Shreveport-Bossier Casino Etiquette: 6 Absolutely Ridiculous Mistakes That My Friends Made as First-Time Gamblers

Casino-hopping is a popular activity for Shreveport-Bossier locals and visitors. But if you’re a beginner, I’m giving you an opportunity to learn from these six horror stories instead of experiencing them first-hand. As for gambling pros, try not to laugh too hard.

1. I once had a friend that mistakenly played five rounds of war on a blackjack table at Eldorado Resort Casino Shreveport – That ended really well for her.

Guests have access to more than 25 table games on the first floor of Eldorado, and many of us grew up playing one of them as children, war. War is a simple card game, typically played by two players using a standard card deck. Each player turns up a card at the same time and the player with the higher card wins the “war.” It’s the perfect game to play as a first-timer because of its simplicity, but the table set up is similar to blackjack. If you’re ever confused about the rules of any table game, most dealers will guide you through the do’s and don’ts, but my friend Gabrielle learned the hard way.

2. Another friend of mine heard his name over the intercom at Sam’s Town Casino & Hotel, and thought he was illegally parked – Nope, he missed out on a $500 cash prize.

As a former casino staff member, I feel like most neo-gamblers need this piece of advice, “Always take advantage of the casino’s players cards, always.” It’s basically a rewards program on steroids. If you play, the incentives are nothing like you’ve ever imagined. Some of the benefits include:

  • Free Play – It’s exactly what it sounds like.
  • Offers – This can include free food, free hotel stay, VIP treatment and more.
  • Giveaways – Cash, electronics, vacations, etc.

Because my friend Jeremy wasn’t aware of all the players’ card perks, he missed out on some cold hard cash. Don’t be like Jeremy.

3. One of my friends brought an actual bag of pennies to Horseshoe Casino Bossier City to play on the penny slot machines – I still can’t believe this happened.

Long story short, my friend Liz walked in with a bag of pennies and walked out with a bag of pennies. As ridiculous as this sounds, I could see how this could confuse a gambling newbie. Although the term “penny slots” plants the idea that you can play for as little as one cent, that’s not true. Most penny slots force you to play a fixed amount and many slot machines have a 50 cent minimum. There is no place to enter coins inside of these penny slot machines.

4. Y’all, I cannot make this up – I once had a friend who waited over an hour for a drink tab from the cocktail waitress at Boomtown Casino & Hotel.

PSA – Both alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages are free when playing on the casino floor. Order your favorite beer, cocktail, soft drink, or bottled water throughout the night, but don’t forget to tip the cocktail waitresses. They deserve it!

5. A good friend of mine arrived at Margaritaville Bossier City with an expired ID and could not enter the casino for her 21st birthday – Bummer.

Most first-time gamblers are aware of the 21 and up requirement to play because it’s a popular way to celebrate a milestone birthday. But if you didn’t know, in the famous words of Kevin Hart, “You gone learn today.” Typically, casino security only accepts the following valid forms of identification: 

  • Official Passport
  • State Issued Driver’s License
  • Armed Forces ID
  • Merchant Marine ID
  • Washington State Tribal Enrollment Card
6. Just this year, I knew a girl that placed a bet on the wrong race horse at Harrah’s Louisiana Downs – Shame. Shame. Shame.

Embarrassingly, this mistake was mine. Racino betting is a ton of fun, but I suspect that it’s even more exciting if you cheered on the right steed. Since I’m still a little shaky on this one, I won’t even attempt to school you on this. However, one of Harrah’s guests shared a myth with me. He said verbatim, “Always bet on gray horses.” Take that at face value if you’d like, but for more respected information about live horse racing, visit

The moral of these stories is it’s okay to make mistakes during your first casino visit, because no one walks in as a pro. Your only goal should be to have fun in a glitzy environment and take full advantage of beginner’s luck. But if you need more information, we have that too. Click here to see a full list of Shreveport-Bossier casinos and their amenities, or visit for more things to do in our sister cities. Now, go forth and win millions!


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