flashing lights, domed cameras in ceiling, mirrors, slot machines, stools, buckets of coins, card tables (blackjack, poker, baccarat), chairs, cards, chips, roulette wheels, craps tables, dice, TV monitors, dealers, players, waiters/waitresses, drinks, food, pattern carpets, stools, change sellers, glassed in cash out counter, security people, half empty beer cups, bar area, flashy posters and glitzy artwork, TV screens, drunk people, cash out tickets, roulette wheel, people wearing sunglasses, tourists, luxury prizes (cars, motor bikes, etc) on display, people handing out coupons for buffets and shows, bling
Swish of automatic doors, crank of slot machine arms, clink of coins falling into machines, alarms announcing winners, people laughing/talking/placing orders with servers/cashing in chips/rejoicing/lamenting, chips rattling in plastic buckets, cards being shuffled/dealt, poker players fidgeting with chips, players placing bids, chatter over walkie-talkies, clack of roulette wheel, tumble of dice, squeak of stools, quiet murmur of TV monitors, tinkle of ice in glasses, music or live singing filtering in from another room
cigarette/cigar smoke, felt, perfume, cologne, aftershave, sweat, food smells, money, metal coins
water, soda, alcoholic beverages, chewing gum, mints, cigarettes, sandwiches, hamburgers, nachos, wings, fries,
Soft carpet underfoot, cool air-conditioned air, padded stools and chairs, solid feel of wooden chair rungs, slick cards, plastic chips, felt tabletops, wooden table rims, warm dice, metal slot machine arms, trickle of sweat, too-warm clothing, sunglasses sliding down nose, bustle of crowd, stepping in beer spills, sticky slot machines, cold coins, sleeve dragging on felt as you reach for your coins, rolling a coin across the finger tops, dice rattling in palm, rubbing sweaty hands on pant leg, cold drink against lips, blowing on the dice for luck
--The words you choose can convey atmosphere and mood.
Light-headed, I closed my eyes, my chin dropping to my chest. I was in so deep now--not only was my tip money gone, so was the money I'd taken out earlier for groceries. I reached for the handle and took a breath. Please, God...I need this.
I dealt my cards, trying to keep disdain from my face. Every night losers wearing too much cologne would sit at my table, all puffed up with the belief that their pathetic Internet gambling forays had turned them into big league players. By the end of the night they all looked the same...stooped shoulders, broody eyes and empty pockets.
--Similes and metaphors create strong imagery when used sparingly.
Example 1: (Simile)
The dealer smiled as she took my stake, her hand sweeping over my chips like the hungry, inevitable tide.
Example 2: (Metaphor)
I hated working the penny slot section. Because the payout was so low, the odds of winning were higher. At least ten times a night I'd become an epileptic at a light show concert, my vision reduced to stuttering light bursts that send me grabbing onto something until the flashes subsided.