable for hours than the kind of clothing you might expect a strong poker player to wear.