Rubbing shoulders with royalty in Monte Carlo, living it up in Las Vegas or exploring the retro charm of bingo at a UK coastal resort don’t sound like they have much in common. Yet they are all variations on differing ways we can enjoy a casino night in the company of family and friends.
Some people get overly bogged down in the gambling side of casino gaming, furiously working out odds and trying to come up with strategies to beat the house. Yet that really misses the point of what it’s all about. Ultimately, the house always wins – if it didn’t the casino would go out of business. But those who get the most from a casino visit are there because they enjoy the fun of the games, the social interaction with friends, the opportunity to get dressed up for the night, and after all that, perhaps, the outside chance of walking away with a nice win.
Put that way, you can see why a casino night is an ideal theme for a party in your own home. Even better, in this online age, you can use the power of the internet to provide you with all the games, equipment and even dealers that you might need. And all from cyberspace, and without turning your home into some sort of illicit underground gambling den.
Ready to channel your inner Danny Ocean and take on the house at its own game? Let’s look at the key ingredients to making your casino-themed party a night to remember.
Establish a theme
As we’ve already seen, casino gaming can take a lot of different forms and happens in wildly different places. This suggests that simply opting for a “casino theme” is not going to cut the mustard. From the examples we suggested above, you might choose “Casino Royale” Monte Carlo style, an Elvis-inspired “Viva Las Vegas” theme or maybe “I do like to be beside the seaside” complete with fish and chips and some traditional British music.
Make sure you tell your guests well in advance so they have time to prepare. You could also give some pointers as to dress code, whether it is black tie, sequined jumpsuit or even a knotted handkerchief on the head!
Line up your games
Unless all the friends and family on your guest list are seasoned regulars on the Strip in Las Vegas, it makes sense to keep the games simple. That way, they are accessible to all. Roulette, blackjack, and craps are ideal choices. Of course, you could purchase or hire a roulette wheel and all the accompanying equipment, and you could even get your own dealers in – but why go to all that inconvenience and expense in the internet age?
All you actually need is a laptop, monitor or good-sized tablet to represent each different gaming table. Get some friends to bring theirs if you are short on hardware, and set each up in its own area. Then you can just log on to either a “just for fun” or a real casino site and choose your games.
If you take the latter option, spend some time choosing the best options. Sure, fun is the main priority, but you and your guests still want to optimize your chances of success and at least make sure your bankroll lasts as long as possible. For this reason, it’s worth learning about the house edge in different casino games and how it affects your likelihood of winning or losing. Here’s a simple example: In European roulette, there is just a single zero and the house edge is 2.7 percent. In other words, if someone stakes $100 they can expect to get $97.30 back on average. In American roulette, there’s also the double zero. The house edge is 5.3 percent, meaning they would only get an average of $94.70 back. So in the case of roulette, it should be European all the way!
The house edge varies even more in a game like craps, but there, it is down to the player to make the decision on the type of bet to place. As host, all you can do is set the game up and leave them to it.
Get the food right
The last thing you want is to drag everyone away from the games for a sit-down meal. Besides that, unless you live in a palace, most of the usual dining space will be taken up by the games, anyway.
Las Vegas is famous for its buffets, so this is definitely the way to go. For this particular theme, the food options are obvious. Keep it small and manageable, though, so think mini-burgers or sliders rather than filling-packed half-pounders.
Even if you go for the Monte Carlo theme, the buffet idea still works well. Here, though, you might be thinking more along the lines of seafood canapes as opposed to burgers, chips, and dips. The British seaside theme? Mini fish filets with chips (thickly cut fries) are a great start, and you could also go out of your way to find the most unusually flavored potato chips.
If you are feeling particularly creative, an interesting challenge is to try keeping the food options red, white and black, to stick with that roulette table theme.
Stay legal and have fun
We mentioned it light-heartedly earlier, but, of course, you need to keep in mind the law in the area where you live. You can’t suddenly set up a real casino and start taking people’s money in your own home, that is something that would be prohibited anywhere! However, someone accessing an online platform and dealing with them directly is another matter and is subject only to your local national or state rules.
Ultimately, though, we finish on the same note where we started. The idea of a casino party is to have fun, so most people choose to simply provide their guests with some betting chips at the beginning of the night and offer a fun prize to whoever has the most by the end of the evening. Enjoy the party, and be lucky!